Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Leech welcome HS2 Funding

Chorlton MP John Leech has welcomed the news that High Speed Rail 2 has been given the green light. Danny Alexander MP will be outlining the infrastructure plans in the House of Commons.

The Bill will have its second reading in the House of Commons today, and John Leech has confirmed he will be voting for the Bill.

He said,
“The Lib Dems in Government have helped to create more than a million private sector jobs, and we’re working to create a million more with HS2 estimated to create 60,000 new jobs.
This is not just about creating jobs, it is about capacity and quite simply our railways cannot cope with future demand and are at bursting point. HS2 will increase capacity and ensure our public transport can cope for future generations.”

This is a huge investment and I’m glad the Coalition Government are paving the way for it. This investment adds to long list of coalition Government infrastructure investment in Manchester with £322m for the Northern Hub, the delivery of Metrolink across south Manchester as well as millions invested to help Manchester become Britain’s Number 1 Cycling city.”

Chorlton Coffee Festival

Monday, 24 June 2013

A reminder that Labour can't be trusted with the economy


Greater Manchester Police will be running a BIKE MARKING EVENT IN CHORLTON!
26.06.13 Between 17:30-19:00hrs.
Chorlton Library on Manchester Road.
Come along with your bikes!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Weekly list of planning applications we 7 Jun 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.

102154/JO/2013/S1 WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc C/O Agent; Blockbuster Video Express 435 Barlow Moor Road Chorlton Manchester M21 8AU
Variation of condition no.2 attached to planning permission ref: 046977/JO/SOUTH2/95 to allow increased opening hours: 0700 to 2300 hours seven days a week

102530/JO/2013/S1 59 Keppel Road Chorlton Manchester M21 0BP
Variation of condition no. 3 attached to planning approval ref. 096372/FO/2011/S1 for alterations to parking arrangements

102625/FH/2013/S1 8 Hardy Avenue Chorlton Manchester M21 9ER
Erection of single-storey rear extension to form additional living accommodation
102695/FO/2013 Art of Meze 380 Barlow Moor Road Chorlton Manchester M21 8AZ
Erection of glazed canopy to Barlow Moor Road elevation to provide smoking shelter and additional dining area

Liberal Democrats have helped create a record number of Apprenticeships

Copyright Tom Brake MP

Monday, 17 June 2013

Meat-free day is good for you and the world

This is the unedited column I wrote for today's Manchester Evening News:

As you read today’s paper you may be having something to eat or thinking about your next meal. But have you thought about where that food comes from and the impact on the environment, your health and wallet? Your next meal will probably contain meat or fish. We think of that as normal, but we do eat far too much meat and fish in the UK and it’s having a huge impact on the environment; 18% of greenhouse gases come from meat production! Have you considered having a ‘Meat Free Monday?’

Vegetarian and Vegan diets have only a fraction of the carbon emissions of meat-based diets. The UN has said that meat production puts more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than transport. It also says meat production is one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems. We can tackle climate change by simply eating less meat. If everyone in the UK gave up meat for one day we could save the equivalent in carbon emissions of taking 5 million cars off the road. The well respected Environmental Economist and former Government Advisor Lord Stern has suggested eating meat could become as socially unacceptable as drink-driving because of the impact it has on global warming.
The Liberal Democrat Chair of the Development Select Committee has said meat should become an occasional product rather than an everyday staple. He warned that it is pushing up food costs especially in developing nations and the need for pasture for cattle feed and ranching is fuelling deforestation. In fact meat production is responsible for 70% of the Amazon deforestation. Poorer countries are producing grain for animals rather than for the nourishment of their own people. Over the last 50 years the amount of meat produced has quadrupled while the global population has doubled; we can’t go on like this. If we continue to rely on the global meat market we run the real risk of food shortages in the future. Reducing our meat consumption would ease this.

There is an enormous amount of evidence to show that eating less meat is healthier and helps prevent disease. Oxford University showed that eating meat no more than three times a week could prevent 31,000 deaths from heart disease, 9,000 deaths from cancer and 5,000 deaths from stroke, as well as saving the NHS £1.2 billion in costs each year. Eating some meat can be healthy but sadly we’re eating too much poor quality processed meat which is really bad for us. The meat we eat nowadays has been farmed on industrial scales and the nutritional benefits are reduced. A standard supermarket chicken now contains significantly less protein and more than twice as much fat as in 1970.

