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.
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.
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.
The UK government has released new guidance on its proposed “recovery strategy” described as a “roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis”. The contents are listed below for reference.
The new guidance provides information on changes to the current restrictions in place since 23rd March 2020 and changes planned for the coming weeks and months.
Please note that although this is identified as guidance from the UK government it only applies in England. The devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have independent responsibility for their own approaches.
Click HERE to view the document on the government website.
May 9th is Europe Day. This is the day when people across Europe come together to celebrate peace and unity in Europe following the horrors of the two World Wars. The day was chosen in recognition of the Schuman Declaration in 1950 which was the precursor to the formation of many European collaborative institutions and organisations. It was itself preceded by the formation of the Council of Europe in 1949.
The We Love MCR charity has set up a fund to provide Covid-19 Community Response Grants. Full information is available HERE
Constituted community groups and organisations with a bank account can apply to this fund for £500 – £3000 for the items, equipment or supplies they need to support their communities in this difficult time.
The application process has been simplified to help get the money out to groups quickly. The application form can be downloaded here: