Please see below a message from Cath Keane, Neighbourhood Liaison Manager at the MCC Highways Service and part of the Active Neighbourhood team, regarding an event for local businesses. This is welcome and follows up on a previous commitment for further engagement.
Please draw this to the attention of any businesses in the area so they can take part.
Manchester City Council held formal consultation around a scheme to make walking and cycling easier and safer in Levenshulme. We also held a number of face to face on line events which allowed people to have their say on the suggested measures. These events were well attended and gave around 170 people the chance to have their say, while more than 3,500 others have responded through our website.
However, we felt that people attending these on line events did not fully represent all of the business community in Levenshulme, and for this reason, we are reaching out to offer an additional event to ensure local businesses are aware of the scheme and have the chance to have their say.
Although the formal consultation end date has passed, we are still keen to receive feedback for the next six months as this will inform any final, permanent measures which could be implemented.
If you or representatives from your organisations would be interested in attending an on line event about the trial in Levenshulme, please email email@example.com.
If you would find it useful to have an interpreter at the on line event, please let us know and we can arrange it.
The event date will be confirmed in the near future and we will send details to everyone who has emailed us to request an invite. To join the meeting, you will need a laptop or smart phone . A link will be sent which you can click and join.
From 19.00 you can join the online World AIDS Day Vigil as we remember people lost to HIV, show our solidarity with people living with HIV around the world and commit ourselves to challenging HIV stigma and discrimination.
The Vigil is organised by the Passionate about Sexual Health (PaSH) Partnership, a collaboration between BHA for Equality, George House Trust and LGBT Foundation.
This year a lot of people have been hit hard financially, and many will struggle to afford to keep their homes warm over winter. To help, a team at the University of Manchester have put together a webpage with free advice on reducing energy costs and keeping homes warm: www.step-in-project.eu/online-energy-cafe- manchester/
CHAT WITH QUALIFIED ENERGY ADVISORS
If you visit the webpage anytime between 10am-12 noon on 7th December, or between 2pm-4pm on 10th December, you can use an instant messaging service to speak anonymously with qualified Energy Advisors from Groundwork, an independent, not-for-profit organisation in Greater Manchester. They can answer your questions and provide free advice about keeping warm, reducing energy costs, and accessing financial support.
More information and advice including videos is available on the website.
Suzy Prince, co-owner of Bopcap Books in the Antiques Village, has an article in the Guardian reflecting on the pandemic and a trend and determination of people to shop locally.
“In Greater Manchester, there’s… anger about recent events, and for some people, overtly buying from independent businesses has become an act of defiance, of sorts.”
“…it seems clear that people want change and are prepared to go out of their way to achieve it. A world with far fewer cafes, bars and independent shops in it would be a considerably duller place. Let’s hope the will that has emerged over the last few months to keep our high streets alive lasts far beyond the pandemic. Amid all the gloom, I think the signs are strong.”
Levenshulme remembers in an event for Remembrance Sunday at the Levenshulme War Memorial outside St Peter’s Church. The event was pre-recorded before the current pandemic lockdown restrictions were imposed by the government. Lead by Reverend George Reeves, Rector of St Peter and St Mark’s parish Levenshulme.
You can also view the video for the Manchester City Council Remembrance Commemoration 2020 lead by Rt Revd David Walker, Bishop of Manchester HERE.
Manchester City Council is planning three online events (via Microsoft Teams) to hear your ideas about Levenshulme & Burnage Active Neighbourhood Project plans. The project proposes a trial of 25 road blocks / “modal filters” all around Levenshulme starting on 19 December 2020 and running for six months.
There are other possible elements to the project that have not been confirmed yet but the trial will only be for the road blocks / “modal filters”.
Three dates have been arranged for the public meeting, which will take place on:
The LCA has requested all publicity material for the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood Project including in different languages. All material that is currently available can be downloaded below as PDF documents. There are instructions here on how to comment on the plans online, by email and by written questionnaire including deadlines that have now changed.
Be aware that all the maps in the printed materials are different and the deadline for comment has been extended by a week because of a mistake in the printed materials that have been distributed.
As of today (16 October 2020) only the questionnaire leaflet is available in any language apart from English. That language is Romanian.
UPDATE: Urdu version of the questionnaire leaflet added on 23 October 2020
UPDATE: Bengali version of the questionnaire leaflet added on 22 October 2020
UPDATE: Arabic version of questionnaire leaflet added on 19 October 2020.
The Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood deadline for feedback and comment has been extended to Wednesday 4th November 2020.
You can find out more about what the plans are and how to give feedback HERE.
Many people in our community still haven’t received notification of these plans. The LCA had written to the Project Team requesting an extension to the deadline so an extra week is helpful although we still don’t think that is sufficient. In the meantime you can download the booklet and poster by following the link above.
We have also requested a PDF copy of the Active Neighbourhood questionnaire form to make available to people but so far this has been refused and we have been told people must go to either Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre or Burnage Library to collect a paper copy of the booklets and forms. Publicity material has also been requested in other languages for distribution but so far this has not been provided and does not seem to be available yet.
Arcadia have resumed their swimming lessons, for details visit the centre or access the link below. To ensure members of the public and children’s safety whilst learning to swim, safety procedures implemented in line with government guidance. Please also see the video below.
Please note: At present swimming lessons are only for children.
MCR Active says:
Swimming lessons in Manchester are back! We’re pleased to let you know, that in line with the re-start of the academic year, we will be welcoming back children between the ages of 5 and 16 to our Swimming Lessons across Manchester.
Lessons will take place at community pools available to the public. A decision, given the comprehensive Government guidance, we have carefully considered. We will ensure we reopen safely, prioritising all our customers and staff, in the knowledge that our pools can carefully help the city get active again. See the full list below to check when your nearest available pool will be offering swimming lessons.
