The Pirate Party in Manchester. Looking forward to the Ancoats and Clayton By-election, December 2013

Time for Real Regeneration

Ancoats was promised much with the New Islington development. 1,400 homes, shops and restaurants. The highest standards in energy efficiency and building standards. A viable area that will not require further subsidy to sustain it.

However, it didn’t quite turn out like that. Over the last few months it’s become clear that the building standards were substandard. We’ve seen the bridge from Bengal Street to Cotton Field Park be sealed up. This was despite it being described as “robust yet elegant” in the Ancoats Annual Review. Not so robust after all. A competition to name it was being run. We’re guessing that’s as closed as the bridge right now.

Old Mill Street

Old Mill Street

The redevelopment of Old Mill Street was described as a “chic European style thoroughfare”. But the bricks forming the street have had to be torn up – at council tax payer expense. Far too much of the New Islington “regeneration” has been style over substance.

Some years on since the start of the New Islington project, it’s vital that we get answers about how money was spent, and how these major mistakes happened. Did we get the best out of the £18.5 million that English Partnerships reported putting in, as part of the Millennium Community scheme? Certainly, good things have been done in the area, but New Islington and Ancoats is far from being free from needing further subsidy when action needs to be taken to deal with the problems caused.

We must learn the lessons of the Millennium Community project. Residents must be properly involved, not just part of a PR exercise. Development needs to be properly robust, not just for a nice website or press release.

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6:30 pm Democracy is Broken. Discuss.
Democracy is Broken. Discuss.
Mar 11 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Debate with Pirate Party’s Loz Kaye proposing the motion. Voter turnout keeps going down, support for main parties is in flux, the trust in politicians has never been lower. Comedians who urge young people to join a revolution and abstain from voting top the best seller list and are adored. All over the world, theocracy and dictatorships have rolled back the gains of western democratic model achieved at the end of the Cold War. As Fran O’Leary of the consultancy Lodestone says: “Around 39 per cent of people didn’t cast their vote at the last General Election. This year only 41 per cent of people said they would be certain to vote if there was an immediate election, the lowest level ever recorded by the Hansard Political Engagement Audit, and only 12 per cent of young people said they would definitely cast their vote.” We ask: Is our democracy broken? What kind of legitimacy will evolve from here?
7:00 pm Election Hustings – Hosted by Ma...
Election Hustings – Hosted by Ma...
Mar 19 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Loz Kaye speaking at Election Hustings – Hosted by Manchester Palestine Solidarity. More details to follow.

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