Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Manchester Labour Council accused of Twitter Bias

Chorlton Lib Dem Councillor Victor Chamberlain has accused Manchester’s Labour Council of showing inappropriate and blatant party political bias through their use of the official twitter account (@ManCityCouncil). The 'official' account follows 168 people; which include six Labour City Councillors, the account for Manchester Labour (@ManchesterRose) and Manchester’s Labour MEP, Arlene McCarthy. The official account does not follow a single Liberal Democrat Councillor or politician despite many having twitter accounts.

Last year Manchester’s Liberal Democrat opposition criticised the Labour Council for hiring a £38k Twitter tsar while axing 1500 jobs.

Councillor Chamberlain said: “The City Council is legally required to be neutral and non-partisan; however their ‘public face’ on twitter has been anything but. The Council’s resources should be used to benefit all Mancunians and not to promote the Labour Party. ”

“I have suggested the Council either adopt a policy of not following any politicians or follow all Manchester Councillors and elected representatives on twitter. I have also asked the Council to follow the new Chorton Civic Society blog."
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Friday, 23 September 2011

Friends of Beech Rd Park Gardening Event

Congratulations to Paul Ankers (@citizenankers) who has recently taken over as yhe Chair of the Friends of Beech Rd Park
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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Chorltonville Centenary

I really enjoyed the Chorltonville Centenary last Saturday. I invited the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr Harry Lyons, to attend and I think he had a fantastic time. Chorltonville is a shining example of the garden village movement. The party organised by local residents was a great way to celebrate the Ville’s 100 years. Thanks to all those residents that organsied the party and attended.

Chorlton Civic Society

Chorlton Civic Society has just set up a new Blog to help advertise the Society and the work they do. It will also be an opportunity for Guest Bloggers to contribute about things going on in the Chorlton Area. You can view the new Blog at: http://chorltoncivic.blogspot.com/
to contribute content please send it to chorltoncivic@gmail.com.

You can also follow the group on Twitter at @chorltoncivic

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Footpath 181

The Council recently informed Chorlton residents that they are planning to reopen Footpath 181 which runs from Claude Road (at the side of Meade Manor), behind South Drive and alongside Chorlton Brook onto Oakhouse Drive. This historic path has not been in use for many decades, however following pressure from the Ramblers Association, Manchester City Council have made it a top priority to reopen the route. I am deeply concerned by this action and am encouraging the Council to consider more options. I'm opposed to the path reopening because:

· It would be a disgraceful waste of public money. The Council estimates reopening the path would cost £40,000 to £50,000 (and potentially even more).
· I'm concerned that a reopened path could result in more criminal activity particularly burglaries, vandalism, anti social behaviour and gangs loitering.
· The pathway has been closed for more than 20 years. Even the Ramblers say the path has been obstructed for 65 years!
· Many people have told me they don’t want to see the path reopened.

I would like to gauge local opinion on this plan, so please get in touch to let me know what you think.

Monday, 5 September 2011

John Leech MP calls for resignation of Labour Health Scrutiny Chair

Manchester Withington MP John Leech has today called for the immediate resignation of Cllr Eddy Newman as Chair of the Health and Well Being scrutiny Committee following his back door deal with NHS Manchester to close Withington Walk-in Centre.

In the June meeting of the scrutiny committee it was agreed by a majority vote that the Withington Walk-in Centre should be kept open and that Cllr Newman was to be tasked with writing to Secretary of State for Health to see what could have been done to reverse the closure of Withington Walk-in Centre.
Astonishingly Cllr Newman went back on his promise to contact Andrew Lansley and made a deal with NHS Manchester to go along with the closure of Withington Walk-in Centre if the closure of Ancoats and Wythenshawe Forum walk-in centres are put on hold.

John Leech MP commented, “Eddy Newman has sold Withington down the river, I think it is more than just coincidence that the Wythenshawe walk-in centre happens to be in his own ward of Woodhouse Park. The decision on the walk-in centre closures made by NHS Manchester came as a result of the £20bn that NHS Manchester had been told to find in savings under the previous Labour government.”

Didsbury East Cllr David Sandiford said, “Before the General election in May 2010, the Manchester PCT's finances were measured as poor and the recommendation was made to make 20% cuts across the board regardless of who was in government after May. Labour have been scaremongering even since trying to blame the closure of walk-in centres on the coalition government and this is simply not the case. I will be asking Cllr Newman for a full explanation on why he has taken this decision on Withington Walk-in centre at this Thursday’s Health scrutiny committee.”

John Leech MP went on to say, “I have written to all the Labour cllrs in south Manchester asking them to publicly disown Cllr Newman and join me in calling for his resignation.”

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Sports-based training for young people - Chance to meet an England player - Chorlton Leisure Centre

I've recently been informed of a programme Youth On Solid Ground (www.yosg.org.uk) are running for young people in conjunction with FC Utd, a semi professional football team. The purpose of the project is to provide an opportunity for young people to get a qualification in a supportive context in an activity which engages them. Youth On Solid Ground hope that young people will, on completion of the course, move onto employment, an apprenticeship or more formal and demanding training courses.

Youth On Solid Ground are now recruiting young people to the programme. The programme is aimed at young people who are 16-18 and not in training, employment or education. However, Youth On Solid Ground may be able to accept young people outside this age group and category if;

1. They will benefit from the course
2. They can contribute to the project
3. We can get a contribution towards the funding for the project

The programme entails;

· Monday afternoon training session with FC United coaches 1-3pm. Youngsters will receive football coaching and also have a go at coaching each other.
· Thursday afternoon training session 1-3pm with Greater Sport and FC United coaches leading to a Level 2 Sports Leaders award
· An FA Level 1 coaching course during the October half-term and one Sunday in November
· An opportunity to do a small amount of paid work during the October half-term holiday helping our coaches to deliver sessions to young children.
· Additional and optional drop in sessions in a variety of sports
· One to one mentoring from Youth on Solid Ground

Young people have an opportunity to achieve accredited outcomes as follows;

· A Level 2 Sports Leaders Award
· A FA Level 1 coaching badge
· A PEARL Employability Skills Award

The project starts on Thursday 22nd September. On Monday 26th September Youth On Solid Ground are expecting a visit from a member of the England Football Squad (name of player to be confirmed).

Most of the sessions will be delivered at Chorlton Leisure Centre and the ones which are not will be delivered nearby.

If you have a young person who may be interested please contact me and I will pass your details on or contact the Youth On Solid Ground office on:
Tel: 0161 862 0955. Mob. 07966 882856