IMPORTANT: All swimming lessons must be booked in advance online or via the app before your visit.
EDIT: A note has now been added to the Greater Manchester local lockdown rules page on the government website to say that the local lockdown rules will be replaced by the new Tier 2 (High) rules from tomorrow. This means in effect that the government is relaxing the rules across Greater Manchester.
The government has placed Manchester in its new “Tier 2 (High)” category and the Manchester local lockdown rules have been updated. The two sets of rules say different things
The Tier 2 (High) restrictions allow people to meet other people outdoors in their gardens in groups of up to six people. The Manchester local lockdown rules do not allow this.
Basically we still can NOT meet people in our homes or gardens unless they are in our “support bubble”.
The Tier 2 (High) rules come into force on Wednesday 14 October at 00.01. Maybe the local lockdown rules will be changed again then but currently the Tier 2 and Manchester Local Lockdown rules contradict each other. There is no mention on the government’s website for the local lockdown rules that they will change when the Tier 2 rules come into force tomorrow.
What do the Manchester local lockdown rules say?
Read the Greater Manchester Local Lockdown rules in full HERE
“Social contact restrictions
If you live in one of the affected areas, in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus you must not:
host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support or childcare bubble
meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside the affected local areas, unless they’re in your support or childcare bubble
Your household is defined as the people you live with and any support or childcare bubble.
A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.
A childcare bubble is where someone in one household can provide informal (meaning unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. This must occur on an exclusive basis – always the same two households.“
“You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space. When you do so, you must not meet in a group of more than 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.“
The Showcase cinemas at Belle Vue are being demolished to to be replaced with a new school provided by the Co-op Academies Trust.
The new school will open in September 2021. Applications for Year 7 entry are open now and close on Monday 2nd November 2020 at 17.00. 120 places are available and the school will expand to its full capacity of 1200 by 2028. The first two year groups will remain at 120 throughout their time at academy. The school will grow to a full capacity of 1200 pupils by September 2028 with intakes of 240 per year from 2023.
Until the new facilities open in September 2023 students will be taught in temporary accommodation.
Manchester City Council has now released an information booklet and poster on the revised plans for the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood project. You can download PDFs of both below.
You can also request paper copies of the booklet and information in other languages by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org Copies will be made available in the Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre and hopefully at other locations in the area (to be confirmed).
The website for feedback is available HERE. Comments must be received by Wednesday 28 October 2020.
Letters have been sent to schools this week and should be received by all residents and businesses across the project area in Levenshulme and Burnage next week. This will allow about two weeks to comment on all four response areas and the 25 proposed individual road blocks / “modal filters”.
The MCC website currently says:
Comments on the trial (Phase 1) area will need to reach us by 28 October to be accepted, but all feedback given during the trial period (19 December 2020 to19 June 2021) will be reviewed before any final decisions are made. Feedback on problem areas and what the issues are in Cringle Park (Phase 2) are also welcomed, and can influence the trial, which is currently due to start early in 2021. These will need to be received by 21 December 2020.
MCC LBAN feedback dates
NOTE: Information on the council’s website has been changing every few days in the past two weeks probably partly due to the project losing its second Project Manager after the new plans were released on Monday 02 October. The LCA will continue to monitor whatever is released and make sense of the process.
We will also request an extension to the feedback deadline as two weeks seems unreasonably short period for people to understand the complex proposals and comment on the scheme especially as no formal notification of the engagement process and new plans has been sent to residents or businesses yet.
Active Neighbourhood online feedback deadline 28 October 2020
Road Blocks / “Modal Filters” trial will run from 19 December 2020 to 19 June 2021
UPDATE: The Manchester City Council website did not mention any dates initially, then within the last week the dates were added. It seemed the dates had been removed but actually an extra page of text was added to the MCC website on 7th October HERE that still includes the dates.
Manchester City Council still hasn’t actually informed anybody about the new plans and consultation on the proposed Active Neighbourhood but it has set a deadline for feedback.
Letters were promised to all residents, businesses, schools and community groups but so far nothing has been sent out. We were also promised a phone line to make comments and that has not yet been provided and an email address which so far doesn’t seem to exist. The new website for commenting is only available in English. No posters or information have been put up in the area informing people about the online consultation. So the only way to comment on a scheme the council hasn’t officially told anyone about yet is online HERE.
Regardless of not telling anyone about the new plans apart from a tweet from our MP, Afzal Khan, that was shared by some councillors the council has now provided a deadline when the online consultation will end on 28th October. So we won’t be able to comment on a plan the council hasn’t told anybody about after 28th October.
There are now 25 individual road blocks / “modal filters” on the new plans in Phase 1 covering Levenshulme. The Commonplace website says temporary crossings and traffic calming will be included the trial but there is no evidence of these on the new plans although part of the online consultation invites comments about these. A summary of the new plans is available HERE.
Note that the project has now been renamed “Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood”. When it was called Levenshulme Bee Network it included part of Burnage. Now it is called Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood that part of Burnage is now excluded from the trial starting in December.
The part of Burnage included in the project is now identified as “Phase 2”. The project claims it will reduce traffic in the area but the council says the Burnage area has now been excluded from the December trial “…because of the density of schools in the Cringle Brook (Phase 2) area, and issues with traffic congestion…” which is a little confusing.
The Phase 2 area covers part of Burnage Ward and was identified previously as “Cringle Park Area”, not “Cringle Brook” as the council website says. The road blocks / “modal filters” that were in the previous plans in what is now Phase 2 have been removed from the new plans and you are invited to propose ideas for Burnage Ward. No timeline is available for Phase 2.
The project was paused in the summer to allow for further and more extensive engagement with the community. The July statement from Levenshulme councillors is below for reference. Since then a new Project Manager was appointed by the council, new plans developed that seem to be almost identical to the original plans despite them receiving considerable opposition from our community and the Burnage section of the project has been removed from the trial despite Sustrans (who developed the plans for the council) saying the whole scheme needed to be trialled or it wouldn’t work.
