Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Update on campaign to save Mersey Valley Wardens

At this morning’s Full Council meeting I asked Cllr Rosa Battle (Exec member for Culture and Leisure):

“If the Council's draft budget proposals are accepted what are the implications of the disbanding of the Mersey Valley Countryside Warden Service for the future of the Mersey Valley? In particular how does the Council intend to maintain sites such as Chorlton Ees, Ivy Green and Chorlton Water Park and to protect Wildlife?”

Sadly the response was very disappointing and did not elaborate on the Council’s long term plans for the Mersey Valley. Cllr Battle did not go into any detail other than to say that this is a budget proposal that is currently being consulted on. She said that following the Consultation a report will be brought to the Council’s Executive Committee and Council where the final budget will be set.

I subsequently raised concerns that the consultation has failed to properly inform and consult with residents and Friends Groups. I also asked how the plans will ensure the Council continues to meet its statutory duties to the Mersey Valley. Cllr Battle simply said that there has been a meaningful Consultation and the final recommendation to the Executive will ensure the Council continues to meet its statutory responsibilities.

In light of Cllr Battle’s response it is important that we are able to show the strength of feeling about the loss of the Mersey Valley Wardens. Please try and encourage as many friends and family to sign the online Petition (also available to print off):

The petition will be handed in as part of the consultation process.

If you can, please also respond directly to the Council’s Budget Consultation ( The Deadline for submissions in 20 February.

Community Dog Walk

Chorlton History Group - Chorlton’s World War 2 Veterans

Chorlton History Group -  Chorlton’s World War 2 Veterans
Thurs Feb 7th 2013 1.30pm

At Chorlton Good Neighbours, Wilbraham St Ninian’s Church , Egerton Rd South, Chorlton £1.50 charge for tea & biscuits All welcome

A tribute to some of Chorlton Good Neighbours members, all now in their 90’s who served their country so well in World War 2:

• Bob Cowan, for whom we mounted a successful campaign for an Arctic Convoy medal to be awarded to veterans such as himself

• John Mackay , also an Arctic Convoy veteran who lives in Chorlton

• Alan Wood, fighter pilot, who was once shot down over the North Sea and was adrift in a one-man dinghy for 4 days

• Mickie Mitchell, who drove army petrol lorries round during the Manchester blitz

The session, led by Bernard Leach, will include

• A presentation about the Arctic Convoys, and clips from interviews with Bob Cowan, John Mackay and Mickie Mitchell with their memories of their war service

• Andrey Makarenko, 3rd Secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation will make a presentation of the commemorative medal marking the 65th Anniversary of Victory to Arctic Convoy Survivors Bob and John

• Engraved Jade Glass Plaques will be presented to all four WW2 veterans. The High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, George Almond, CBE, DL will make the presentation on behalf of Chorlton Good Neighbours to acknowledge their contribution to the defence of this country

For further information ring Chorlton Good Neighbours on 881 2925 or email

Monday, 28 January 2013

Save Chorlton Baths

Chorlton Liberal Democrats have slammed Labour Town Hall Bosses for U-Turning on an election promise to build a new swimming pool in Chorlton.

Labour Council bosses propose to close Chorlton Baths for good in 2015 and move swimming facilities to Hough End (probably near Princess Parkway Matrolink stop). However before the last election Labour promised to combine the Baths and Library in a new building in Chorlton centre.

Chorlton Lib Dem Cllr Victor Chamberlain said: “Many people will find it difficult and expensive to get to Hough End, especially those with families or on fixed incomes.

“Many people come to Chorlton to go swimming and support our shops afterwards. I’m worried the Council’s proposals could also hurt Chorlton’s independent traders as there will be
significantly less footfall.”

Chorlton MP John Leech added: “Labour’s proposals also undermine the long term viability of
the proposed joint Library and Leisure Centre. Because most people only use the Leisure Centre to go swimming.”

Please sign our petition to keep Chorlton Baths and join our campaign to have this daft decision overturned.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Save the Mersey Valley Wardens

Chorlton Lib Dems have slammed the Labour Council’s proposals to cut funding for the Mersey Valley COuntryside Warden Service that looks after natural sites along the Mersey Valley like Chorlton Water Park, Chorlton Ees, Ivy Green and Hardy Farm.

I understand that the City Council’s budget proposals mean that the service is likely to close down in April. A cut of £150,000 from Manchester Council along with Trafford Council’s lack of a payment commitment mean that the service is unlikely to survive. The City Council are conducting a consultation but if the budget proposal is not amended the service is likely to be run down between now and the end of March.

Chorlton MP John Leech said: “This short sighted proposal is likely to see the Warden Service disbanded. It could have serious implications for the local environment and wildlife.”
Photo by Ted Harris

For every £1 the Council can’t find to save our wardens, they have found £10,000 to buy an airport in Essex. You have to question how committed the local Labour Party is to protecting the environment.

Please sign our petition to Save the Wardens:


Manchester is the first UK City Council to join the likes of Bill Gates and Desmond Tutu in supporting a new international campaign against hunger .

‘Enough food for everyone IF’ warns of the human and economic cost of hunger in a world where there is actually enough food to feed everyone.

