Swings and Roundabouts – May 2019

Weekly update

  • Vandalism at Nansen Park. Quickly repaired and restored by One Trafford. Email complementing work sent to the team.
  • BT Telephone Box at Lostock Circle reported as vandalised. Cleaned and repaired now. Good work by BT
  • Publicised closure of Lostock Circle post office. Will chase if not resolved quickly
  • Continued to try to pull together a co-ordinated response on lack of adequate CAMHS (childrens mental health) service for schools. The Old Trafford primary school at which I’m a governor is really worried that vulnerable children might be missing access to the mental health support they need. Schools buy in CAMHS support independently from the community health provider Pennine Care but it seems that there are currently resource failings.
  • Wrote to the South Manchester Coroner to request that I be included in the distribution of the report she’s writing on lessons learned regarding the death of Sophie Louise Smith at the Trafford Park car cruise ‘event’. Speeding and racing within Trafford Park and its bordering residential areas continues to be a problem.
  • Emailed GMP Traffic Police to explore replicating Manchester’s Community Speed Monitoring initiative that Cllr Angeliki Stogia has led. Obviously permanent speed cameras are more effective but there are places where speeding is widespread but the numbers don’t support a permanent solution.
  • Complained that an alleyway had been left in a mess following bin collection. Resolved.
  • Reported gulleys for drain-cleaning on Kendal Road.
  • Wrote to constituent advising of the path to pursue when suffering from vibrations arising from road. Complemented the Access Trafford operative who advised me.
  • Wrote to planning to try to ensure that existing national cycling routes are respected in dealing with Manchester United’s planning application for enhanced security on Sir Matt Busby Way.
  • Liaised with Lostock Partnership over the planning application for a 12 place SEN nursery to be included within the new Orchards School.

    Big congratulations to Maureen Reilly attending the Royal Garden Party
  • Chased information on Manchester United/Trafford Council emerging masterplan. We’re seeing Chief Exec on Thursday but would be good to learn more before we meet.
  • Pursued tidy up and TLC for Stretford Cenotaph

Meetings

Cycle Forum Meeting on Mersey Valley – Looked at current and aspirational changes. I love the newly improved Ashton upon Mersey link. It’s advertised as Urmston to Ashton but given it uses the existing Trans Pennine Way bridge over the Mersey it’s good for anyone walking or cycling from Stretford over to Ashton Village centre. It used to be a quagmire – now highly recommended. The actual meeting was only 4 or 5 cyclists plus officers but still got bogged down on the proposed Jackson’s Boat bridge. I’m staying out of that one – it’s Manchester’s and it’s not my priority given they’re forced to keep the current bridge as well. I’d prefer bridges in new places rather than duplicating existing.

Annual Council – A lovely meeting with more tears than a Theresa May resignation. Great to see my colleague Laurence Walsh and Rachel installed as Deputy Mayor and Mayoress.

Rachel and Laurence Walsh

Euro Elections

Never felt less engaged with a Labour campaign. What is Labour’s policy? I can tell you what it is but I know that as soon as you examine it closely, it crumbles in the hand to dust.

Labour’s policy respects the result of the referendum but we will not support a Tory deal. Labour wants a General Election and presumably Labour, if it won that General Election, it follows that we would negotiate our exit from the EU. We don’t know whether this exit would be subject to a confirmatory vote but it’s hard to see how it would be resisted. You’d have to assume it would want to win any confirmatory vote.

I would vote remain in any second referendum. And the majority of Labour members AND LABOUR VOTERS in every poll or survey that’s been conducted consistently support remain. Would remain be an option in a confirmatory vote that a Labour Government offered? I think that would depend on the make-up of the parliamentary party. Those close to the leader don’t seem to want a second referendum (ie. Remain not being an option in any plebiscite). That view might be sustainable given a Labour government with a mandate.

So, as far as this week’s Euro Elections were concerned, Labour was a Brexit Party. I couldn’t argue a Brexit line on the doorstep, and I certainly couldn’t suspend my integrity to essentially lie that we were Remain. Effectively as far as campaigning was concerned, I sat these Euros out. It’s the first election in nearly 40 years I haven’t felt part of and to say the least, I’m somewhat cheesed off about it.

And that flippin’ Roundabout…

Sevenways roundabout! This is not what was expected and it’s not gone down well. The original spec that we took to residents included a raised (25mm) and hatched central island to increase deflection but allow for necessary over-run by HGVs and other large vehicles. Somehow the raised central island has become a painted circle with a continuous line.

Original design

I think we have to continue to lobby for something closer to the original plan with better cycling and walking provision too. Paint is obviously a cheap option and in many cases the right option, but here we’ve got some drivers treating the roundabout as a normal two lane roundabout and others sticking rigidly to the outside lane even on a right turn. With the roundabout being so close to the motorway there’s always going to be a high throughput of drivers who are unfamiliar with the area, so I don’t think we can rely on people getting used to it and it settling down.

I think this is an economy too far and this part of Stretford deserves better.

And Lastly…..

Pleased to have at last managed to complete a park run without walking. Not managed to move since but I did it at Wythenshawe Park on Saturday. I am quite pleased with that.