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Who is standing & what are their priorities in the Ancoats & Beswick local elections - 5th May 2022

Updated: Apr 30, 2022

We caught up the the Green Party candidate standing in the Ancoats & Beswick Ward: Chris Perriam (interview by Claire McD)

Did you support the TreesNotCars campaign?

Definitely supported the campaign. The Green Party manifesto one of its main aims is an integrated transport network that puts walking first, cycling second, followed by public transport and then cars.

We need to remove the need and large use of cars in Manchester. Car parks should not be a priority.

What we need is the nurturing and encouraging of more green space. There’s no reason that the CRP development can’t include more green space, the current plan being so minimal and tokenistic, a few trees in pots. Allow space for trees and grass and use every possible plot to join up to Cotton Field Park. If high rise buildings are built on the site, will this block out the light to Cotton Field Park which will reduce biodiversity?

The council argues it needs to make money from the purchase of the site, but the money is not going in the right direction (towards the people of Manchester rather than property developers).

Top three priorities if voted in

  1. Holding the executive to keep its promises e.g. the blue and green infrastructure strategy & action plan created in 2015… creating a city wide biodiverse sustainable area. There are lots of words on paper but not much visible action. CRP is an ideal spot for more green space in the ward. We would make sure the environment is always on the agenda

  2. Working from inside seeing what structures/promises are already in place and making sure they are pushing the executive. Quick wins could be helping to link little spaces which may have been closed off e.g. Where a path has been closed, get it open again.

Like Marcia Hutchinson's proposal when she stood in 2021, creating a new corridor of adjoining green spaces along the River Medlock.

3. Funding - tap into all the new funds popping up (e.g. Parks in partnership) and make sure the money comes to and is spent in the ward.

4. If I can have a fourth, much more housing co-operatives to make sure we are not just building for the private developers and address the rebalancing of housing.

We caught up the the Liberal Democrats Party candidate standing in the Ancoats & Beswick Ward: Chris Northwood (Interviewed by Claire McD)

Did you support the TreesNotCars campaign?

I did support the Trees Not Cars campaign. I wrote an objection to the car park proposal based on the outdated air pollution assessment, and helped in collecting evidence used in the judicial review. If the council thinks an assessment done on 1980s Ancoats is appropriate today, I don't know what they were thinking!

The proposals didn't do anything to tackle nearby problem parking either - people are dumping their cars on nearby residential streets not because of a lack of parking, but because it's free. I live nearby and I know how important open green space is.

It doesn't take much to see how busy Cotton Field Park and New Islington Green can get, with the former being a private space and the latter being approved for development by Labour, there are 1000s of people in the area who need green space in their neighbourhood, it's not an unreasonable ask!

Top priorities if voted in

If voted in, I'm going to focus on building a strong local team building on the good work Alan Good has already done since the by election, working hard for local residents all year round, not just at election time;

I want to focus on protecting and improving green spaces in the ward; and I want to work constructively on tackling the vehicle crime, parcel theft and other safety issues in the area.

They don't have a manifesto for 2022 but they want to share a message on their blog.

We caught up the the Labour Party Candidate standing in the Ancoats & Beswick Ward: Irene Robsinson (Interviewed by Julia K)

Did you support the TreesNotCars campaign?

Irene started with her opinion about the original proposed car park on the Central rentals park site. She said she didn’t think it was a great idea from the start - it would add to existing gridlock on Great Ancoats Street, but it would also increase the level of air pollution already high.

She was concerned about asthma rates in Manchester, so for me - a mother of a child with asthma- it was a good point. I finally heard a Labour party representative addressing this issue from many years ago.

I started with focusing on what she is willing to do more for the local families population, which has been increasing in the last couple of years. She mentioned speaking to Bev (leader of the council) a few times and it was also brought up by Gareth Worthington when we spoke with him before the elections at the beginning of February. We hope this meeting between TreesNotCars and Bev will take place eventually, but it's still being suggested 4 months later and nothing is planned yet. There should be more investment coming in regeneration projects like preserving green space in the Ancoats area (e.g “Poland street development”) and investing in improving the local playgrounds.

She also thought it was wrong that New Islington Green was sold out for offices.

We spoke as well about the plans for the Central Retail park site. Since before the pandemic we haven’t heard if they are going to be changed from the proposed “zero carbon” offices site…As well as Gareth Worthington, she seems to not know anything about it. She agreed more of the site can be dedicated to green space and affordable housing.

Top three priorities if voted in

I asked about her main objectives if she gets elected.

  1. She will support a “mixed” community - she would see priorities for families in the area like need for quality play areas, safe green space. As well as the need for other residents who value Ancoats for its uniqueness.

  2. Reduce instances of antisocial behaviour

  3. Sort out issue with pavement car parking - (possibly supporting the Ancoats Hub that had been approved)

We spoke a bit more about the distance to Phillips park and the dreadful walk from New Islington to the area. Irene’s hopes are that with the new area coming- Co-op Live- more regeneration to the area and around will be funded.

Overall some good signs to hear from the Labour party about accepting a car park on Central Retails Park or giving up New Islington Green site to a developer were bad ideas . We are coming to elections very close - we have heard promises about more green space and improvements from Labour before, but so far all we can see is more and more residential building coming into the area and some planning application landscaping and smartening existing pocket park areas in Ancoats.

Read the Labour Manifesto here:

There is a lot of talk about investing into existing green space or creating new - like Mayfield Park (which is not a public park as stated in some news). Mayfield Park which is further away from our area and will serve local residents within the developments around it).

After preventing the council from turning the site into a 24/7 charging car park for 5 years, next to the city centre's ONLY primary school, by taking them to court.

The TreesNotCars campaign is pushing for...

What we need are councillors who will stand up for us and push for as much green space as possible at Central Retail Park development.

It's council owned, it would link in well with Cotton Field Park and will give the capacity for locals to enjoy the outdoors (without driving) once New Islington Green has been developed into offices.

Have your say!

Get out and vote on THURSDAY 5TH MAY in

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