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.
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.”
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:
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.
The LGBT Foundation has launched a befriending service to help people during the covid19 lockdown.
“Our new telephone befriending programme Rainbow Brew Buddies aims to reduce loneliness for LGBT people across Greater Manchester who may have reduced opportunities to make social connections due to the recent coronavirus outbreak or other circumstances in their life.
Those who sign up for the service will be allocated a buddy, who will have received training from LGBT Foundation and have passed a DBS check. You will then “get-together” over the phone with them for a brew and a chat at least once a week for around 30 minutes.”
Full details are available on the LGBT Foundation website HERE
is there a threat to life (including road traffic incidents where someone is injured or the road is blocked)
does it feel like the situation could get heated or violent very soon
is there a risk of serious damage to property
is a serious offence in progress
there’s serious disruption to the public or there could be
If so, please call 999 now.If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS serviceExternal Link.
If you’re concerned about a business or venue that’s open and you don’t think it should be, please check the guidance on this first.
We’re seeking to resolve situations where people appear to be or are contravening the government advice on physical social distancing and the stay at home measures without resorting to enforcement and issuing fines.
Please only tell us about something if you feel there is a significant issue or breach which you think we need to know about.
Use the form available HERE to report any concerns about breaches of the regulations and where they are.
The government is building several new hospitals across the UK to cope with the demand placed on the NHS because of the Covid19 crisis. The Manchester “Nightingale” hospital is being contracted in the Manchester Central Convention Complex (formerly known as the G-Mex).
If you are a member of Manchester Libraries, you can access the website or app PressReader. There are over 5000 newspaper and magazine titles from more than 100 countries, in over 60 languages for free!
All the UK newspapers are there, including the Independent, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.
To sign up you just need your library card and pin number. You can access PressReader on your PC or download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play.
Newsbank is another website available for free offering a digital range of regional and international English language newspapers, including The Manchester Evening News , The Guardian , The Times , The Daily Mirror , The Daily Mail , and The Daily Express .
Includes international newspapers such as The New York Times , The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), The Times of India , The Nation (Islamabad), and The Irish Times .
You’ll need to contact the school yourself if it isn’t listed.
If your child’s school is outside Manchester, their free school meals will be dealt with by the local authority the school is in. Go to the GOV.UK website and enter the postcode of the school your child attends to find out how to get them.
Which children qualify for them?
Your child may qualify if you have any of these incomes:
income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
income-related Employment and Support Allowance
the guaranteed part of Pension Credit
Child Tax Credit (as long as your annual gross income is £16,190 or less and you don’t get Working Tax Credit)
Working Tax Credit run-off after you come off Working Tax Credit
Universal Credit that you applied for on, or after, 1 April 2018. As long as your household income is less than £7,400 a year after tax, not including any benefits
Children who receive these benefits themselves instead of through a parent or guardian, can also qualify for free school meals.
Your child may qualify if you are an asylum seeker.
Children who are eligible for free school meals now will be eligible for them until either:
they finish school; or
if on 31 March 2022 they are still in school, until they finish the phase of schooling they are in (primary or secondary) –
whichever is sooner.
Infant free school meals in England
All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can get free school meals whatever your income. But if you have one of the qualifying incomes (above) it will help the school if you tell them this, so they can get extra funding.
The LCA is holding two Hustings meetings for the 2019 local elections.
19.30, Thursday 18th April, The Klondyke, 1 Burnage Range, Levenshulme
19.30, Thursday 25th April, The Klondyke, 1 Burnage Range, Levenshulme
These are open, public meetings where anyone can question candidates directly. The full list of candidates is provided below.
Ward boundaries were changed in 2018 with Levenshulme Ward now expanded to include much of what was previously the Gorton South Ward which has been abolished. Burnage Ward has also expanded and now includes a big chunk of what was previously Levenshulme Ward running right up to Albert Road.
Please share and promote these Hustings. They are your opportunity to question candidates who will represent us on Manchester City Council.
The list of candidates for the Manchester Gorton parliamentary by-election has been confirmed.