The whole thing is ever more confusing but further updates will be provided as things develop to try and keep people informed.
The project has now been split into two with Phase 1 covering Levenshulme and Phase 2 covering Burnage. A trial of road blocks / “modal filters” will start in December 2020 and last for a minimum of six months.
Note that a “modal filter” is the name given to something that blocks the road to vehicular traffic but still allows access through for pedestrians and cyclists (and presumably mopeds and motorbikes).
Manchester City Council says:
We now have a plan for the future direction of the project, and have decided to tackle it in two phases. We would like your feedback on some of the measures which we are going to trial (Phase 1). The trial measures will start to be put in place from December (during school holidays).This is also a great way for the scheme to be seen in action, tested and analysed, so it can be tweaked or changed where required but also allow peoples habits to change and through traffic to re-route.
Because of the density of schools in the Cringle Park (Phase 2) area, and issues with traffic congestion, we are continuing to seek opinions from local residents, businesses and schools on what measures are needed and where before they are trialled.
We hope to commence the trial in the Festive season break in December and will last a minimum of 6 months. The final designs for the Active neighbourhood will be drawn up based on the results of the consultation and implemented within 18 months should the funding application be successful.
MCC Active Neighbourhood Plans
The Phase 1 trial area excludes Burnage. No date has been suggested yet for Phase 2 in Burnage. The Phase 1 / Phase 2 split has been done based on political Wards, not the Park Area cells the Project has identified which is why the Henderson Street road block / “modal filter” is included in Phase 1.
The Levenshulme Phase 1 trial identifies 25 road blocks / “modal filters” outlined on the map below. The revised plans are not very different to the original plans. We will look at them in detail and post further information once we have worked out what differences there are.
The Phase 1 trial is still primarily for road blocks / “modal filters”. The council is also asking for feedback on where temporary crossings and traffic calming could be located as part of its Phase 1 consultation. The council says:
The trial includes a number of temporary crossing points and traffic calming measures to provide immediate benefits on routes that have been raised through previous consultation. [ * ]
We understand from previous feedback that traffic volume and speeds make certain streets hard to cross. We’d like you to tell us where you feel crossing points or traffic calming may help day to day life and make getting around safer and easier.
Further community feedback on the locations of these is welcomed, so that a final Trial Plan can be developed. The trial plan has a degree of flexibility once live, but we need to allow the trial to bed in to understand how habits change and the trial is being used.
MCC Active Neighbourhood crossings and traffic calming
[ * NOTE: there is no evidence of this on the map for the Phase 1 trial]
Give your feedback
Phase 1 feedback (Levenshulme) can only be made by responding to the 25 locations identified by the council. You can, however, drop a pin on the map for the Phase 2 feedback (Burnage) to identify a location and comment where you think an intervention could or should be located.
Phase 1 (Levenshulme)
You can comment HERE on the proposed road blocks / “modal filters”.
You can comment HERE on where you think crossings and traffic calming should go.
Please see below the statement to the House of Commons by the UK Prime Minister. This includes announcements on stricter measures following the recent surge in infections, hospitalisations and deaths. These measures are expected to last for six months.
There will be a further televised statement by PM Johnson tonight at 20.00 that will be added to this post.
Schools, colleges and universities will remain open.
Office workers who can work at home should do so.
Key public service and key workers who cannot work from home should continue to attend their workplaces.
From Thursday 24th September 2020 all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate a table service only except for takeaways.
All hospitality venues must close at 10pm with doors closed, not just last orders at 10pm.
Takeaways must also close at 10pm although deliveries can continue after 10pm.
Compulsory wearing of masks extended to taxis, private hire vehicles and all staff in retail.
Alll staff and customers in hospitality venues (except when seated at a table to eat or drink) must wear masks.
In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors government covid secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach the rules.
From Monday 28th September a maximum of 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions.
Up to 30 people can still attend a funeral.
“Rule of Six” will be extended to all adult indoor team sports.
The “Rule of Six” (when meeting friends and family you do not live with – or have formed a support bubble with – you must not meet in a group of more than six) will now therefore apply in all circumstances apart from weddings (15 people), wedding receptions (15 people), funerals (30 people) and outdoor organised team sports (30 people).
Business conferences, events and large sporting events will not be permitted as was planned for 1st October 2020.
People who were previously shielding will not be advised to do so again for the time being.
These rules will be enforced by tighter penalties.
Fine of up to £10,000 for those who fail to self isolate already exist and these fines will now be applied to businesses who break these covid rules.
Fine for breaking the “Rule of Six” or not wearing a mask will double to £200 for a first offence.
There will be a greater police presence on our streets and extra funding will be provided to police to enforce these rules.
Military support will be called on where required to free up the police for other matters.
These measures apply in England. Devolved administrations are taking “similar” measures.
13 million people in England are living under further restrictions over and above these national measures [see HERE for the local lockdown measures that apply in Manchester].
“Fire power will be drawn upon” to deploy further measures if these measures do not work and people do not follow these rules.
These new restrictions should be assumed to remain in place “for perhaps SIX MONTHS”.
What are the differences between these new national rules and the extra local lockdown rules in Manchester?
Please note at the time of this announcement the rules for the Greater Manchester local lockdown have not been updated to reflect the new national rules that apply variously with immediate effect, from Thursday 24th September and from Monday 29th September 2020 as outlined above.
The rules across Greater manchester vary between different areas. This is outlined in the link above. Key differences to the new national rules that currently apply in Manchester are outlined below.
Key differences in Manchester:
You MUST NOT:
host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble*. (A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.)
meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas unless they’re in your support bubble.