Eating less meat will save you money too. The average family spends about £13 a week on meat and fish but just £6.70 on fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. We’ve seen the cost of meat rise by 10% in just the last 6 years. A meat-free diet is significantly cheaper and is just as nutritious. In fact most people in the world live on a meat-free diet made up of cheap foods like rice, corn and beans.

Most of the meat we eat is farmed in intensive factory farms. 2.5 million animals are slaughtered every day to feed our country. These intensively reared animals are often in poor health because of the unnatural living conditions. By eating less meat we can show these animals compassion and stop their suffering. We are also wiping out fish stocks because of intensive overfishing. Some people think there may not be any wild fish in the oceans by 2050 if we do not stop overfishing and eating so much fish.

Last year I put forward a Council motion calling for Manchester City Council to acknowledge that it has a huge part to play in tackling Climate change and creating a sustainable green City. I suggested the Council can do this by removing meat from the menu in council catering and services one day a week. The Council has little authority to help residents become more ‘green’ if they are not promoting sustainability in everything they do. Sadly this proposal was thrown out by Labour Councillors; despite some having promised to support Meat Free Mondays in elections just a few months before. Manchester’s Lib Dem MP John Leech has taken the idea to Parliament and is calling for meat-free Mondays in all cafeterias in the Houses of Parliament.

The Council and Parliament should be leading from the front and showing that it really is very easy to give up meat for one day a week. We should encourage all schools, Council partners, and businesses in Manchester to follow suit so that we can change the culture towards meat and fish. We should also introduce clear standards so that food paid for by public money is compassionate to the environment and our health and reduces reliance on meat, dairy and fish. Having a ‘Meat Free Monday’ or meat-free day is not about everyone becoming vegetarian or restricting people’s choice but showing we can make huge positive difference on our own and as a society by slightly changing our habits.

For more information and meat-free recipes go to and

Thursday, 13 June 2013

May '13 Chorlton Planning Applications

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.

  102363/FO/2013/S1 Wrea Bank Residential Home 20 Edge Lane Chorlton-cum-Hardy Manchester M21 9JF
Change of use from residential care home (Class C2) to 7no. self-contained flats (Class C3), erection of two-storey rear extension together with associated car parking
102471/FH/2013/S1 61 High Lane Chorlton Manchester M219EE
Erection of single-storey orangery to rear following demolition of existing conservatory

102480/FU/2013/S1 Jasmine Restaurant 569 Barlow Moor Road Chorlton Manchester M21 8AE
Creation of outdoor seating area with installation of retractable canopy to front of premises
  101876/FO/2013/S1 55 Manchester Road Chorlton Cum Hardy Manchester M21 9PW Change of use from ground floor shop (Class A1) to cafe (Class A3) together with the erection of a two storey rear extension, new shopfront, the installation of a fume extraction flue, elevational alterations and
the creation of a new access to upper floors

102373/FO/2013/S1 The Party Shop 53 Manchester Road Chorlton Cum Hardy Manchester M21 9PW
Change of use of first and second floor from A2 (office) to A3 (cafe).

102521/AOH/2013/S1 McCarthy and Stone, 8 Albany Road Chorlton Manchester M210AW
Erection of two 5m high, free-standing, externally-illuminated signboards and four 6m high, free-standing non-illuminated banner signs

102533/JO/2013/S1 McCarthy and Stone Cosgrove Hall Court Albany Road Chorlton -Cum-Hardy Manchester M210AW
Variation of condition no.13 attached to planning approval ref 094755/FO/2010/S1 to use obscure glazing for the third floor only.
  102487/FH/2013/S1 17 Brundretts Road Chorlton Manchester M21 9DA Erection of second floor rear extension with balcony , single-storey side and rear extension with basement and lightwell, raised rear terrace and lightwell to front of property together with elevational alterations

102587/FH/2013/S1 2 Malton Avenue Chorlton Manchester M21 8AT
Erection of two-storey side extension

