On Sunday 17th February 2013, a number of people came to the lakeside between 17:30 and 19:00 hrs to attend a vigil for the Ecocide taking place at Alexandra Park. There were some members of Save Ancoats Dispensary vigil in attendance as well, having walked from Ancoats. Most people there understood the irreparable damage being done to the local environment and biodiversity. One young female had spotted a bat that very night. Manchester City Council had never carried out an Environmental Impact Assessment and had only carried out a cursory ecological assessment. If they had done so, they would of realised that their plans contravened their own policies and national policies towards the environment and biodiversity. And it is mind-boggling that the Heritage Lottery Fund, decided to fund this project, even though it is destroying what the Victorians had set out to do. They have proved themselves to be another ‘not-fit-for-purpose’ quango. And councillor Nigel Murphy had told me that the tree removal was necessary because the Park was unsafe at night. Not long ago, I emailed with residents living on the boundary of Barrack Street Park, were concerned about the lack of lighting at night. They felt unsafe crossing the park at night to visit neighbours. Nigel Murphy, replied saying there was no money for lighting on the park. And yet millions are being wasted on this ecocide on Alexandra Park.
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
I have mentioned over the years the benefits of Bio-digesters, the fact they produce methane whilst also providing nitrogen rich fertiliser. Other countries have embraced this technology, even in the poorest parts of South America. There, households are providing themselves with cheap energy from their own organic waste.
But in the UK, they prefer to invest in incineration of waste and biomass (mostly from imported wood), which emits CO2, particulates (dust). Addition waste incineration emits dioxins, furans and other pollutants.
I have put forward several options for bio-digester plants to Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Councillor for the Environment. But, I am always rebuffed with why the council will not invest in bio-digesters. One of the reasons is the Viridor, who took over the waste management services were supposed to incorporate Anaerobic Digester plants at their waste treatment plants for organic waste. But I have not heard or found any evidence that these plants are operational.
I did alert Nigel Murphy to a project in Glasgow where the residents food waste went into In-Vessel composting units. Thus avoiding CO2 from transportation of the waste and providing compost for a community garden. I mentioned that instead of just composting the food waste, use it to produce energy as well. But the Council does not seem to be interested in investing for the long term future, but only in the short term profits of developers.
Nottingham is introducing a work place parking levy, which to me makes more sense than the rejected Manchester’s congestion charge: Workplace Parking Levy : Nottingham City Council.
When I worked in Bolton I had work mates who were incensed over Manchester’s congestion charge proposals. As they would have had to pay it, to get to and from work in Bolton, even though they were not going any where near Manchester City: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester_Congestion_Charge What Manchester City Council has done is introduce residents parking schemes. And the way they are implemented, only act as a tool to tax local residents. Whilst, not preventing the the ever increasing congestion in Manchester City Centre. When I raised this issue with Nigel Murphy (Manchester Councillor for the Environment) during the Manchester- A Certain Future, workshop at the MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University). He informed me, that people who decided to live in the City Centre, did so because they do not need a car, and that as I am a member of the Green Party, I should be in supportive of residents parking schemes. I did agree with him, that I did not see why people needed to drive, as I have never owned a car, motorbike, scooter or moped. At the end of the day, the resident’s parking schemes, do not stop congestion.
Good public transport, which people can rely on, is integrated and feel safe to travel, on is what is needed. Which is the case with Nottingham, especially there far superior tram system. Which did not displace the train and uses British built trams: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nottingham_tram Nottingham City also led the way with travel plans, with Nottingham City Hospital introducing a travel plan in 1997: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/assets/files/AT/Active%20Travel%20Cymru/NHS/Nottinghamcityhospitalnhstrust.pdf Nottingham paid for this partly from revenue from car parking charges. I do not know were the revenue from car parking in Manchester goes to. As I have pointed out in a previous blog: https://patricktsudlow.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/climate-east-midlands-the-regional-climate-change-partnership/ Nottingham was the first City to introduce a plan for climate change, 9 years before Leese and his ‘Manchester – A Certain Future’. You might of thought, as he comes from the area, he might of learnt how things should be done.
In an earlier