You are ADVISED to NOT:
socialise with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any public venue. This applies to inside and outside of the affected areas. Examples of public venues include pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions and parks.
visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances.
You should follow all relevant transport guidance when making a journey into, within or out of the areas affected.
Organised dance and exercise classes can take place in groups of more than 6, where a risk assessment has been carried out, but you should limit your social interaction with other participants.
Friends or family who you do not live with should not visit your home to help with childcare unless they are part of your support bubble.
This information is provided in good faith as an accurate reflection of changing circumstances and the differences between the national and local restrictions and rules. Please follow the links for more detailed guidance and rules from the government.
Prime Minister’s Statement to the House of Commons, 22nd September 2020
Prime Minister’s broadcast to the nation, 22nd September 2020
Car Free Day encourages motorists to give up their cars for a day. Organised events are sometimes held but the general aim is to encourage walking and cycling and use of public transport instead of cars.
The European Union has since 2001 extended this idea to European Mobility Week culminating in the World Car Free Day. The UK has two cities participating (London and Nottingham) compared to 540 locations in Turkey, 534 in Austria and 530 in Spain.
Manchester City Council is currently developing plans for an Active Neighbourhood in Levenshulme and Burnage to encourage and make walking and cycling easier. The project was paused in the summer but revised plans and letters with information to residents and businesses are expected soon.
The first proposal of the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood is to trial a “Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN)” in the form of multiple road blocks to vehicles (referred to as “modal filters”). These would restrict routes for vehicles whilst allowing pedestrians and cyclists free access. 32 filters were initially proposed in May 2020 but the revised plans are likely to change from that. Keep an eye out for the letters and information.
Free NHS Health Checks are available for anyone aged 40-74 who is registered with a GP in Manchester and not on a disease register for a pre-existing health condition such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
By appointment only between 09.40-15.00 at Abbey Hey FC on Wednesday 30th September 2020.
Please see below the video from Professor Chris Whitty (Chief Medical Officer, England) and Sir Patrick Vallance (Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government) providing an update on the recent significant increases in infection rates across the country.
Levenshulme is in the news with an article in the Manchester Evening News about traffic problems around schools.
“A community campaign group [Streets For People] is urging local councillors to take action on dangerous parking and increased school traffic in south Manchester.”
Extract from MEN article
Streets For People is hosting a Zoom meeting on Sunday 20th September 2020 at 3pm. The group says:
“We are organising a public meeting on the issue of what’s happening with the Low Traffic Neighbourhood proposals, and especially the council’s inaction on the dangerous situation outside schools caused by motor traffic.
We challenge the Levenshulme and Burnage councillors and council leadership to attend this meeting and explain to residents what is happening.”
Levenshulme Library on the ground floor of the Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre on Stockport Road will open again tomorrow (Monday 14 September).
Opening Times and Contact Details:
Monday, Wednesday 10am to 3pm
Saturdays 11am to 3pm
Library available for use by over 60s from 10am to 11am
Phone: 0161 227 3725
Changes to using the library
When visiting the library, you will be asked to give your name and a contact number. All libraries have been asked by Government to collect the following information, to assist with the control of the Covid-19 pandemic. This information will be shared with NHS Test and Trace where requested, to identify people who may have been exposed to the virus.
Residents can have up to 30 minutes to browse for books, or can select and reserve up to six books for collection from their chosen library.
Computers are also available for public use. Due to limited availability, residents wishing to use a computer are encouraged to call their library in advance to book a slot.
Books which were borrowed before libraries were forced to close in March have been renewed until 22 September, so residents will not have incurred fines during this period.
To help ensure social distancing, the numbers of users allowed inside each library at one time will be limited, so it may be necessary to queue outside the library at busy times. Children aged 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent, carer or older sibling.
Network Rail will start work on improvements to Levenshulme Station this month.
Work is scheduled to start on Monday 28th September and finish on Friday 13th November 2020 with work taking place between 7am and 5pm.
Flooding in the subway under the platforms has been a problem for many years. The inside of the station will be upgraded with new lighting, flooring (a new concrete and resin floor), a new ceiling, cladding and painting.
The work will involve a temporary closure of the subway tunnel so the old Albert Road entrance will be reinstated permanently. This will provide access to platform 1 only until the subway reopens. Access to platform 2 will continue from the existing entrance. Access to both platforms will be available from either side of the tracks once work is completed.
Apart from the reopening of the Albert Road station entrance no other improvements will be done as part of these improvements. Friends of Levenshulme Station continue to campaign for access improvements alongside other local groups such as the LCA, local councillors (Dzidra Noor, Basat Sheikh and Bernard Stone) and our MP (Afzal Khan).
Government has directed Greater Manchester to introduce a ‘category C’ charging Clean Air Zone. This would cover local roads across the whole of Greater Manchester from spring 2022, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The intention is to to bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels on local roads within legal limits as soon as possible.
The proposed Clean Air Zone aims to:
Bring NO2 emissions within legal limits as soon as possible and by 2024 at the latest.
Discourage polluting commercial vehicles from travelling on local roads in Greater Manchester.
Encourage businesses to switch to cleaner, low- or zero-emission vehicles.
The proposed Zone would cover all local roads across Greater Manchester. It would not include motorways and some main trunk roads managed by Highways England. The exact boundary is being developed by looking in detail at the local road network and using public feedback. See the Greater Manchester boundary, and the stretches of roads which have been identified as breaching legal NO2 limits without action, on our MappingGM page.
The most polluting commercial vehicles would pay a daily charge to travel on local roads in the Zone. Private cars, motorbikes and mopeds would not be charged. The Zone would be enforced by a network of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.