102591/FO/2013/S1 Oswald Road Primary School Longford Road Chorlton Cum Hardy Manchester M21 9PL
Erection of single-storey building to form Reception Unit of two classrooms, to facilitate 3-form entry
  102596/FH/2013/S1 42 Hawthorn Lane Chorlton Manchester M21 9BD Erection single-storey extension to the rear of the existing side extension
  102038/FH/2013/S1 219 Brantingham Road Whalley Range Manchester M21 0TP Erection of part single, part two-storey side and rear extension to form additional living accommodation

102353/FH/2013/S1 69 Egerton Road South Whalley Range Manchester M21 0YW
Erection of two-storey side extension

102417/FH/2013/S1 390 Wilbraham Road Whalley Range Manchester M21 0UH
Formation of a new entrance into basement at the front of single dwelling house including ballustrade.

John Leech MP's Guest Blog: Let’s work together for a 20mph limit across Manchester’s residential streets

With John Leech MP, Manchester Euro MP Chris Davies and Chorlton residents
This is the column Chorlton MP John Leech wrote for the South Manchester Reporter:

Last week the Council’s Executive met to finally sign off a plan that will take the first steps in making the default speed limit on residential streets 20mph. 20s plenty speed limits will be piloted in parts of Hulme, Moss Side, Fallowfield, Miles Platting & Newton Heath and parts of Ancoats, Clayton and Gorton using £500k from Government Public Health money. This is a welcomed first step, but well overdue. Chorlton’s Lib Dem Councillor Victor Chamberlain passed a council motion with all party support to see 20mph limits introduced on all of Manchester’s non-major residential roads some 17 months ago.

I’m proud that we have all party support and this is now being taken up in Manchester along with other urban areas across the country taking the necessary steps to save lives. Since I became an MP I have been passionate about road safety and have pushed successive governments on the issue. I worked closely with Norman Baker on the issue when I was on the Transport Select Committee, and, now he is a Transport Minister he’s cutting the red tape in Government and making it easier for local authorities.

I have long been an advocate of “Twenty’s Plenty”. In 2008 I introduced a bill into Parliament which the road safety charity BRAKE thought was such a milestone in the campaign they awarded me Parliamentarian of Year in 2008.

The council are now taking the important steps to improve road safety; the areas they have selected are based on areas of high deprivation and where there have been accidents before. However, what the council need to do is roll this out city-wide and not play a postcode lottery with people’s lives. This is about making our roads safer and more accessible to all users.

There are ways of quickly spreading the message of road safety in a cost-effective manner and one idea put forward by Cllrs James Hennigan and Mary Di Mauro would be to introduce 20mph stickers on wheely bins. Obviously this would not be the only way of introducing 20mph zones but it is a quick and effective way of spreading the message of road safety and creating ownership of the campaign.

The simple fact is that when a person is hit by a car at 30 mph they are 50% likely to be killed. If someone is hit by a car at 20 mph they are 10% likely to be killed.

I certainly don’t want to read about another victim of a road accident knowing it was preventable. We all need to work together and roll this out city wide so all Mancunians can benefit from safer, cleaner and greener roads.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Lib Dems delivering Green Jobs and Cleaner Energy

Guest blog by Ed Davey MP, Lib Dem Energy Secretary:

We are currently on the verge of a major breakthrough in delivering the greener and more sustainable Britain that we Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for all our political lives.
The Energy Bill returned to the Commons today and I'm fighting the green fight, to pave the way for the creation of 250,000 jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign gas, boost investment in low carbon technology and keeping bills low.

Not everything is plain sailing however. The 2030 power decarbonisation target is getting a lot of attention. I can assure you there will be such a target; it's just a question of when it is set.

If anyone questions how committed we are to tackling emissions we should remind them that just last week I announced plans to push for an ambitious ‘across the board’ target for a EU-wide 50% cut by 2030 – the most ambitious yet proposed.

The Bill sets out a plan for it to be agreed in 2016 which makes good sense as it would be made alongside the fifth carbon budget covering the period 2028-2033.
There are many vested interests who like to try and undermine our campaign for a greener and more sustainable Britain. I gave a speech this afternoon at the Institute of Physics, saying why we must now grasp the opportunity to fight climate change.

Do read it in full, here:'s_speech_-_Climate_Change%3a_Acting_on_the_Science&pPK=43496d20-b3e4-4629-8d22-b3a66f3f2281