The original decision to form Heald Green Ratepayers’ Association was taken at a Public Meeting in December 1927. So last year the Association was 90 years young.
The Ratepayers’ Association was founded “to watch over the interests of the area” and to select councillors for the new ward of Heald Green. In 1929 the Association gained its first councillors. That year was the start of a tradition, whereby all Heald Green councillors have been independent Ratepayers councillors, for nearly ninety years.
Early issues included the timing of the train which collected the mail, installation of lamposts along Finney Lane and the construction of Etchells School in 1932.
During the war the committee worked on evacuation and the provision of War Comforts and Lifeboats. In 1948 there was discussion of a new Public Hall.
The Fifties started the house building boom and our demand for amenities. In 1962 we started our magazine, CONTACT, which is delivered, free, to every house in Heald Green. We have now delivered nearly 200 issues and our gallant band of deliverers have delivered well over 3/4million copies over the years. The original Clinic and Library were the result of campaigns by the Association and more recently our battle, with others, to replace the Clinic with a 21stCentury version came to fruition. We initiated many new organisations and the new schools of Outwood, Prospect Vale, Lum Head and Bolshaw were opened, due to the efforts of Ratepayer Councillors on the Education Committee in times past.
The Ratepayers’ pressure for a Public Hall came to fruition in 1963 and the plans contained many of the recommendations put forward by the Ratepayers.
The growth of Manchester Airport, over many years, has engendered a constant battle with them for decent treatment, resulting in improved noise insulation, vortex damage schemes and a number of operational improvements.
When Heald Green became part of Stockport, in 1974, the tradition of electing Ratepayer councillors continued. Since then we have supplied three Mayors and three Deputy Mayors. We fought successful battles to stop office developments on Cheadle Royal cricket pitch and Bruntwood Park and blocked plans for a gypsy site. We are, of course, in a great position to fight for Heald Green as we have our very own Ratepayer councillors.
One major battle which we are currently fighting is the battle aginst the proposals in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, which is covered elsewhere on this website.
As well as notable battles, we are involved in regular, everyday work to make Heald Green a better place, be it installing our crib, adding Christmas lights to the Village, organising the floral displays in the Village tubs or being involved in running the Festival.
People all over Stockport often express jealousy of what we have in Heald Green. We hope that Heald Green’s own community organisation continues to serve its own community for many more years.