The following are proposed daily charges for the non-compliant commercial vehicles:
Buses, coaches and Heavy Good Vehicles (HGV) – £60 (from spring 2022)
Taxis and private hire vehicles – £7.50 (from spring 2022)
Light Goods Vehicles (LGV) such as vans and minibuses – £10 (temporary exemption until 2023)
If the daily charge for a non-compliant vehicle isn’t paid, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £120 would be issued, in addition to the unpaid daily charge.
The 10 Greater Manchester local authorities have worked together to consider a wide range of measures to tackle air pollution, alongside a Clean Air Zone. Together, these form the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan.
The costs of introducing a Clean Air Zone are covered by government.
Further information including proposed charges are available HERE.
An eight week consultation will be launched in October 2020.
This is an announcement from The Owl and The Coconut based at The Nest at Levenshulme Old Library.
Sadly The Nest at Levenshulme won’t be reopening but all The Owl and The Coconut classes and courses will continue! They will be online for now.
We’ve absolutely loved running our wellness space The Nest from the Old Library over the past two years! From Gong Baths to Mindful Art and everything in between it’s been epic!
As the world has changed during the Covid pandemic our needs at The Owl and The Coconut have changed too. For now we’re moving all our classes and courses online, which means we need a much smaller space. So we are closing The Nest and leaving Levenshulme Old Library.
We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone at Levenshulme Old Library. And to all of you who have joined us for wellness events at The Nest over the last two years. Thank you to everyone who we have worked with, all The Nest members and partner organisations, it’s been incredible!
Our meditation and mindful art classes and courses start up again online soon! Watch this space! To be first to here about them and keep up with all things Owl and Coconut follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter or click HERE to join our mailing list.
Together let’s create pockets of peace for us all to rest in for a moment!
Big love from us all at The Owl and The Coconut xxx
Manchester City Council is half way through its ten year strategy for the city. It is now doing a survey about priorities at the half way point. You can go direct to the survey (deadline 23rd September 2020) HERE.
The questions in the survey are weighted towards prioritising issues that have already been determined but there is also opportunity to comment.
The Council’s description / introduction to the survey is below for reference or can be viewed HERE.
The current version of the “Manchester Strategy” is available HERE. The existing priorities state that the city needs to be:
Thriving — creating great jobs and healthy businesses that our people benefit from.
Filled with talent – homegrown in all our local communities as well as the world’s best.
Fair — with equal chances for all to unlock their potential, no matter where in our city they were born, or where they live.
A great place to live — with loads to do, leading the way to a low-carbon future that creates new opportunities for our residents
Buzzing with connections — world-class transport and brilliant broadband that put all Mancunians in touch with chances to get ahead.
The Council says:
“The challenge to now include everyone in this successful future is bigger than ever. But Manchester is determined to do it. We’ve seen, through the COVID spring of 2020, what coming together in new ways, and doing things differently, can achieve.
Help to reset Manchester’s ambition to be the place where everyone can be everything they want to be. Take the survey, tell us your priorities, share your ideas and let us know how you can play your part in moving Our Manchester on.”
Levenshulme Community Association is grateful to Manchester Urban Observatory for this article following contact with Dr Jen O’Brien and Prof. James Evans. We will continue to provide information and updates as they become available to help everyone understand the Active Neighbourhood proposals and be involved in the process to get the best we can for our community. This fits with several of the aims of the Levenshulme Community Manifesto.
Manchester Urban Observatory and the Levenshulme Active Neighbourhood – improving decision making with data
The Manchester Urban Observatory is part of a network of 6 Urban Observatories across England which are developing a new approach to the monitoring and understanding of cities. Our goal is to ensure future decision making is informed by a detailed appreciation of the consequences and complexity of urbanisation. The Manchester Urban Observatory is based at the University of Manchester, bringing together expertise from across the humanities, environmental sciences and health. Our role is to work with local partners to support the better planning and delivery of urban development. We operate entirely independent, with our funding secured through the UK Collaboratorium on Infrastructure and Cities.
The second stage of Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opens for applications today.
Anyone whose self-employed business has been adversely affected by coronavirus since 14 July is eligible for the scheme and will now be able to receive a second and final grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, with the money set to land in their bank accounts within six working days of making a claim.
Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme HERE
Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme HERE
Keep Britain Tidy are delivering a virtual training course for Manchester City Residents who would like to host litter picking events. Places are limited.
The course covers things like engagement, the law, street cleaning, logistics, and impact evaluation. There will also be a Q&A. It will be delivered virtually on the morning of 7th September (9.30 to 1.00 with comfort breaks) just in time for the GB September Clean.
If you’re interested and would like to book a place please email:
St Peter’s and St Mark’s Levenshulme are having a second session of their free second hand school uniform shop at St Peter’s Church on Wednesday 26th August.
This will be Covid-Secure and will need to strictly operate half hour pre-booked slots from 9.30am. Please private message George Reeves (Rector) to book a slot to collect some donated uniform. You can do this via the post on Facebook HERE
Lots of St Andrew’s, some St Mary’s, Chapel Street and bits of other schools branded sweaters are available including shirts and trousers / skirts for various ages. There are also some high school items, including some blazers.
Manchester City Council has confirmed a new opportunity for residents to organise Play Streets. The council says:
“We want more of our residents from all parts of the city to come together to close the road or street where they live to help children’s play. A group of residents can apply to close their road on a regular basis for a few hours each time so there is no danger or inconvenience from through traffic.”
Full details are available HERE including information on:
when to hold a play street session
getting support from neighbours
volunteers and marshalls
fees and how to apply for permission
getting support from your local Neighbourhood Team
Play Streets were trialled in Levenshulme in 2019 as part of the Levenshulme Active Neighbourhood Project via the Levenshulme Bee Network group. Six streets ran Play Street trials including Osborne Road and Central Avenue. There was a report on the Osborne Road trial in the Manchester Evening News which can be read HERE.