ABIDOGUN, Kemi (Christian Peoples Alliance)
CLIFFORD, Peter (Communist League)
DISCO, The Irrelevant Johnny (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party)
ECKERSLEY, Phil (UK Independence Party (UKIP))
GALLOWAY, George (Independent)
HOPKINS, David Michael
JARADAT, Shaden (Conservative Party)
KHAN, Mohammed Afzal (Labour Party)
KHANDOKER, Sufi Miah (Independent)
MAYO, Jess (Green Party)
PEARCEY, Jackie (Liberal Democrats)
The hustings for candidates organised by Levenshulme Community Association takes place on Saturday 22nd April at the Jain Community Centre, 667/669 Stockport Road, Manchester, M12 4QE, starting at 19.00.
Manchester City Council is consulting on future funding arrangements for voluntary and community organisations.
“We fund many voluntary and community sector organisations. They’re an important part of the city providing care, support and help to Manchester people.
We want to make sure we get the best value for money, and provide that money in a way that helps organisations to do good work.
Over the past few months we have been working with a ‘co-design group’ made up of people from the council, voluntary and community sector organisations and the NHS, to come up with some new options for funding the voluntary sector in Manchester. We’ve based these proposals on the Our Manchester Strategy.”
Levenshulme Community Association has organised a Community Forum on policing, crime, safety and securty for Wednesday 11th January, 19.00 at the Klondyke (1 Burnage Range) following a reported rape of a 12 year old girl.
The meeting is public and an opportunity to hear from Greater Manchester Police and councillors. There will also be the chance to raise any questions or concerns directly on crime and policing in the area.
This is understandably receiving considerable media coverage.
Once again Levenshulme Community Association is organising hustings for the local elections. All candidates have been invited. Everyone is welcome. These are open, public meetings and an opportunity for anyone to ask questions of any candidates in the May local elections.
A single transport card for Manchester is on hold following a complete failure of the Atos company to deliver the system for Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).
The scheme – similar to the Oyster Card system in London – is being rethought after it became clear Atos was completely incapable of delivering the system. The MEN reports that according to TfGM all costs incurred (£15m) have been refunded by Atos and TfGM will now explore how to get the failed project moving again.
There does not appear to be any comment from Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester Mayor, who is responsible for transport across Greater Manchester.
Levenshulme’s Bankley Studios is offering a residency for a local artist from Greater Manchester.
Residency opportunity for an artist based in Greater Manchester
Bankley Studios would like to offer the opportunity of a two-month residency in Bankley’s project space ‘Studio20’ to an artist based in the Greater Manchester area. We are particularly interested in hearing from artists who may not be able to participate in intensive creative practice away from home due to various other commitments. We welcome applications from artists working in all types of contemporary visual art, including two- and three-dimensional practices, installation, new media, moving image and performance.
Taking place during May and June 2016, the residency will offer the artist space and time to experiment and test ideas, and to produce a new body of work for an exhibition in our newly renovated Gallery Space. The Artist will be supported by the Project Space Team and receive one-on-one mentoring sessions with a curator in preparation for their show.
During the residency Bankley will be hosting talks and critical discussions with artists and arts professionals around the theme of ‘Process’. The artist in residence may wish to contribute towards this event, i.e. with an Artist Talk or Open studio event.
The residency includes:
24h access to a free studio space at Bankley’s Project Space ‘Studio20’
£200 stipend towards materials
2-week solo exhibition in the Gallery Space, either immediately following the residency or scheduled later in the year (to be agreed with the artist)
Mentoring by a curator who will work with the artist in the installation of the show
The artist will be encouraged to hold their own artist talk and/or or Open Studio event and to add to the Bankley blog whilst in residence
Artists will be required to submit an application form (see below) alongside 5 images of current work (in .jpeg format, no larger than 1 MB each) and an Artist CV. Selected artists will then be invited for an interview with members of the Bankley committee before the final decision is made.
Deadline for applications: Friday 18th March 2016
Interviews will take place in April 2016.
Further information about Bankley Studios can be found HERE
After years of campaigns, consultations, marches, plans, occupations, letters, meetings, talking and even quite a bit of dancing the people of Levenshulme can now celebrate as our new Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre throws open its doors.
Here are a few photographs of the new Arcadia. These are the third set in the series of photographs recording the old Levensulme Baths, the original Levenshulme Library and now the new Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre.