Manchester City council is the first City council to support the campaign, which has been launched this week by the largest coalition of Britain’s leading development charities and faith groups since Make Poverty History in 2005.

Charities are warning that hunger and malnutrition in childhood will trap almost a billion young people in poverty by 2025 and that action needs to be taken to make sure that there is enough food for everyone on the planet.

I was pleased to get the oppertunity to join other Manchester councillors, local campaigners and volunteers at the launch of the campaign on Friday morning. 

Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said:
‘Manchester City Council is proud to be one of the first councils in the UK to support this campaign. It is important that we get the message across that nobody in the world should go hungry today and that the G8 presidency is an opportunity to make vital changes” .

‘Enough Food for Everyone IF’ calls on Prime Minister David Cameron to use the UK’s G8 presidency in 2013 to take action on the root causes of the hunger crisis in the poorest countries.

It urges the Prime Minister to take actions in four main areas: stopping farmers being forced off their land, ensuring governments keep their promises on aid, taking action on big companies avoiding tax in poor
countries and forcing governments and investors to be honest and open about the deals they make in the poorest countries that stop people getting enough food.

More information about the campaign can be found at:

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Weekly list of planning applications we 11 Jan 13

Below are recently submitted Planning Applications in the Chorlton area. You can find out more information about any of the proposals on the City Council's Planning Portal at or by contacting the South Area Planning Group Manager - Roger Hall; Tel: (0161) 234 4536; email: . You can also make a Planning representation (in support or opposition) to Mr Hall or the designated planning officer for each application. Please feel free to contact me on (07947383740; if you wish to discuss any application and please also send me a copy of any representation you make.

101039/FH/2012/S1 240 Manley Road Whalley Range Manchester M21 0RD
Erection of single-storey front porch

101197/FH/2012/S1 70 Claude Road Chorlton Manchester M21 8DF
Installation of dormer to rear with 2no. windows and 2no. velux windows to front of roof following removal of chimney

101199/FH/2012/S1 70 Claude Road Chorlton Manchester M21 8DFInstallation of dormer to rear with 3no. windows and 2no. velux roof windows to front roof following removal of chimney

101297/FH/2013/S1 2 Macauley Road Chorlton Manchester M16 0FA Erection of single storey rear extension following demolition of existing rear extension.

101313/FH/2013/S1 111 Egerton Road North Chorlton Manchester M16 0BR
Erection of a single storey side extension to form additional living accommodation
  101293/LP/2013/S1 13 Dartmouth Road Chorlton Manchester M21 8XL Certificate of Lawful Development for the erection of a single storey rear extension

License Application: Rileys, 302B Barlow Moor Road

 I have received notification that an application has been received by the City Council for a Premises Licence Variation for Rileys, 302B Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M21 8AY

A summary of the application is as follows:

Application is to remove over 18 area on ground floor near to entrance and the remaining over 18 area on ground floor to be extended in size.

If you have any comments, you can make these directly to The Licensing Unit (e-mail: or write to: The Licensing Unit, Regulatory & Enforcement Services, Premises Team, PO Box 271, Manchester, M18 8YU by 30 July 2012. The Licensing Authority may only consider a representation relating to the effect of granting of a licence on the licensing objectives, which are: Prevention of crime and disorder; Public Safety; Prevention of public nuisance and the Protection of children from harm.

As a local Councillor I can make representations to support local residents; as can John Leech MP (; 434 3334). If you wish for us to do so, please let us know and send us a copy of any representation you may be making.

Footpath 181 Update

Last March I blogged about the successful campaign to stop the Council reopening a 65 year old disused footpath at great cost to taxpayers (conservative estimates were between £40-50,000).

Yesterday I received an email to say that the City Council intends to apply to the Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 at 2.00pm for Orders under Section 116 of the Highways Act 1980 for the stopping up of four lengths of footpath between Barlow Moor Road and Claude Road (Footpath 181), Chorlton, as they are unnecessary for public use.  

The vast majority of local residents support the stopping up of the path because reopening is a terrible waste of public money, it could increase crime and anti social behaviour and because it is unnecessary. However if you do object you are advised to contact the City Solicitor.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Interested in volunteering in schools in Chorlton, Whalley Range and Old Moat?

Many local schools are keen to have people over 55 volunteering regularly. Primaries and high schools need people doing all sorts of things: hearing children read, helping them to cook, garden, sew, playing music, describing how life used to be, etc. 

If you're interested please contact Roger on 0161 881 1613 or For more info . 

Happy Returns Swap Party

Save upto £250 on your Electricity and Gas Bills #gmfairenergy

GM Fair Energy: Reduce your gas and electricity payments:
Friday 25 January 2013 10am-12noon at Chorlton Library
Bring a recent gas and electricity bill
Or you can call 0800 009 3363 GM Fair Energy

Manchester is joining 15 other authorities in a scheme where households are 
encouraged to join a collective group that then auctions its power supply to 
secure the best deal. Around 60% of people don’t shop around for gas and 
electricity and never switch supplier: as a result they may be on high-cost 
default tariffs. Residents who sign up have nothing to lose – there's no 
obligation to take up the new price offer - and if they do take it, the 
switch will be done by the selected provider - they needn't take any action 
themselves, so it couldn't be easier.

