Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Oswald Road Community Garden Mosaic

Anyone living or walking near Oswald Road is likely to have seen this new community mosaic which has been installed on public land next to Fielden Avenue. The mosaic, along with other improvements to the land were funded by a Manchester Cash Grant awarded to Oswald Road Community Gardening Group. The mosaic project involved work with local artist Tracey Cartledge and children from Oswald Road School and is now a permanent feature on the land.

You can read more about the Mosaic at: http://traceycartledge.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/a-community-mosaic-project-was-never-more-local/

Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved. I think it looks fantastic and is a real asset for the area.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

"[GMP] have no intention to reduce policing levels at neighbourhood level” in Chorlton – GM Police Chief Constable

A number of residents have contacted me about the closure of the Chorlton Police Station. I understand that this is because the Old Moat ward has joined the Chorlton neighborhood policing team; and unfortunately as Chorlton Police Station is not suitable to deal with a larger policing team and requires significant investment to modernise it had to close. Chorlton Police Station had not been open to the public for a number of years. However the Police will continue to have a presence in Chorlton ward in the form of a Police Post in the Chorlton District Office. It was also mentioned that Policing in Chorlton would not suffer as a result of the move and hopefully would improve, as there are more Police officers available to deal with incidents.

I wrote to the Chief Constable to seek his reassurance that although the Police Station is set to close that Policing levels in Chorlton will remain the same. Please find attached the reply I have received (click on the picture to enlarge the image) which states: “At this time we have no intention to reduce policing levels at neighbourhood level”.

Coalition Riot Recovery fund helps Manchester generate nearly £1m of free Media

Manchester Liberal Democrats are pleased to announce that the ‘I ♥[Love] MCR’ campaign generated over £900k of free media for the city (eighteen times more than the cost of the campaign). The campaign cost Mancunians just £50k to set up and that money is now being reimbursed from the Coalition Government’s Recovery Scheme.

Chorlton Lib Dem Councillor Victor Chamberlain who uncovered these figures said: “The ‘I ♥ [Love] MCR’ campaign helped to unite the city following August’s riots. Thanks to the Government’s support the campaign has had a positive economic impact for our city too. I am pleased that Liberal Democrats in Government have helped Manchester following these riots; I know Nick Clegg was really impressed with the campaign when he visited Manchester just after the riots took place.”

Lib Dems tell Council to listen to Sure Start parents and stop wasting £251k on Temps

At Yesterday’s meeting of Manchester City Council, the Lib Dem Group put Labour’s handling of the future of Sure Start in the spotlight. The Lib Dems also raised concerns about the £251k currently being spent employing temporary staff for the service.

Councillor Mary Di Mauro, Northenden Lib Dem Councillor and Shadow Executive Member for Children’s Services, told Councillor Afzal Khan, the Executive Member for Children’s Services that the Council must make every effort possible to ensure that the Consultation on Sure Start’s future is transparent, accessible and accountable and parents are listened to. Coun Di Mauro also sought assurances that families will not be adversely affected by the changes and that future service providers will offer the same extensive range of Sure Start services.

Coun Di Mauro said “Under Labour’s plans there are real concerns that people will leave employment because they cannot afford childcare. I remember paying more on my childcare than I spent on my mortgage. Sure Start is so much more than day care; new providers must offer Sure Start’s extensive services.”

At the Council the Lib Dems also raised concerns about wastage in the current Sure Start system. Figures exposed by Chorlton Lib Dem Councillor Victor Chamberlain show that the Council is employing 51 agency or temporary workers on Manchester’s Sure Start Service (nearly 10% of the total work force) at a cost of £251,000.

Coun Chamberlain added: “When the Labour Council have let 1600 people go, and are putting Sure Start at risk I am appalled to find that they are spending a quarter of a million pounds on temporary staff. This is a scandalous waste of money and just shows once again that Labour are letting down Manchester's young people.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Manchester Labour Council shame as £43m taxes left uncollected

Recently released information shows Manchester’s Labour Council has failed to collect nearly £43million in Council Tax arrears since Council Taxes were introduced. The equivalent of £255 per household with residents.

Manchester City Council has consistently been amongst the worst Councils in the whole country for collecting Council Tax; last year nearly one pound in every ten owed in Council Tax was not collected – depriving the City of nearly £11million. In March this year the Labour Council voted to cut their budget by £109million, resulting in the loss of 1500 jobs, the closure of Libraries and public toilets and putting the future of Sure Start services in the City at risk.

At the time Councillor Bernard Priest, executive member for finance said: "Last year [was] the fourth year in a row that we've improved our collection rate.” Newly obtained figures for the last five years show that uncollected Council Tax arrears for 2010/11 are more than double those of 2006/07. Over £8.75million of council tax from last year still remains uncollected.

Chorlton Lib Dem Councillor Victor Chamberlain who uncovered the information said: “Many Manchester Residents and Families have to make sacrifices to pay their Council Tax. They will be appalled by the Labour Council’s unacceptable incompetence in reclaiming the money it is owed and failure to chase up tax avoiders. “

“Labour's failure to collect what we are owed undermines their argument about the need to make such harsh front line cuts earlier this year. This is money that should have been collected and spent on public services in Manchester."

I obtained this Information through the Freedom of Information Act:

----- Original Message -----
From: Charles Metcalfe
Sent: 23/09/2011 09:44 GDT
To: Councillor Victor Chamberlain
Subject: FOI request
Good morning Councillor Chamberlain.

You made a request under the Freedom of Information Act for the following figures:

How much Council Tax has remained uncollected by MCC for each of the last five years

As at 1 September 2011 the figures are

2010/11 £8,767,108
2009/10 £7,178,939
2008/9 £5,857,014
2007/8 £4,699,788
2006/7 £4,016,915

What is the Council's total arrears going back to 1993


Group Assistant post at Chorlton Good Neighbours

Chorlton Good Neighbours Care Group wishes to appoint a part-time worker based in their office with some outreach work.

This post is temporary until 31st March 2012, but with potential to continue.

They are seeking a person who has experience of working with older people to join their team of staff and volunteers, and support the work of this well established Neighbourhood Care Group. Car driver/owner preferred.

1. Part Time Group Assistant, 20 hours per week
The post holder will work for:
6 hours per day on Tuesdays and Fridays
4 hours per day on Wednesdays and Thursdays

• To provide administrative support to the Co-ordinator and assist with on site activity
• To take responsibility for the development of specific projects relating to older male service users
• To visit a small number of isolated older men and support them in getting engaged in social activities

For further information / application forms contact:
Mrs Helen Hibberd, Co-ordinator
Chorlton Good Neighbours
Wilbraham St Ninians Church
Egerton Road South, Chorlton, M21 OXJ
Tel: 0161 881 2925 any week day morning, except Wednesday
Web: www.cgncg.org.uk

Closing date for applications : Friday 28th October 2011