Although Levenshulme Bee Network is no longer part of the Active Neighbourhood Project that project continues and you can organise Play Streets by following the council guidance. The idea for Play Streets was borrowed from the Playing Out community project that started in Bristol in 2011. You can find out about them HERE and get ideas for how to make Play Streets work.
We have updated our Coronavirus advice pages with a new dedicated section on advice in translation. The new page includes information in 60 different languages from Doctors of the World and information in British Sign Language from SignHealth.
The government announced around 21.30 on Thursday 30th July that new restrictions would be introduced at midnight. The announcement was made by four tweets and one interview from the Secretary of State for Health who then did not appear on any of the main news bulletins. Nobody from the government bothered to appear.
These new restrictions are now in force. See below for the news reports from Thursday 30th July and the new government rules and press announcement released on 31st July.
The main change is nobody can visit another household either indoors or outdoors.
An outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, and West Yorkshire. The government and relevant local authorities are acting together to control the spread of the virus. From 31 July 2020, if you live in these parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire, you should follow these rules when meeting people who you do not live with. Separate guidance advises on the similar rules imposed in Leicester.
Affected local areas
City of Manchester
Blackburn with Darwen
If you live in one of the affected areas, in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, you should not:
meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions to be specified in law).
visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas.
socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. You may attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with others. If you run such a business, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.
The government will pass new laws to enforce the changes to meeting people in private homes and gardens. The police will be able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices (starting at £100 – halving to £50 if paid in the first 14 days – and doubling for subsequent offences).
In Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford, the following premises must remain closed by law:
indoor fitness and dance studios
indoor sports courts and facilities
indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks
Changes in restrictions
Does my household include close family members?
Your household – as defined in law – is only the people you live with. If you have formed a support bubble (which must include a single adult household i.e. people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) these can be treated as if they are members of your household.
What will be illegal?
It will be illegal for people who do not live together to meet in a private home or garden, except for limited exceptions to be set out in law. You should not host or visit people you do not live with, unless they are in your support bubble. If you live in the affected areas, you should not visit someone’s home or garden regardless of whether this is in or outside of the restricted area.
Can I still meet indoors with people in my support bubble?
Yes. Where people from single adult households (people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) have formed a support bubble with another household, they can continue to visit each other, stay overnight, and visit other public places as if they were one household.
Can I still meet people outdoors?
In line with the national guidance, you can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces in groups of no more than six people, unless the group includes only people from two households. You cannot meet people you do not live within a private garden.
At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with – unless they are in your support bubble.
I live in this area. Can I still meet with my family and friends to celebrate Eid?
Due to higher rates of infection, if you live in this area you should not host or visit friends and family in each other’s homes or gardens. It will shortly be illegal to do so, unless specific exemptions apply. You also should not meet friends and family in other venues – including restaurants or cafes.
Up to two households, or six people from any number of households may meet outdoors (excluding people’s gardens) where there is a lower risk of infection. If you do so, you should still socially distance from those you do not live with, and avoid physical contact.
You may attend a mosque or other place or worship, where Covid-19 Secure guidance applies, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings). We recommend at this time that, if possible, prayer/religious services take place outdoors.
Can I still go to work in this area?
Yes. People living inside and outside of this area can continue to travel in and out for work. Workplaces must implement Covid-19 Secure guidance.
I live in this area. Can I still go to cafes, restaurants, the gym and other public places?
Yes. But you should only go with members of your own household – even if you are going outside of the restricted area.
I live in the area. Can people from outside of the lockdown area visit me at my house?
No. This will be illegal.
Do I still have to shield if I live in this area?
Clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer have to follow the shielding guidance from the 1 August, unless they live in Blackburn with Darwen in the North West and other local affected areas across England where shielding continues.
Can I visit a care home?
You should not visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances.
Can I still have my wedding if it’s in the lockdown area?
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies in these areas can still go ahead. No more than 30 people should attend a marriage or civil partnership, where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing in a COVID-19 secure venue. Further guidance can be found here.
Large wedding receptions or parties should not currently be taking place and any celebration after the ceremony should follow the broader social distancing guidance of involving no more than two households in any location or, if outdoors, up to six people from different households.
Can I travel outside of the lockdown area to attend a wedding ceremony?
Can I travel into the lockdown area to attend a wedding ceremony?
Yes. Weddings should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
People living outside the lockdown areas may travel into the areas to attend a wedding, but should not go into a private home or garden.
Can I still visit a place of worship in the lockdown area?
Yes, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (e.g. face coverings). We recommend at this time that if possible prayer/religious services take place outdoors.
Can funerals still take place in the lockdown areas?
Yes. Funerals should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
People living outside the lockdown areas may travel into the areas to attend a funeral.
Can I holiday in the lockdown area, or visit shops, leisure facilities, or cafes in it?
Yes. However, you must avoid socialising with people indoors when doing so.
Can I travel in a car with someone I do not live with?
You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or social bubble. If you need to, try to:
share the transport with the same people each time
keep to small groups of people at any one time
open windows for ventilation
travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow face away from each other
consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering
The Department for Transport has provided specific guidance on using private vehicles. Please see their guidance on private cars and other vehicles for more information on car sharing and traveling with people outside your household group.
The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has this evening announced that new rules on social gatherings will be introduced in Northern England to stop the spread of COVID-19. These changes will also apply in Leicester city.
This is in response to an increasing trend in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the area, and data from PHE and the JBC which suggests transmission among households is a key infection pathway in the area.
The areas that these changes apply to are:
The Greater Manchester area
Blackburn with Darwen
It means people in these areas will not be permitted to mix with other households (apart from those in their support bubbles) in private homes or gardens.
Some exemptions will be put in place, including for the vulnerable.
The government will sign new regulations to make these changes legally enforceable.
The regulations will give local authorities and police forces the powers to enforce these restrictions and more details on these will be set out when the regulations are published.
