Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Chorlton Meadows Village Green Application

Yesterday the application to grant Village Green status to the Hardy Farm Playing Fields was rejected by Labour Councillors.

The Application which would have preserved the Meadows for future generations; and which was supported by hundreds of local residents, was thrown out by just 5 Labour Councillors.

Earlier this year I supported local residents who submitted the application to grant Village Green status to the Hardy Farm playing fields because I recognise how valued this land is by local people and its importance to the environment. I’m proud to have fought to preserve these Meadows for the future alongside hundreds of local residents and my Lib Dem colleagues, John Leech MP and Cllr Paul Ankers. Unfortunately yet again the Manchester Labour Party has ignored Chorlton’s residents and failed to take steps to protect our environment from development.

At the Committee I spoke up in favour of the village green application. I told the Committee that by rejecting the application they would be disregarding the views of hundreds of Chorlton Residents. Unfortunately despite a strong Application and widespread support, the Application was rejected by Labour Councillors 5 votes to 3. We are pleased to say that all the Lib Dems at the Committee voted in favour of the application. I feel this judgement echoes the Labour decision last August to grant permission for harmful floodlights at WDCAFC Grounds, which is next to the Meadows.

Whilst my colleagues and I are incredibly saddened by the decision Labour councillors have made we will continue to fight to protect Chorltonville Conservation Area, Chorlton Meadows and the Mersey Valley from development. I would also like to thank the local residents who put so much time and energy into producing the Application; and all those residents who supported it.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this matter further or if I can be of any assistance with another issue.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

How Will Chorlton be Affected by the Council Cuts?

Many of you will have followed stories about the Council’s cuts, which go to the Executive committee next Wednesday.

There is some good news for Chorlton. Both the Leisure Centre and the Library stay open. In the past Chorlton Liberal Democrats have fought for Sunday opening at the Library and improved facilities at the Leisure Centre and it is good to see local services being protected at this difficult time. I lobbied the City Treasurer Richard Paver on these alongside my colleague Cllr Paul Ankers. We emphasised how good these facilities are and how needed and valued they were for the Chorlton community.

However, we are likely to see the toilets at the Bus Station close and possibly lose the extra parking attendant we fought for lost. Parking is already a massive issue in Chorlton and this could be a real blow. Local people often raise concerns about parking when the Metrolink starts, so this could make it worse. Unfortunately the Council has also announced that it intends to shut the Barlow Moor Library on the Merseybank Estate.

Interesting news about Surestart & Youth service - both are being outsourced. Surestart works well so I am most worried about that. It is popular and providers need to be as good as currently on offer. There are options, grounds for optimism, but it will require hard work to ensure Chorlton gets the best. Manchester's Youth Service is not currently upto standard so outsourcing may actually provide a better serivce for the CIty's young people.

These are difficult times and we need to continue to fight to protect our public services; but I am confident that the Chorlton Lib Dem team will be able to do this. If you have any questions or comments to make about the Council's cuts feel free to send me an email at victor.libdem@ymail.com.