Arcadia is a brand new £9.3m facility. It is managed and operated by Greenwich Leisure Limited under the Better brand through a contract with Manchester City Council. GLL are experts in managing leisure facilities. The facilities were built by Laing O’Rourke both on time and on budget. The quality and attention to detail is very impressive. Arcadia includes:
Community Library of 300 square metres including dedicated children’s library
Over 20 free computers
Free wifi throughout the centre
Two swimming pools
Flexible changing rooms that can provide dedicated access to one pool for use by specific groups or for private hire
Multipurpose Community Studio for exercise classes or community activities or meetings
60 station gym with additional free weights
Sauna – up to 12 people
Steam room – up to 12 people
Disabled access throughout with a large lift and easy access for the pools
A buggy store
Arcadia stands as a wonderful facility and proof of what can be achieved when there is a genuine cooperative, positive collaboration between residents, our community, councillors, council officers, designers and developers.
With news that Tony Lloyd* has confirmed his intention to stand for the position of Greater Manchester Mayor the Manchester Evening News has suggested a few other possible candidates.
The MEN offers a shortlist of actual and potential candidates:
Tony Lloyd (Labour Party)
Richard Leese (Labour Party)
Ivan Lewis (Labour Party)
Hazel Blears (Labour Party)
Jonathan Reynolds (Labour Party)
Julie Reid (Labour Party)
According to the options suggested the MEN appears to think that only Labour Party politicians will stand for election as Greater Manchester Mayor.
Included on the list is local Councillor Julie Reid (Gorton South Ward) whose ward covers much of Levenshulme.
Billed as the only “Corbynista” to have been touted as a potential candidate the MEN says: “Councillor Reid has reportedly been vocal among colleagues in expressing n interest [in standing for Greater Manchester Mayor]“.
* Tony Lloyd is currently Greater Mnchester Mayor after being appointed to the role without any election last year when the leaders of Greater Manchester councils signed up to the devolution deal offered by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Councillor Julie Reid (Gorton South Ward). Photo courtesy of the MEN.
Councils across Greater Manchester join together to share access to almost 3 million books from this weekend.
Everyone living in Manchester, Bolton, Oldham , Rochdale, Salford, Stockport and Trafford will be able to borrow books from scores of sites across Greater Manchester – rather than just libraries in their own boroughs with Tameside council joining later this year.
This is perfect timing just before the new Levenshulme library opens on Saturday 20th February in the new £9.3m Arcadia Levenshulme Library and Leisure Centre on Stockport Road.
Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tony Loyd, is spending almost a million pounds of funding from the Greater Manchester Police budget on a project to get neighbourhoods to do things to reduce demand for police services in 2016.
The GMPCC website says: “Communities across Greater Manchester are being invited to bid for a slice of £900,000 to reduce demand on police services by building strong neighbourhoods, boosting volunteering, and empowering our region’s young people.”
The funds available:
Commissioner’s neighbourhood fund
Grants of up to £1000 (from a total fund of £200,000)
Active citizens’ fund
Grants of up to £5000 (from a total fund of £200,000)
Youth aspiration fund
Grants of up to £30,000 (from a total fund of £500,000)
We are pleased to confirm that the new £9.3m Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre situated in the heart of Levenshulme on the A6 will open on Saturday 20th February 2016.
This will be the culmination of a long and hard fought campaign by the LCA and Levenshulme residents and groups to keep our existing baths and library open and then to replace them with new facilities.
This is an amazing success story in hard times. It is a story of a community coming together to fight for its facilities. It is a story of Manchester City Council working positively and productively with our community. It is a story of responsive and engaging council officers. It is a story of political differences and collective action. Above all, it is a success story that the people of Levenshulme should be proud of.
We hope to see as many people as possible celebrate the opening of Arcadia with us. Further details will be made available as soon as they are confirmed.
Here are a few photographs from December. This was during a tour after the LCA Community Forum Meeting.
Oh, and here is Jean Bernard and Jeremy Hoad. We could resist a trip in the lift.
Here is an update from Greater Manchester Police regarding the various firearms incidents over the holiday period.
“Police have made five arrests this week after recent shootings in Manchester.