Households may go to hospitality, for instance bars and pubs, but new guidance will make clear that two households should not go to hospitality together.
Meanwhile local leaders and government have today agreed a number of changes to local restrictions in other areas.
While social gathering restrictions remain in place in Leicester City, the area will benefit from the lifting of restrictions that took place on 4 July in England, and all local restrictions currently in place in the neighbouring borough of Oadby and Wigston will end.
It means from Monday 3 August restaurants, cafes, bars and hairdressers in Leicester City can get back to business but leisure centres, gyms and pools will remain closed. In addition, cinemas and museums will open and religious ceremonies will be able to take place.
And on Saturday 1 August, Luton will be brought in line with the rest of the country after significant progress has been made in controlling the virus.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
We’re constantly looking at the latest data on the spread of coronavirus, and unfortunately we’ve seen an increasing rate of transmission in parts of Northern England.
We’ve been working with local leaders across the region, and today I chaired a meeting of the Local Action Gold Committee. Based on the data, we decided that in Greater Manchester, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire we need to take immediate action to keep people safe.
The spread is largely due to households meeting and not abiding to social distancing. So from midnight tonight, people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other indoors in these areas.
We take this action with a heavy heart, but we can see increasing rates of coronavirus across Europe and are determined to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe.
The restrictions currently in place in Blackburn, announced last Friday, which saw indoor swimming pools, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor gyms and sports facilities remaining closed, will continue.
From Saturday, these leisure facilities will open in Luton, bringing it in line with the rest of the country.
We have been working closely with local leaders across Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire and have made the decision to bring in new restrictions on social gatherings for selected areas.
For those preparing to celebrate Eid Al Adha this weekend with friends and family these restrictions will come as a blow but everyone is being urged to follow the new rules and to protect the ones they love from catching coronavirus.
Mosques and other places of worship have reopened for prayer and communal worship, but in a different socially distanced and COVID-19 Secure way. This means that while mosques can remain open, many will not able to welcome as many worshippers as before.
Anyone with any symptoms must isolate immediately and get a test for free by going online or ringing 119. Everyone must continue to socially distance and regularly their wash hands to help bring this virus down further so all areas of Leicester can return to normal as soon as possible.
What did you do during lockdown? Well, Ciara Leeming did a photography project documenting the people in our community. Levy Lockdown Portraits is a record of lockdown through photographs of people in their windows.
“It started with my street. A few weeks into lockdown, in mid-April 2020, I asked if any of my neighbours would let me photograph them as a way of documenting this odd period of history. These inaugural window portraits went down well – they were surreal and interesting and I needed something creative to do. So I kept going.
I approached friends in Levenshulme, Manchester, and, when I shared the work on social media, potential participants began finding me. I approached people on the street and knocked on doors when plant displays, window decorations or chalk slogans caught my eye.
I photographed households from many local communities, captured the socially-distanced VE Day and Eid celebrations, and met loads of interesting people along the way.
By the time lockdown restrictions began being eased at the end of May, I’d made 260 portraits, over 38 days of shooting. Every portrait was made within cycling distance of my home, often with my two young sons in tow.“
Given the historic nature of this time – and the local appreciation for the project – the obvious next step was to turn the series into a physical book. This will now definitely happen as the original fundraising target for Levy Lockdown Portraits has been reached. The stretched target ends on Saturday 1st August. You can see options and contribute and secure copies of the book HERE
Ciara Leeming is a print journalist and documentary photographer who has lived in Levenshulme, Manchester, since 2004. Read an article about Ciara and her project in the Manchester Evening News HERE
Back for another year! This year is a little different of course. It’s 2020, and we’re all embracing the unknown. Rather than swapping your commute, simply ride anywhere, for any reason and with anyone. It’s still Cycle to Work Day, but with a new twist!
Whether you’ve still got a commute or not, you can get involved. This year, joining in with Cycle to Work Day means trying something different. Whether it’s early morning exercise, leaving the car on the drive as you nip to the shops, or going for a socially distanced cycle with friends and family. You might even be able to squeeze in a quick lunch-break ride. Whatever journey you’re planning on Thursday 6th August 2020, get on your bike!
Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre has reopened to members on a limited basis from today (25th July 2020). The Centre will open to the public from 1st August with swimming available as well as gym facilities but the library will remain closed for the time being.
Full information on the staged reopening is available HERE
Manchester City Council has been allocated funding from the (Greater Manchester) Mayor’s Challenge Funding (MCF) to improve the Fallowfield Loop. Funding will go towards cycling and walking improvements to help the public safely make essential trips by walking, cycling and other active modes of travel. Measures that are already being looked at include:
Providing Street Lighting along the route.
Introduce more litter bins and seating areas.
Widening the route to 3 metres or more.
Introduce new areas of public realm for everyone to enjoy.
The Fallowfield Loop proposals are the latest of Manchester’s Bee Network proposals to be developed and the Council is asking for feedback to help determine the details of the plan.
The marvellous Station South project has confirmed it has secured £100,000 funding from Railway Heritage Trust for further works:
“Good news to report that Railway Heritage Trust has committed to match fund to the tune of £100,000 in the next phase of building works to bring the railway building and structure back to everyday use, one of their key aims. We’re going to get one of those cool railway heritage plaques as well when it’s all done.”
This big project continues to progress with the help and support of people across Levenshulme and beyond.
You may also have noticed the Station South Community Collage on the advertising hoarding beside the building:
“We were feeling the need to do something creative in the midst of all of the Covid-19 unknowns. We decided to ask that the talents of the neighbourhood help us out and create a little visual booster for passers by on our Advertising Board.”