Manchester residents will be able to sign up during January, and the City 
Council is actively encouraging people to do so with a major campaign. The 
campaign is very important as households may see a real difference to their 
energy costs, and the more people that sign up, the lower the tariff will 

Registration is either on or offline, and in other areas, quite a large 
proportion of people have signed up offline, presumably because it's harder 
for those without web access to shop around. Signing up is quick and easy - 
you just give your basic contact details and a few details from a current 
energy bill. There will be drop-in sessions at Chorlton Library on Friday 
25 January 2013 10am-12noon


Or you can call

0800 009 3363

Run for Freedom from Torture

Chorlton Leisure Centre have teamed up with human rights charity FREEDOM FROM TORTURE

to offer you reduced-entry places in the

Bupa Great Manchester 10k 26 May 2013


Freedom from Torture is the only UK charity that is solely dedicated to the treatment of torture survivors
·       Pay just £25 for your place (worth £37) if you raise at least £250
·       Free Freedom from Torture running top (worth £15)
·       One month’s free membership to Chorlton Leisure Centre
·       Regular training tips from a qualified instructor & experienced runner
·       Freedom from Torture Runners pack
Personal training programme, nutritional guide & fundraising tips

Last year, Freedom from Torture Bupa runners in the North West raised over £7,500 - why not challenge yourself to a run this year and help raise money to support our vital work!

Interested in running?

Contact Alice on 0161 236 5744 or

Guest Blog from Cllr Simon Wheale: Labour making the wrong choices for Manchester

Cllr Simon Wheale is the Leader of
the Manchester Liberal Democrats
By releasing the council budget to the Manchester Evening News, and putting their spin on it before anyone could possibly read the facts, Labour’s Town Hall bosses have shown where their priorities lie. Playing politics rather than doing the right thing.

By rejecting £1.5million of Government subsidy to freeze the Council tax, and proposing to increasing the Council tax by an inflation busting 3.7%, they have made the choice to pick the pockets of the hard pressed Manchester Council Taxpayers rather than accept cash from Government.

For every £100 they put up Council tax they are only receiving £64 because they turned this free government money down. The Liberal Democrats will fight Labour’s cuts to front-line services across Manchester.

What is more, if Labour had taken the £1.5m of government money they refused, it would save all the leisure facilities and libraries threatened with closure including Levenshulme Baths & Library, Burnage Library, Chorlton Leisure Centre and Withington baths.

Will will always argue for more cash for Manchester, but it doesn’t help our case when we have £150,000,000 in reserves, or when Richard Leese gets a chauffeur driven car at local taxpayers’ expense, or when nearly half a million pounds of Council money was blown in one night last September, on a free concert and bar for VIP celebrities and Labour Councillors.

Or when cash is offered, it is turned down.

Recent Planning Applications - Jan 2013

Below are recently submitted Planning Applications in the Chorlton area. You can find out more information about any of the proposals on the City Council's Planning Portal at or by contacting the South Area Planning Group Manager - Roger Hall; Tel: (0161) 234 4536; email: . You can also make a Planning representation (in support or opposition) to Mr Hall or the designated planning officer for each application. Please feel free to contact me on (07947383740; if you wish to discuss any application and please also send me a copy of any representation you make.

101147/LP/2012/S1 72 Nicolas Road Chorlton Cum Hardy Manchester M21 9LR Certificate of Lawful Development for proposed single-storey rear extension

101171/FH/2012/S1 31 Chorlton Green Chorlton Manchester M21 9FQ
Single storey rear kitchen extension and 2 no. small roof lights to rear dormer.
  101149/CC/2012/S1  Key Lock & Safe (Manchester) Ltd 615B Wilbraham Road Chorlton Manchester M21 9AN CONSERVATION AREA CONSENT for the demolition of existing single-storey building to enable redevelopment in association with planning application ref: 100685/FO/2012/S1 for three-storey live/work unit

101214/NMC/2012/S1 59 Keppel Road Chorlton Manchester M21 0BP
Non-Material Amendment to planning permission ref: 096372/FO/2011/S1 to allow insertion of windows to side and rear

101244/FH/2012/S1 13 York Road Chorlton Manchester M21 9HP
Erection of single-storey extension to side and rear to create additional living accommodation
  101128/TEL/2012/S1 St Werburghs Road Adjacent To Gable Of 2 Elladene Park Whalley Range Manchester M21 0XN PRIOR APPROVAL for the erection of a 14.7 metre high monopole with 3 no. antennae (within GRP shroud) and 1 no. 300mm dish and 3 no. equipment cabinet units at the base.
  101208/TCA/2012/S1 63-65 Upper Chorlton Road Whalley Range Manchester M16 7RQ Works to trees
  100480/FH/2012/S1 46 Wyverne Road Chorlton Manchester M21 0ZN Part retrospective - Erection of 2 storey side extension, part single/part 2 storey rear extension and rear dormer to form additional living accommodation and singlestorey detached garden store