Detectives investigating ongoing disputes between Manchester crime groups have made five arrests this week in connection with firearms discharges.
On Wednesday 6 January 2016, a 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a 22-year-old man was shot in the chest on Salisbury Road in Moss Side. He has since been bailed.
Two men have been arrested in connection with a firearm discharge that took place in the Milford Drive area of Levenshulme on Monday 4 January. A 27-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday 6 January 2016 on suspicion of firearms offences, violent disorder and criminal damage. A second man was arrested on Thursday 7 January 2016 also on suspicion of firearms offences, violent disorder and criminal damage. They have since been bailed.
Today, Friday 8 January 2016, two men have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder after two firearms discharges on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day on Lytham Road in Levenshulme. A 26-year-old man and a 30-year-old man are currently in police custody.
Superintendent David Pester from GMP’s South Manchester Division said: “This week our officers have worked incredibly hard in difficult circumstances to bring those who are using guns on our streets to justice.
“We have arrested five men who are connected to the organised crime groups we have been investigating, but we still have a long way to go.
“We understand that the community are still very concerned about these ongoing disputes and I’d like to reassure them that we are doing all that we can to address their concerns.
“This week we have met with community leaders and elected members and we will continue to update everyone about the ongoing investigations. Officers, supported by officers from the Force Major Incident Team and specialist resources, are working tirelessly around the clock to bring the offenders to justice.
“We still need the community’s help to rid these offenders from the streets of Manchester, so, if you have any information that could help our investigation, please get in touch. Every piece of information, no matter how large or small could be vital.
“We still have a long way to go, and a lot of work still needs to be done but we want this to be a message to those out there that know they have been behaving recklessly and putting innocent lives in danger.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 4223 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”
West Point Residents Association in conjunction with local Councillors have organised a special meeting next Tuesday 12th January (7pm) at Birchfields Primary School, Lytham Road.
This will be an opportunity for local residents to hear from and put questions to GMP officers and local Councillors following the two recent incidents in Lytham Road.
Another meeting has been organised at the Klondyke, Burnage Range on Wednesday 13th January (7pm).
People across Levenahulme are increasingly concerned after a spate of gunshot incidents across the area. Guns have been fired in the area three times in less than two weeks in what is thought to be gang related incidents. Nobody has been injured.
The latest report from the Mnchester Evening News is available HERE
If you have any information on any of these incidents you should contact Greater Manchester Police on 0161 856 6078 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111
Levenshulme artists Paul Magrs and Daniel Pittsboth have paintings in the Freedom from Torture North West Art Auction 2015.
The auction takes place on Thursday, 12 November, 2015, 18:00 to 22.00 at Z-Arts, 335 Stretford Rd, Hulme, Manchester M15 5Z
Grants are available from Manchester City Council to celebrate International Women’s Day 2016 for events and activities held in March 2016.
International Women’s Day recognises women’s achievements and highlights the continued struggle for equal rights and equality for women. As the birthplace of women’s suffrage in the UK, Manchester has always been at the heart of the women’s movement. We’ve been celebrating International Women’s Day for more than 25 years.
The application form and guidance is available HERE
The closing date for applications is Tuesday 17th November at 17.00.
The Breakfast In Bed project set up by Jamie Whittaker has been profiled in an article in the Guardian.
The best summary of this Levenshulme based project is this:
“…the power of community, of the kindness that occurs when ordinary people come together.”
Levenshulme people overcome adversity, support each other, fight for their community and reach out to others in many different ways.
“Jamie Whittaker started bringing breakfast to homeless people on the streets of Manchester in January. “I had a week off work and I was walking from one train station to another. It was freezing, and there were 10 [homeless] people. They were all supposed to have been offered temporary accommodation because it is that cold, but it was all lies. They shouldn’t have been there.” So he took matters into his own hands.
As with many of the grassroots groups and projects that have sprung up under austerity, social media has played a huge role in the campaigning and organising. Whittaker, 35, who works shifts at a children’s home, started posting about the homelessness problem on the Facebook group Levy Massive, a community group for local people in Levenshume. He gained donations and volunteers as a result. Breakfast in Bed is not a charity and is not government-funded – local businesses and people have donated their time, labour, money and food to keep the project going. The project’s own Facebook group now has more than 800 members and new volunteers are joining all the time.”
(Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian)
The article goes on to mention the involvement and support of the local community.
“…Whittaker is… keen to point out that the volunteers act as go-betweens for two, often conflicting sides. He says: “We reach people they don’t reach, people they don’t know are there, and who are trying to stay off the radar. People who have burnt bridges with the council … we hope that we’re able to rebuild those connections.” With more donations, he’s hoping that the group can start helping to house people as well. They already hold monthly “pop-up” events. This month, it’s the haircuts.
At Shine, a salon in Levenshume, the atmosphere is almost festive, thanks to the cheery manner of the staff and the Shepherd’s pie steaming in the corner. Soon all the chairs are full. Joanne is given a new, chic bob, while Dave, an alcoholic who has been homeless on and off for 15 years, gets a shave and a cut. At the back of the room another staff member rolls cigarettes almost as quickly as they are smoked. A staffie darts about in excitement. The event is a testament to the power of community, of the kindness that occurs when ordinary people come together. In its matter-of-fact Mancunian way, it’s very moving. Outside, where there are extra seats, people are eating. A man cries as his hair is cut. Others are worrying about the freezing temperatures to come, that groups such as this can’t ever fully breach the widening gaps in services.”
Another new school is being planned near us. This time in Rusholme in addition to the new school run by the Dean Trust opening in Ardwick.
Great to see Manchester City Council planning for the future and committing itself to a good model of educational provision. Council statement and consultation:
“We’re planning to open a brand new secondary school in Rusholme in September 2017 to meet the growing demand for places in the area. And we want to know what you think.
The school will be built on land just off Lytham Road. It will be for girls and boys, and have eight forms for each year group.
Manchester City Council is consulting on planning guidance for hot food takeaways. This would be come part of the council’s Strategic Plan as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).
The consultation is available HERE
If you wish to comment you must register with the council’s consultation portal. You can do this by following the instruction on the link above.
The council’s introduction is provided below:
The City Council intend to prepare a Hot Food Takeaway Supplementary Planning Document and would welcome any comments you have on this issue.
The Manchester Core Strategy includes a number of policies relevant to Hot Food Takeaways and the intention of the SPD is to provide further detail on these policies. A copy of the Core Strategy can be found on the City Council’s website HERE
We are particularly interested in how you think planning policy relating to hot food takeaways can support the most appropriate mix of uses within our District and Local Centres and promote healthy lifestyles, especially for young people.
We would like your views about the right planning policy for Hot Food Takeaways.
Levenshulme Contemporary Art Centre (LCAC) activities start today with an exhibition at Bankley Mill (19.00) and a launch party at Fred’s Ale House (21.00). Even before that readings on the Village Green happen at 12.00 and 20.00.
There are loads of events and activities on over the next seventeen days from imaginary bike rides to a marathon reading of Das Kapital Karl Marx, discussions about regeneration, home and the urban environment, readings and discussions of work by Marxist geographer David Harvey, Communist era children’s games from Poland and a public intervention to highlight access to public services at the railway station: “To show our desire to use the station we will form a queue to fail to get up the stairs.”
Far from failing LCAC are showing what can be achieved with £2,210 funding from Levenshulme Market Fund to produce a packed programme of events by Levenshulme artists, philosophers and residents to revitalise our High Street and attract people to our community.
This is genuine local direct action and imagination at work and what fringe events should be all about during the Manchester International Festival. An explosion of creativity emerging organically from a vibrant, diverse, challenging and exciting community like Levenshulme.
There will be a meeting for the campaign to have Levenshulme Library converted into a community centre (once the library service moves out next year. )
Wednesday 8th July at 6pm at Levenshulme Library
Following the public meeting on the 16th June at Inspire, it was agreed to form a constituted community organisation, that in time could develop into a management organmisation for the library building.
Initially it will be a simple ‘un-incorporated association’ that can open a bank account to hold funds, form a wide membership of local people and elect people to help the community govern the association. Based on a charitable constitution, that can be developed further as plans evolve.
If you wish to support this exciting development and back the campaign please come along to the meeting above. We will be adopting our first constitution.
At the last meeting a number of other proposals were made:
To visit other buildings to find out what works, what doesn’t, what’s involved … whatever we can learn from them.
Undertake a survey of skills in our community that can contribute to the campaign.
Research the history of the Carnegie endowment, that provided the community with the building in the first place.
Network and connect with as many individuals, community groups, facilities, and interests in the community as we possibly can.
Invite Manchester City Council to meet with us, and offer whatever support they can to the campaign.
Find a good name and brand for the new facility… any designers, publicists, marketeers or PR people out there… your community needs you!!
Please come along. Everyone is welcome. “Meet nice people who care about our community, have your say and show your support.”
The next meeting of Levenshulme Neighbourhood Planning Forum will take place on Thursday 16th July 2015, 19.00 at the Inspire Centre on Stockport Road.
The meeting will consider and agree the area defined for the Forum, constituting the Forum as a group and electing the first committee members to help take the idea further and make the Forum a reality.
Exciting steps to move forward and formally establish a Forum so that the people of Levenshulme can have a direct influence over what happens in our area.
Levenshulme often smells of warm biscuits thanks to the McVities factory on Stockport Road. That satisfies most people’s biscuity cravings. But it wasn’t enough for Josie Stripe who wrote to McVities proposing a drive-thru.
After presenting a strong case Ms Stripe concludes by saying:
“A McVities drive-thru would fill both the market and my stomach, and I would dearly love to see it succeed.”
The whole of Levenshulme, if not Manchester, is behind you, Josie.
Manchester City Council has killed off its CASH Grant scheme for council wards and replaced it with a new Neighbourhood Investment Fund (NIF) worth £10,000 less per ward.
CASH Grants of £30,000 per year were previously available to each Ward with local councillors deciding on where and how the money was spent. These have now been abolished and replaced withthe NIF that provides up to £20,000 per ward each year.
The new scheme comes into effect immediately from today (Monday 22nd June 2015). Information from Manchester City Council states:
“Local people and community groups can have a huge impact in their community and Manchester City Council remains committed to supporting activity that improves neighbourhoods and enhances peoples lives.”
The fund is open to established groups, voluntary groups and other community groups, as well as groups of residents working together for the first time. School Parent Teacher Associations can also apply if they have the support of local residents and parents and the project benefits the wider community as well as the school.
Your group must have a bank account in order to receive any approved funding, or have permission from another group to receive the funding for you as a referee. Payment can not be made to personal bank accounts.
NIF funding is available for projects that fall in to the following categories:
Work & Skills
Projects that help people in a community to get back in to work by offering additional learning and opportunities to improve skills. It could also help fund any activities relating to coaching, mentoring or volunteering.
New groups can bid for initial seed funding to get an idea off the ground, become more recognised in the local neighbourhood and actively engage the community with activities. Established groups could also receive one off funding to help support smaller groups and deliver local projects.
Improving the Environment and Increase Recycling
Groups looking to organise community clean ups or planting projects can bid – with special encouragement for ideas focussed on increased recycling and waste reduction in a community.
Other Activities and Events
Applications will be considered for events that benefit the community and support the ward priorities of the local area. Any ideas should be discussed with your local Regeneration Ward Officer before applying.
What you can’t get funding for
Some projects, activities, events or schemes do not fall within the criteria for a neighbourhood investment funds, therefore applications will not be considered for the following:
Projects that do not directly benefit Manchester residents;
Traffic-calming schemes or CCTV;
Projects that simply replace existing facilities with no significant improvement;
Projects that improve or benefit privately owned land to which the public have no access and un-adopted roads and footpaths;
Projects that have already been completed or will have been by the time the grant is issued;
Ongoing revenue funding of staff wages, salaries or expenses or overheads such as rent, leases or utility costs;
Projects that only benefit individuals (e.g. qualifications, counselling sessions, professional legal advice etc.);
Groups cannot directly benefit financially from their own application (they cannot be a fiscal beneficiary);
Purchase of alcohol and gambling activities;
Activities of a religious or political nature; or
Activities that are contrary to Manchester City Council’s equal opportunities policy.
