I was walking home (16:40, 6/2/13) from the 8th Day along Stretford Road, when I bumped into Nigel Murphy (Labour councillor for Hulme and the Environment). He told me he was waiting for a bus into town because he had been walking all day, then asked how were things with me. I mentioned they were not very good, (there are lots of things like Birley Fields and the lack of action by the council on climate change), especially with things like Alexandria Park. He mentioned people should read what it is really about and not listen to the protesters who are exaggerating the number of trees being felled. I said I had read the aborculturist’s report and that mature (maybe originally planted by the Victorians) were being felled when they were in good condition. I asked about the old green houses, they were not be restored, so how is this restoring the park to it former glory. Nigel replied that he remembered the greenhouses from a kid and walking in the park. And that the park was unsafe to walk in at night, and that this work was to make it safe. It was to make this park fit for today. If that is the case, then surely they have obtained funds falsely from the National Heritage Fund? The National Heritage Fund is about support the restoration of heritage assets and clearly this is not the council’s intention. Those who agreed to the council’s proposals seemed to of forgotten previous projects by the council, such as Piccadilly Gardens. Is that fit for today, what was done to Piccadilly Gardens? Alexandra Park Trees
Student at Manchester Metropolitan University should continue there fight to have MMU cancel their contract with Veolia. Failing that, it is time students started boycotting Manchester Metropolitan University. Not only for their employment of Veolia but also because of the way they have treated the people of Hulme. John Brooks the vice-chancellor, conducted secret deals with Manchester City Council, to build a campus on Birley Fields. This is totally unacceptable behaviour from a Higher Education establishment which boast it serves the community. It does not, it even tells it’s students, even those live in hall of residence in Hulme, not to go into Hulme. They claim to be building a green campus when they have felled scores of trees and want to fell another 50. And their energy plant is to be powered by natural gas, a finite resource, imported and emits CO2. How is this green?
My thoughts on Manchester Climate Monthly’s recent article on Manchester Metropolitan University.
MCFly co-editor Arwa Aburawa interviews Mary Heaney, Director of Services at Manchester Metropolitan University, whose responsibilities include the environmental sustainability agenda
Besides saving money, what are the reasons MMU is taking green action?
Money isn’t actually the top priority for us in terms of sustainability – it’s our corporate social responsibility. We are an organisation that devotes it self to the next generation and we think it’s absolutely incumbent upon us to be responsible in the way we operate and look at the way that we function from everything from the amount of chemicals the cleaners use to me pulling down the blinds when I leave that this room is bearable the next day to the way we operate our labs. It’s about being part of the solution, I guess.
Another top motivator that MMU talk about is that preparing students for new realities and embedding green thinking makes them…
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The Manchester Metropolitan University promised to keep Hulme residents informed of the MMU's plans. This has not happened since their marketing exercise ended in November 2010. They have felled all the large mature trees in defiance of resident's objections. They now want to extinguish all right-of-way for Hulme residents, even though they promised this will not happened. Below is a post from a Hulme resident urging residents to put objections in against this betrayal of Hulme residents by Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester City Council and Hulme's councillors.
From; firstname.lastname@example.org :
There are just 27 days left for Hulme residents to object to
MMU's bid to turn Birley Fields into a quasi-private estate. It's bad
enough the Council have given MMU the valuable land - don't let them
privatise the streets too! Don't be fooled by their assurances about
'accessibility' for the local public mentioned in their plans - all
PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY are to be extinguished.
I would like to urge all on this group to use your right under
the Town and Country Planning Act to ask the secretary of state to
'reserve' the PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY of Bonsall Street for pedestrians
and cyclists. Otherwise residents will have no appeal if a couple of
years down the line MMU erect barriers, or put up signs saying 'no
cycling' or walking accross the campus. Just wait until a student gets
raped and you will see fences and gating go up... If you think this is
a silly objection about something not likely to happen - read on..
This happened at Manchester Science Park when they erected gates
accross a path and started locking them at 7pm every night. It
happened when they built Cambridge Hall on Lloyd Street and MMU
security jobsworths started telling local people they could not walk
through to All Saints. And it happened back in the 1960's when MMU
were allowed to build accross the Easternmost end of Cavendish
Street... there are now signs there telling you that you have 'No
Public Right Of Way' to Oxford Rd... (Recently re-worded, but it means
the same thing). Ok, so you can walk through - but isn't the sign so
damned annoying? It's like, "You may breathe near our property but it
is not our intention to grant you a human RIGHT to life".
Lets give them some annoyance back! Come on people, if enough
residents object it may trigger a public enquiry into the whole
proposal, delay it, and give further opportunity to raise concerns
about the knock-on effect of increased traffic on Stretford Rd (unsafe
for cyclists). Yes, some of the trees are gone. Yes, the land is gone.
But it's not too late to save PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY accross it.
See the notices on Bonsall Street for full details. The most
important part is this:"
"Any person may object to the making of the proposed order within the
period of 28 days commencing on 20th April 2012 by notice to the
Secretary of State, quoting the above reference*, addressed to the
National Transport Casework Team, 2nd Floor, Lancaster House,
Hampshire Court, Newcastle Business Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4
Quick Guidance on Objecting (by Eddie)
The closure of Bonsall Street is not essential to the campus plan.
You can object outright to ANY stopping up of Bonsall St if you wish,
or just argue to 'reserve' the Public Rights for just bikes and
The criss-crossing paths on the grass are covered by the stopping up
order too, but these are not recorded 'public rights of way' anyway,
so I don't think there is any mileage in objecting to this - they are
just included to prevent any 'potential' claim that they ought to be
'created' as Public Rights Of Way...
Personally, I am not bothering to object to the bit of 'Archway' they
want to stop up cost I just can't be bothered... but you can if you
You don't have to live in Hulme to object. Eg, if you drive through
Hulme to Stretford or Chorlton, you can object.
I think the strongest argument is that travelling East-West or West-
East accross Hulme cyclists will have to brave the increased traffic
either on Stretford Road or Greenheys Lane West (also soon to have
increased traffic when the Manchester Cronyidor Partnership thing re-
routes vehicular traffic into Hulme from Oxford Rd)
Another is access into Hulme for emergency services which may get
stuck in the gridlock on Stretford Rd.
Don't be put off by the confusing complexity of Rights Of Way law. If
you object, just say so in simple terms. The more objections received,
the more likely there will have to be a 'public enquiry" for all
objections to be properly heard.
I will post the full text of the notice in next couple of days time.
And my own objection as an example. I think there is still a lot of
mileage in the Rights Of Way thing to win concessions for local
residents about the campus plan. The planning permission is just stage
one. "It ain't over until the fat lady sings", as they say...
annoying eddie 🙂
Six trees in total were felled on Birley Fields along Bonsall Street opposite the Post Office. This area was Phase 2 of the planning application and only had provisional planning application and was not supposed to commence until the completion of Phase 1. So why have these trees been felled? What is Manchester City Council going to do about it?