Sunday, 31 January 2010


I had an action packed day today. My colleague Cllr Paul Ankers and I were joined by John Leech MP, Cllrs Norman Lewis and Lianne Williams and others for some residents surveying in the morning. We got a very good reception on the doorstep and I was able to pick up some important casework to do with gullies and traffic calming.

In the afternoon I went along to the Swap Shop at St John's RC Primary School. This was a really well run event that promoted recycling and was a great chance to talk to local parents and environmental activists. I especially enjoyed talking to the organisers of the Chorlton Plant Swap and some coordinators from the Action for Sustainable Living group. The ASL group gave me a survey to help assess how environmental sustainable my lifestyle was. They said they would send me the result in an email, I will be interested to see what it comes back with! I kept a copy of the survey and I will post it up onto this blog soon, in case you want to send off a survey too.

This evening I went to the premiere of a documentary film made by a local man, called 'Glocal'. It was a fascinating and inspirational film about an American family who have moved to Chorlton and seek to live in an environmentally friendly way. They have moved to Chorlton from Phoenix, Arizona and gave up their home, most of their belongings and their car! I though the film raised some very important questions, in a clever way. But what I enjoyed the most was seeing that it was perfectly possible to live a sustainable lifestyle in Chorlton. I certainly came out of the film thinking of ways I could make my lifestyle more sutainable. The film is available to watch online at: and I would certainly recommend you take the time to watch it.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Chorlton District Centre under threat

Given the latest threats to independent retailers in Chorlton, with 2 very large supermarket proposals submitted to Trafford Council - with an estimated combined impact on Chorlton District Centre trade of around 22% (from their figures) it seems important to press the government to take action.

The relentless growth of Tesco has crushed small businesses and local shops. And it has turned many of our communities into Tescotowns. In response, the Competition Commission has recommended a new competition test for town planning.

This would stop supermarkets opening new stores in places where they already control the majority of the local market. Chorlton is already well served with TESCOs; with 3 stores within 2kms of Chorlton Cross and other stores in Fallowfield and Didsbury. Furthermore Chorlton already has three Co-op supermarkets and Morrisons, and the Council wants another supermarket! The new test is in danger because of the fierce lobbying of Tesco. They want to scrap the test and risk the future of vibrant, environmentally-friendly communities and town centres. Chorlton would really suffer if the two applications in Stretford go through.

That is why it is so important for us to demand the Government stands up to Tesco. Please join me in writting to the Minister for Planning at

Monday, 25 January 2010

Potholes in Chorlton

Chorlton's roads have really suffered as a result of the recent cold spell. I have noticed a number of potholes that have appeared or have become considerably worse recently (like this one on Buckingham Road). If you know of any potholes please let me know and I will get them repaired.

Sir Richard Leese, Labour Leader of the Council, has admitted the "total... cost of the freeze is likely to be well over a £1M". This just shows how important it is for the Council to keep our roads in a good state all year round, so that they do not become vulnerable to this sort of damage.

In the last three months I have reported over 30 potholes around Chorlton and asked the Council to inspect numerous roads.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Last chance to object to Mega TESCO

Today is the last opertunity to put in an objection to the propposed Mega TESCO in Stretford. If you have not done so, please do it now.

The NO Mega Tesco campaign's website has some briliant draft letters of objection and outlines how to object:

Tesco and Sainsbury’s are planning to unleash a supermarket war on Chorlton’s doorstep, with developments close to Lancashire Cricket Ground. Chorlton Lib Dems are campaigning against both, fearful that Chorlton could be the real loser in their battle.

I believe these developments could severely affect the vitality of Chorlton centre and could be disastrous for local businesses. That is why I have asked Manchester City Council to put in formal objections.

The final decision should be made by Trafford Council on 11 February.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Chorlton Meadows application withdrawn!

Local residents are celebrating today after plans to build on Chorlton Meadows were withdrawn by the developers.

In the face of huge local opposition, the developers withdrew the plans halfway through Thursday's meeting of the planning committee after members of the committee made it clear that the plans would be rejected. Local Lib Dems oppossed the plans from the start.

I am delighted that the committee members listened to local residents and were planning to throw out the application before it was withdrawn. We all want to see improvements in local amenities, but these plans were just not right for Chorlton Meadows.

I was disappointed when the Council backed the plans originally. However this has proven to be a great result for Chorlton and is thanks to the outstanding efforts of the Save Chorlton Meadows group who worked tirelessly to oppose the plans.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Decision on Chorlton Meadows to be made tommorow.

Tommorow the Council's planning committee will make the decision on whether the development of Chorlton Meadows at Hardy Farm goes ahead.

Please join me and other supporters of the Save Chorlton Meadows campaign at 10am on the meadow for the committee's site visit. The decision will be made in the afternoon at 2pm in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall.

I hope to see you at one or both of these events.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Get the Tesco application called in by the Secretary of State

If the Government Office for the North West receives enough requests, they may call in the Lancashire CCC/Tesco planning application for a 166,000 sq ft store in Gorse Hill, so the Secretary of State can make the decision instead of Trafford Council, which might result in a Public Inquiry which would be very good news indeed if the results of the last Public Inquiry is anything to go by.

Please email GONW and ask them to recommend the application is called in. For help with your letter/email, follow this link: and open the document called 'sample call in letter'.

You can 'Cc' your email to John Leech MP - - if you're in Chorlton.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Labour closes Ewing

Labour Councillors today voted to close Ewing School, ignoring the pleas of local campaigners from Parents against the Closure of Ewing (PACE), Lib Dem Councillors and campaigners and an 11,000 name petition. The Lib Dem have campaigned with parents from the start, argued against the closure, and have done everything in their power to stop it happening. However, there is a Labour majority on the Council.

I think the Labour Councillors clearly don't know about the excellent work Ewing currently does on inclusion. This is the wrong decision for local people who will see an excellent school close without any guarantees that what replaces it will be better. Labour have ignored the views of parents and pupils. Closing Ewing reduces choice for Manchester children. It is the wrong decision.

The Manchester Lib Dems have guaranteed to reverse the decision if they take power in May.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year!

I would like to wish everyone in Chorlton a happy and healthy 2010!