Applications are reviewed by a panel to decide where funds should be allocated. Your Regeneration Ward Officer will keep you updated through the process – each application should not exceed £10,000.
More information on NIF and access to the on-line application is available HERE
Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society Lecture 2015
A lecture from Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council on the development of the “Northern Powerhouse”.
Free event hosted by the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society.
Wednesday 1st July 2015, 19.00
Manchester Conference Centre (Sackville Street) BOOKING
Register a place HERE SUMMARY
“We are delighted to welcome the Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, Sir Howard Bernstein to address the Society on the hot topic of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’.
The term ‘Northern Powerhouse’ may have come into common currency recently, but the underlying concept is one which our great northern cities – with Manchester very much in the vanguard – have been advocating for many years.
Put simply, it’s about recognising the need to rebalance the nation’s economy with major northern cities, both collectively and individually, being backed to unlock their potential. This means complementing, not competing with London and the South East. But it also means recognising and investing in the distinctive strengths of cities such as Manchester – whether it’s in culture or cutting edge research.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Manchester is fundamental to this vision – and that unless Manchester can realise its full potential no such rebalancing of the national economy will be possible.
This means investing in excellence, whether it’s improving transport infrastructure – for example the £15bn One North proposals to radically improve east-west transport connections between northern cities and complement HS2, supporting cultural facilities such as the £78m new Factory Manchester Arts Centre or supporting pioneering research into advanced materials such as graphene.
But also integral to the Northern Powerhouse concept is the recognition that city regions such as Greater Manchester – places with their acts together and clear strategic visions – need to be freed from stifling over-centralisation. Greater Manchester is in the forefront of the devolution agenda which recognises that instead of having ‘one size fits all’ national policies imposed centrally, we are better placed to create the conditions for growth and improving people’s lives by investing in local needs and priorities. This will enable us to use the available funding in a much smarter way.”
People with Pets in Poverty is a new charity to help homeless people and their pets.
Colin Alcock will launch People With Pets In Poverty later this month and aims to roll out a variety of schemes over the next five years. Colyn’s main aim is to help rough sleepers and the ‘hidden homeless’ which includes sofa surfers and people in overcrowded accommodation, hostels and night shelters.
Under the Home and Dry programme, PPP will provide safe accommodation for homeless people and their pets by paying the first month’s rent and deposit while providing a guarantee to landlords against damage caused by pets. In exchange service users must follow a recovery programme which could include counselling and a detox scheme.
Colyn has many ambitious plans for the charity, including pet food banks, an online homeless forum and even a charity single. By 2020 he hopes to have set up a community home for marginalised people with pets. He said:
“To a homeless person a pet is a guardian protector, a best friend and someone who will never judge them and always be pleased to be with them.
“I know what it’s like to sit on a street corner and beg. It’s soul destroying and isolating.”
“The next wave of homelessness is coming and it’s going to get worse. We’re looking at an all encompassing remedy.”
The first PPP meeting will be at Fred’s Ale House, Levenshulme, on Wednesday June 24, from 7.30pm. All are welcome.
For details or to volunteer call Colyn on: 07985 442 505
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
An article from the Manchester Evening News on the future of Levenshulme Library and the work of the Stakeholders Group set up to explore options is available HERE
It is a little unfortunate the article advertises the fundraiser on Friday 29th in an article published on Saturday 30th but any coverage is very welcome.
Note also that there are a couple of factual errors in the article:
1 The new baths and library facility is scheduled to open in Spring 2016, not Autumn 2015.
2 Levenshulme High School never took over the building. The school simply rented the space to use for part of the week. Local campaigning was essential to ensure the library stayed open as a library until the new facilities open.
A public meeting is also scheduled for Tuesday 16th June, 19.00-21.00 at Levenshulme Inspire on Stockport Road. Further information and discussion is also available on a Facebook group at:
£2 million funding has been secured to resurface Stockport Road from the Appollo to McVities.
The stretch of Stockport Road running through Levenshulme in particular is in a dire state of repair and has been in desperate need of attention for some time so this is great news.
We understand the project will include new cycle provision and redesign of the road to improve access and usability. Residents’ groups and businesses will be included in consultation about the exact design.
The project is scheduled to start this summer (2015). Further details will be reported when available.