Wednesday, 27 November 2013

New Football Session for ages 6-10yrs

The academy will start on Sunday 15th December and run every Sunday 1.30-3pm at
Chorlton Leisure Centre Manchester Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 9PQ.

This is a programme designed for beginners in football with an aim to improve football techniques including passing, shooting, dribbling as well as to improve personal and social skills such as communication, confidence, teamwork and leadership.

All sessions are FREE but please note places are limited and it will be based on a first come first play basis.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Chorlton Green needs protection

I've recently been trying to get Manchester City Council to give Chorlton Green protected village green status. You may be aware that Withington Green on Wilmslow Road has recently been under threat of redevelopment. Which is why I want village green status for Chorlton Green to protect the land for the future and prevent it from development. It's a simple process and simply requires the Chief Executive to register the land as a village green to give it added protection. Sadly the Council are so far unwilling to do so. This article appeared in today's Manchester Evening News:

Monday, 18 November 2013

Licence Application: Coriander, 485-487 Barlow Moor Road

Photo from Coriander facebook site
I have received notification that an application has been received by the City Council for a new Premises Licence at: Name TBC, 485-487 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M21 8AG. This is the premesis that Coriander's Chorlton Central Branch now occupies and was formally the New Mai Wah.

A summary of the application is as follows:
Proposed trading hours for the provision of regulated entertainment (recorded music):
Mon to Sun 0000 to 2400

Proposed trading hours for the provision of late night refreshment:
Mon to Sat 2300 to 2330

Proposed trading hours for the supply of alcohol for consumption both on and off the premises:
Mon to Sat 1100 to 2300, Sun 1200 to 2230

Proposed opening hours for the premises:
Mon to Sat 1100 to 2400, Sun 1200 to 2300

If you have any comments, you can make these directly to The Licensing Unit (e-mail: or write to: The Licensing Unit,PO Box 532, Manchester, M60 2LA  by 11/12/13. The Licensing Authority may only consider a representation relating to the effect of the grant of the 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 (; 0161 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.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

My objection to Ladbrokes

482 Wilbraham Road
Last month I blogged about an application by Ladbrokes to convert 482 Wilbraham Road into a betting shop. Residents raised concerns with me about this application. This is the response I sent to the Licensing Department:

"I am writing to object to the above application from Ladbrokes for a new betting shop located in premises at 482 Wilbraham Rd. If granted, this would be the sixth betting shop in Chorlton. This is far more than is required in one district and would be detrimental to Chorlton's reputation as an area of high quality independent shops. An additional Betting Shop is preventing an independent retailer from using the premises and encouraging the creation of jobs and regeneration and prosperity of the area. An additional betting shop is also inconsistent with the Council's own regeneration plans for Chorlton as set out in the Chorlton District Centre Plan.   

The over representation of betting shops is generated by the industry's desire to place Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs). As one shop can only have four FOBTs bookmakers are opening many shops in close proximity to maximise the revenue these gaming machines generate. FOBTs are highly addictive and can help exacerbate gambling problems. The clustering of betting shops results in problem gamblers moving between shops and FOBTs to satisfy their addiction. It is possible to bet £100 every 20 seconds at a FOBT which can encourage and exacerbate problem gambling. A Betting Shop is defined as a "Licensed Betting Office” however FOBT is a form of gaming and very different from traditional betting. Newham Council recently rejected an application for a betting shop on this Primary Gambling Activity basis.

I am concerned that allowing this license could encourage antisocial behavior, criminal damage and begging. Crime statistics show these problems are associated with betting shops across the city. This is particularly unacceptable given the proximity of residential areas and schools.

It is difficult to prevent under age gambling on FOBTs. I am also concerned about problem gamblers who have voluntarily self excluded being tempted by a new shop and FOBT. 

I encourage the panel to reject this application."

Monday, 4 November 2013

Free English courses for speakers of other languages (ESOL)

In partnership with Manchester City Council and Manchester Adult Education (MAES), 12 voluntary and community sector organisations across Manchester are offering free beginner English courses for speakers of other languages (ESOL).  These courses  will be taught by volunteer ESOL teachers who are being trained and supported by the MAES Volunteer Programme.

Courses are free and are aimed at people with very basic English language skills.  By attending classes, learners will be able to improve their basic communication skills for everyday life.  The courses are not accredited and do not count towards citizenship, however learners will receive an internal certificate recognising their attendance and achievement at the end of the course

Enrolment will take place during class times from 11 November 2013 but learners will be able to enrol on the classes if there are spaces at any point during the year.  To enrol, learners must bring proof of ID and proof of address.
Teaching starts the week of 18 November 2013.  All classes will take place for 3 hours, once a week and run until July 2014.

Chorlton MP John Leech calls for break-up of big six Energy companies

Chorlton MP John Leech has written to the Prime Minister calling for an urgent inquiry into the UK energy markets. In the letter John Leech MP asks David Cameron to investigate how energy companies came to the decision to raise customer bills by an average of 9.1%. He has also written to Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey asking for legislation to separate wholesale from retail markets.

In the past week energy bosses have faced questioning from MP’s, and blamed price rises on increasing wholesale costs and green levies. However John argues that energy firms have too much influence over both wholesale and commercial markets.

John said,
“In 1997 there were 14 big energy companies. Now there are just 6. Why did Labour in power allow such a small number of firms came to dominate 98% of the market, allowing them to charge extortionate prices.”

He added
“According to Ofgem, wholesale costs went up by 1.7% this year whilst bills are going up by almost 10%. Labour’s promise of an artificial price freeze seems attractive but looks like it might be helping force prices up now. I want a realistic and sustainable solution to this problem.”