Sunday, 28 February 2010

John Leech on Politics Show

I was very impressed by Withington MP John Leech's performance on the Politics Show this morning. John discussed the importance of online campaigning locally and highlighted the massive Save Chorlton Meadows online campaign and the Save Ewing School as two issues where the Internet has helped local Lib Dems join with residents to fight to preserve and promote public services. John also discussed the Lib Dems' commitment to abolish tuition fees.

The interview is available to watch online at: until 7 March.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Issues around Chorlton

Another day of successful campaigning and talking to lots of local people. Walking around Chorlton is a great way of picking up casework and things that need reporting to the Council. For example this morning I noticed this damaged litter bin on Ransfield Road. I've also noticed a great deal of potholes and poor road surfaces that the Council still needs to come and repair! I will make sure to follow these things up Monday morning.

If you know of anything that needs the Council's attention please let me know at or 881 4139.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Talking to local residents

I've had an excellent couple of days of campaigning in Chorlton. Yesterday we managed to deliver our leaflets to almost all of the ward in just one day. And today has been a very encouraging and rewarding day of canvassing. I'm especially grateful to the huge team of people who have come out to help us recently. More and more people are telling us that they're planning to support the Lib Dems this time around and are coming out to help us.

I have really enjoyed meeting lots of local residents and talking to them about local issues and their concerns; and I have picked up a lot of casework. I'm very happy to help you out with any issues you might have. Please email me at or ring me on 881 4139.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Fighting Precinct car park charges

I along with the Chorlton Lib Dem team have fought the car parking charges at Chorlton Precinct from the start. The charges have significantly hurt traders and
discouraged shoppers from coming to Chorlton. During an economic downturn we need to be helping our local shops and their customers - not making it even harder for them.

When I have been out talking to local people it is one of the big issues that keep reoccurring. The team recently delivered an 800 strong petition to Parliament. I will keep campaigning alongside my Lib Dem colleagues to abolish the charges.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone in Chorlton. On behalf of the Chorlton Liberal Democrat team I would like to wish that fortune and good luck be with you in the year of the Tiger!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Local MP welcomes Metrolink extension

Withington MP John Leech hailed the beginning of construction of the Metrolink extension to south Manchester as a welcome milestone.

Having added his voice lobbying the Government to fund extensions to the Metrolink network since his election in 2005. While visiting a site where construction has begun in Chorlton, he restated his strong support for the extension of the Metrolink to south Manchester, adding:

"I am so pleased that extension of the Metrolink is finally under way. It will help tackle congestion across the area and bring new economic opportunities."

I'm delighted Metrolink is coming to Chorlton. It will be a big boost to Chorlton as it will massively improve people's choice in public transport, reduce traffic and help tackle air quality problems. I really hope it will also benefit our local independent shops by bringing more people to Chorlton and reducing leakage. Metrolink will also greatly improve Chorlton's connections to the rest of South Manchester.

Further extensions to Metrolink are currently in the planning stages.

Monday, 8 February 2010

"No Council Tax rise" victory for Manchester Liberal Democrats

Manchester Lib Dems have successfully campaigned to freeze Council Tax next Year, despite Labour previously opposing plans.

I think this is excellent news, I believe Manchester residents should not have to worry about a rise in their Council Tax next year whilst we continue to fight the effects of the recession in the city. This move will put more money back into local people’s pockets.

My colleague Cllr Paul Ankers said: “This is great news, the Council needs to be much more careful about how they spend tax payers’ money”

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Manchester Councillor Simon Ashley commented: "Britain is the last of the major economies to come out of recession. Liberal Democrats have argued nationally that the income tax threshold should be raised to make the tax system fairer at this testing time. Not raising the Council Tax in Manchester, as Manchester Liberal Democrats have campaigned for throughout last year and into this year, represents a fairer deal for our residents and we will campaign now to see it implemented."

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Chorlton has some one the worst Gullies in Manchester

The report to the Communities and Neighbourhoods Committee yesterday revealed that Chorlton has the second highest number of defective gullies in the City! Out of the 3,200 gullies in Chorlton, 560 are defective and 237 have not been attended to by the Council.

Many Chorlton residents have complained to me about the atrocious state of gullies along their Road. The Council simply isn’t doing enough to prevent blockages which cause problems for local residents. Many gullies have not been properly cleared or jetted by the Council; as a result they have become blocked and consequently can flood. This makes it hard for people to walk along the pavement and for cyclists and motorists. During the recent cold spell the flooding has frozen over and made huge ice puddles which are very dangerous to walk across. The Council hasn’t inspected Chorlton’s gullies since last February and isn’t planning to inspect them again until next November! Which makes it easy to see why our gullies are so bad.

Manchester City Council needs to do a lot more to help clear these gullies and prevent blockages in the future. I will be working hard for local residents to make sure this happens. I have already reported the defective gullies along High Lane, but if you know of any others please let me know and I will get them sorted out.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

District Auditor Alerted Over Manchester's Missing £421,000

I was shocked to read the story in Today's MEN ( that Manchester City Council has overpaid £421,000 of local taxpayers money due to 'an accounting blunder'. But what shocked me the most was how the Labour Deputy Leader of the Council seemed to shrug it off as insignificant and not worth claiming back.

Why is the Council happy to "waive the overpayment"? Manchester has one of the highest levels of poverty, deprivation and social exclusion in the Country. This money could be used to really benefit citizens, but Labour's incompetence means it has just been squandered. In Chorlton this money would have made a huge difference to help improve the poor Leisure Centre or to try and clear our drains which are the second worst in the City.

I am very pleased that the Manchester Liberal Democrats do not think this is acceptable behaviour and have asked the District Auditor to investigate this scandalous loss.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Government confusion over policy for aviation expansion and our carbon budget targets

Local Lib Dems have been looking into how much aviation contributes to our total Co2 output.

In 2003 the government published its Air Transport White Paper, which encouraged the UK's aviation industry to continuously expand its capacity to 2030 and beyond.

In 2008 the government passed its Climate Change Act, which included international aviation and shipping into its calculations of reducing our Co2 output by 80% of 1990 levels.

A study, commissioned by the Government and conducted by Manchester Metropolitan University calculated two projections for the UK's international aviation emissions (

It concluded that if we allow our airports to expand in line with the 2003 white paper, then by 2050 international aviation will contribute between 86% and 128% of our total carbon budget. If we were to take the average between these two projections, we would arrive at 107%.

If we were to continue on our present course of airport expansion, aviation alone would bust our carbon budget, leaving nothing left for the rest of the economy!

I want the Prime Minister to explain how we hope to achieve our targets of Co2 reductions if we continue to expand airports such as Manchester, so my colleague, Cllr Martin Eakins, has created an 'e-petition' on the number 10 website calling for this.

We need 500 signatures by the 6th February to provoke an official response - so please join me in signing it and let other know: