Democratic Manchester City Council!

Manchester City Council continue to show, that they are overwhelmingly not acting in the residents best interests, once again ignoring it’s electorate. It has almost total control of the council and acts as a dictatorship. This is to ensure that Bernstein and Leese build their ivory towers, ensuring the City of Manchester, is all fur-coat and no knickers:  Mersey Valley warden service facing the axe.

manchester climate monthly

Two must-read articles about Alexandra Park, where the chainsaws are moving in… (See our previous editorial on the subject here).

From the Hulme Green Party, “Alex Park protesters take to trees to stop “Felling Vandalism”

Manchester Green Party Chair Deyika Nzeribe commented “The campaign group has done everything right. They got over 2000 signatures asking for the plans to be reconsidered, they got local experts to show how the councils plans to be altered to preserve trees and they have been in dialogue with both the Council and funders the Lottery every step of the way. They have been completely ignored.

To draw a parallel, last week Manchester City Council made a great show of how unfair the cuts to local budgets were and how the government were ignoring them. The council are acting in exactly the same way as the government to this local issue.”

From Nadine…

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Six Reasons Why Politicians Believe They Can Lie | Psychology Today

An interesting article on why politicians lie.  And it is very pertinent to Manchester and the Labour run council.  For years now councillor Richard Leese and Howard Bernstein have been trumpeting the success of their regeneration plans for the City.  This is despite their are hundreds of office and retails units empty, some for years since being built.  Then, there is the high unemployment, deprivation, poverty, fuel poverty and homelessness.  Even despite all this evidence, their plans have not succeeded but have been proven to be a waste of tax-payers money.  And in some cases, this money cannot be accounted for, but no criminal investigation or charges have been made.  Still, their loyal following, including members of Labour’s shadow cabinet, think everything is fine.  In the meantime, the real Mancunians (no matter what their colour), suffer.  And the reason why, is explained in the article below.

Six Reasons Why Politicians Believe They Can Lie | Psychology Today.

Manchester City Council’s Environmental Scrutiny Committee Meeting.

This morning I attended a Environmental Scrutiny Committee meeting, where the public were invited to attend.  Some of the committee members appeared pleased that a number of the public were their, with some of public putting forward short presentations.  Bot when the Council’s economic advisers gave their presentation, my heart dropped.  They were advocating ‘business-as-usual’, even though this is the cause of our present financial crisis.  Also a councillor dismissed the importance of local food production, stating he wanted his electorate to stop smoking and drinking.  He obviously does not understand, this is due to the inequalities of the present system and their lack of empowerment. 

And in the workshop I attended, once again a councillor argued that the airport was low carbon, as the emissions did not affect Manchester but were felt elsewhere.  And it was best the expanded Manchester Airport, because if aviation went elsewhere it would not be a low carbon as that of Manchester Airport.  The attitude of some of the councillors are totally blinkered, they cannot see the real damage the airport is doing to Manchester and the surrounding area.  And things will get worse with the building of the by-pass, so motorist can get to the airport faster instead of using public transport.  These views were reinforced by Richard Leese, he even decided that one of the action points would not be Manchester’s but AGMA’s (Association of Greater Manchester Authorities). 

It would appear the council leadership have not taken any notice of the mass of information on the unsustainability of ‘business-as-usual’.  Someone from AGMA, when someone said the council needed to show leadership, said Richard Leese had showed leadership because he gave a speech!  This is not leadership, in fact Richard Leese, is very good at saying the council is not responsible for this, they cannot do this or that.  He does not show leadership, but is a bully boy who wants to get his own way no matter what others think. 

It is a pity this video from the European Environmental Agency was not available to show them.  Though, I doubt it would make much difference to the likes of Richard Leese

Is Manchester’s future going to follow that of Catalonia

Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester City Council has pushed his dreams of turning Manchester into another Barcelona unceasingly.  This is despite the fact that Manchester has high unemployment and a number of children in poverty.  He has continued with his policies which only benefit multi-national companies and starve the City of any real inward investment.  I wonder if he has bothered visiting Barcelona again, to see the unfinished buildings and the blight the City is now suffering from?  Has he not noticed the unfinished buildings here in Manchester, the empty office blocks and empty retail units.  Then there is the EU grants which cannot be fully accounted for and the EU may want to claw back.  Reading an article about Catalan, of which Barcelona is the capital City on the Share Centres web-site.  I started to wonder if we were heading the same way as Catalonia? 

But then there is the problem of local government debt. Catalonia is a wealthy region. Perhaps you could say that the region is to Spain, what California is to the US. And it has one other thing in common with California – it carries enormous debts. Its President Artur Mas displays all the hallmarks of a troubled man. On Friday, he said at a press conference: “We don’t care how they do it, but we need to make payments at the end of the month. Your economy can’t recover if you can’t pay your bills.” This year the region has to refinance 13 billion worth of euros. But how? The citizens of Catalonia do their bit, but, according to Reuters, a quarter of their savings are already in patriot bonds, and that source of funding is now dry. The region could turn to the banks, but, again using Reuters as the source, the region next door Valencia paid out 7 per cent interest on a six month bank loan recently. And that is not really affordable – or so we are being told.

But Catalonia is just one of 17 regions. Last week Moody’s downgraded the rating for Catalonia, but also downgraded three other regions: Murcia, Andalucia and Extremadura. In all, the regions that make up Spain have to re-finance around 36 billion euros of debt this year.

Mr Mas wants to see central government underwrite loans to the regions.

But this is the scary thing. It is generally agreed that Spanish house prices have further to fall. And with unemployment running at nearly 25 per cent of Spain’s labour supply, how can further falls in Spanish house prices not result in more defaults, more bad debts, more bank losses, and the need for even more bail-outs?

How can Spain possibly manage such a situation?

Only through getting many more of its work force into productive jobs can this problem begin to be fixed. But too high a proportion of the workforce only has experience working in construction, and the Spanish construction industry is not likely to recover for a very long time.