Gorse Hill Labour

A regular blog and updates from Mike Cordingley, Councillor for Gorse Hill Ward in Trafford – Gtr Manchester.

January done, Brexit done

A shorter update this week. Quite a bit of casework but two events dominate everything else. Holocaust Memorial Day and Brexit.

We stand together

Trafford’s Holocaust event was on Wednesday. Incredibly well attended, the event grows every year. The theme this year was Stand Together. The event told the story of Sam Walshaw, born in Poland, he was only 11 when war broke out yet, miraculously, survived the horrors of Buchenwald and Dachau. His parents and four of his siblings were gassed at the Treblinka extermination camp. Only Sam and his sister Rachel survived.

Three students from Lostock High school then told their present-day stories. The stand together theme was so apt. We live in an inter-related, co-dependent world and yet populist leaders in this country and abroad, foment division for political gain to an extent that I hope shocks. We need to be shocked. If we view the collective hatred of (our) faith, politics, nationality, skin colour as part of our daily grind without being shocked, then we have already begun preparing the ground for something poisonous to flourish.

I was incredibly moved by the three Lostock students. They had been through so much but they have come through it as incredible human beings and in that, there is so much hope.

Brexit is Done

I didn’t vote for Brexit. I lost.

I’ll not forgive David Cameron for holding the referendum during a period of severe austerity that imposed a loss of place, sustenance and respect on so many in our communities. I do not begrudge holding the referendum, I just begrudge the timing and the entitled self-confidence with which Cameron went into it.

Nevertheless I lost, we lost; and it should have been clear that we had to carry out the people’s instruction. We had to leave. Labour tried to prevaricate. For three years we prevaricated, neither fish nor fowl. Brexit but not this Brexit; Another referendum. And we got hammered for it, we lost communities that had Labour written through like a stick of rock. And I don’t really want to forgive the architect of that disaster, but it looks like I’m going to have to, as I think we’re about to elect him leader.

So Friday was my gammon day. I was a person to avoid all week if truth be told.

Sunday I did a bit of a solo canvass on one side of Gorse Street.

Just don’t ask me to run

Pulled a calf tendon at Parkrun on Saturday so I can’t run even for a bus. Thankfully the bike remains the best way of getting round and whether the calf is redundant on those pedals or it’s specific tendons, I don’t know, but I’m thankful I can get around. I actually had access to the car this week but you’ll be pleased to know I never used it once.

You’ll see that the following update contains a friendly nudge to my council that they get a move on with the Bee Network.

Monday was neighbourhood watch

Gurdev Singh is one of those people who when he sees things need doing he gets on with doing it. It’s great that Gorse Hill ward has so many of these people. Gurdev lives in Lostock and he’s seen enough attempted burglaries and car thefts to know that it’s a growing problem, that the place is not kept as clean as it should be and there’s too much dog dirt in the park and paths.

We receive the invitation in the morning for an inaugural neighbourhood watch meeting in the evening. He’s done some advertising on Facebook and we get enough people. It was such a worthwhile meeting it earned its own post here.

One thing the meeting really underlined was the need for more policing resources and it very much prompted me to respond in favour of the precept increase on council tax proposed by our Labour mayor and Deputy.

Tuesday Circle Court Drop-In

With PCSOs Jonathan and Mike, as well as officers of Trafford Housing Trust and Ian Underhill of Safer Trafford for their regular drop in.

Wednesday Trip to Trafford Park Hotel

Thrilled to see the inside of Trafford Park Hotel for the first time in 30 years, maybe longer. More here

Hopefully we can get this heritage jewel into use again.

Thursday

Design Guide Presentation

There’s a lot of good work going on in Trafford about urban planning for the 21st century and beyond. I still worry that the Council’s decision makers are not yet ready to break old habits. So we might adopt new design standards, but only if we know we can ignore at leisure.

Trafford habitually rejects planning applications for want of parking despite there being no minimum figure already. The car is given far more status than greenspace or play areas for children.

Gorse Street

This was my initiative. This street backs the shopping parade and pub in Gorse Hill. The combination of commercial premises, particularly take-aways as well as above-the-shop accommodation and a residential area means bringing people and services together is a challenge. The alleys and street needs a deep clean, we need better management of cleaning and litter removal and not just from the council.

On Thursday I got councillors and officers together just to focus on Gorse Street. We need to identify what’s adopted and what’s not, work with the commercial waste and try to develop a permanent strategy. We can’t continue just tweaking, removing the odd bag of builders waste etc. So it’s an issue I want to return to.

Urmston Active Travel

500+ people in a wedding venue in Urmston to hear Chris Boardman launch the Urmston Active Neighbourhood. Lots of activities set up but the sheer weight of numbers was the big story.

The numbers of people turning up to this meeting are really important. We’re now into the third calendar year of the bee network project. Whilst other local authorities like Salford are making good progress on moving forward from design stage, Trafford is beginning to lag behind now. It would be a shame if we didn’t make progress. The Talbot Road cycleway we inherited put Trafford at the forefront. The 500 people turning up to the Urmston event shows Trafford residents want to keep us in the leading pelatron on active travel.

Bee Network Progress Tracker

Saturday Canvass

Over to Broadheath for a Labour Party canvass in support of Denise Western. Denise is a very popular councillor and that came through on the doorstep. It felt ok, better than I expected if truth be known. We see the polling, but out on the doorstep it felt ok, at least in Broadheath.

Almost forgot to mention the Stretford town centre consultation. People are really keen. The mall is an issue, its physical presence sits on the wrong trajectory for me. There aren’t enough routes that place a person accidentally passing through the mall. I get the sense that I’m in a minority as far as the mall’s potential is concerned and I’m more than happy to see Stretford get its overdue attention.

Stand Together

Holocaust memorial commemoration at Sale Waterside this afternoon. As always, it seemed Lostock High had the most compelling presentation. Three students, this time from Hungary, Pakistan and Spain though that was such an infinitesimal part of each story. Each encountering their own rejections; and each overcoming hurdles and excelling.

We can’t respect the past if we don’t attend the present. Complacency is all it takes.

Totally bowled over by all the schools and faith leaders. This year was the best attended. Extremely moving.