See the full update on Station South on their website HERE
Levenshulme Bee Network held a series of Webinars at the weekend (4-5th July 2020). You can watch these below or on the LBN website HERE
There were four Webinars, one for each “Park Area” Levenshulme Bee Network has identified for its project. LBN says the purpose of the Webinars was:
“…to talk through the design rationale for the trials, a bit of background on the project engagement and how the funding works for the scheme. It was also a chance for residents of each area to ask questions about the proposed filters and the wider project.”
Levenshulme Bee Network Webinars, 4-5th July 2020
There were questions submitted in advance and also viewers could type questions in live during the Webinars.
An article in the Manchester Evening News today (28 June 2020) raises concerns about the Levenshulme Bee Network proposals. This follows the announcement by Manchester City Council this week of a “pause” to the proposed trial that was due to start in July to allow for further consultation.
There is an extract below and you can read the full article HERE
“When plans to create a ‘fully-filtered’ neighbourhood through Levenshulme were first announced, there was enthusiasm from residents for how the area could soon become the most cycle-friendly place in Greater Manchester.
But as the impact of the plans is becoming clearer, disquiet is growing in the south Manchester suburb.
The Levenshulme Bee Network’s plans would see roads blocked to traffic by ‘modal filters’ that favour cyclists, school streets – which would restrict traffic during particular hours to make it safer for families to walk – and bus gates, stretches of road that are only open to buses, black cabs and push bikes.
The scheme would impact over 40 roads, junctions and schools.
But, following the publication of a map showing the locations of the proposed changes, some locals are concerned that traffic will be pushed into already busy roads to the benefit of quieter streets.
Others have complained that it could impact local businesses – and that the area’s elderly and non-English speaking residents have been shut out of what is supposed to be a community led project.”
Following intervention by Manchester City Council and local councillors the Levenshulme Bee Network project has been “paused” to allow for further consultation.
This follows considerable concern across our community after the Levenshulme Bee Network released proposals for a trial of 29 vehicle road blocks (referred to as “modal filters”) across the area.
The maps released by Levenshulme Bee Network at the end of May also included other things such as a series of new and improved pedestrian crossings, bike racks, a “parklet” and several bus gates blocking the road to other vehicles but these are not part of the trial that was due to start in July.
Levenshulme Community Association will continue to ensure our community is informed and involved as further information is available about what this means including how people can contribute and have their voices heard.
Dave Lythgoe who was Levenshulme’s Cobbler for many years has died.
If you wish to pay your respects Dave’s funeral cortège will pause for one minute outside his old shop under the veranda on Stockport Road at 1.50pm tomorrow (Wednesday 24th June 2020). Please gather in plenty of time and respect social distancing. The cortège will then turn left down Albert Road and on towards Southern Cemetery.
People will also be gathering from 1.30pm outside Fiddler’s Green Pub on Stockport Road.
Please see below for a tribute to Dave by Lawrence Hennigan, Chair of Levenshulme Trader’s Association and member of Levenshulme Community Association Core Group.
Read the Manchester Evening News article with more tributes and memories of Dave HERE
A trial will start in July 2020 of some of the Levenshulme Bee Network changes to our roads. 29 locations will have changes with roads being blocked to vehicle traffic. But which roads will not be affected?
Residents have made their own maps to help people see which routes will not have road blocks to vehicles on them starting in July (referred to as “modal filters”). These roads are likely to have significantly increased traffic.
The reason these have been done is the Levenshulme Bee Network maps do not show which roads traffic in the area will be redirected onto and can be used as “through routes”. They have been done by residents to help everyone understand the impact of the project and so people can plan how to change the routes they take from July.
Roads that traffic will be diverted onto:
Slade Lane (north of Albert Road)
See below for the maps. Further information on the July changes can be found HERE
There is a short survey available on re-opening Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre.
“As we look towards the reopening of our centres, we would love to hear from you! Please use the link below to complete our short survey and feel free to share! What do you use most at the centre? What have you missed the most and are you looking forward to coming back.”
The latest service update from Better (operators of Arcadia) on 31 May says:
Reopening plans for our leisure centres will focus on ensuring we have safe, hygienic facilities that make the most of our unique indoor and outdoor spaces, ensuring we can give you plenty of space to use for your chosen exercise.
We are hopeful that some of our centres will be open from early July, but as you will appreciate the final timetable will be driven by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer and the government. We are also working with all other leisure centre and gym providers to develop safe, but customer friendly, systems of operation.
An update on improvements to Levenshulme Station from Afzal Khan MP
Thanks to pressure from Afzal Khan MP together with Levenshulme’s Labour councillors and local campaigners, there is now a start date for work to improve Levenshulme station. For many years, passengers have been subjected to flooding, poor lighting and an overall lack of cleanliness at the station, and it is hoped this work will dramatically improve passenger experience.
Earlier this year, local MP Afzal Khan visited Levenshulme station with representatives from Northern and Network Rail and walked through planned upgrades. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the upgrades due to start in Spring 2020 were significantly delayed. This week, Network Rail informed Mr Khan that works are now due to start in September 2020.
Afzal Khan MP said,
“I am delighted to have a new start date for the work. Levenshulme Station is a critical transport hub for the local community. Community groups, councillors and I have been campaigning for station improvements for many years and I am pleased that our hard work is starting to pay off.”
“Despite this good news, I will be continuing to campaign to make our station accessible for all Levenshulme residents. It was incredibly disappointing that we were not awarded any Access for All funding from the Department for Transport in the last round of bidding, despite submitting a strong bid backed by a great community campaign. The truth is that the Tory Government has not allocated enough money for this work, and at the current rate it will take over fifty years for all of Greater Manchester’s stations to be made accessible.”
Cllr Bernard Stone said,
“Levenshulme’s Labour councillors – Dzidra [Noor] , Basat [Sheikh] and I – welcome the long overdue work being undertaken at Levenshulme Station. Local residents and Councillors have been pushing for this to be done for a long time. It is good to now have a definite start date.”