Posted on 27 February 2012 by kevpeel
(This letter was taken from the Manchester Evening News on Tuesday 21st February)
I have a lot of respect for Dave Haslam, but I think he’s spent a bit too much time in Didsbury if he thinks the city centre is ‘soulless’ as he said in these pages on Friday.
In no other city in the UK is there such a vibrant, diverse urban centre. To take just one example, the Northern Quarter is going from strength to strength, with a fantastic range of pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and independent shops and more opening all the time. Street artists are working with businesses to spruce up shop fronts. Residents there are proud of their community and are working to green the area.
Whether it’s the renaissance of the Village area, with new independent bars and cafes opening off the main strip attracting a new audience to the area; the planned transformation of the Civic Quarter and Peter Street with new alternative bars revitalising a currently abandoned part of town; or the hugely exciting developments on First Street with brand new cultural and leisure facilities, Manchester City Centre continues to be a world class destination in which to live, work and play.
Should we be complacent? Absolutely not. I’m constantly working to build on our success. But should we be talking Manchester down? Never.
I’ll end with the comments of a Couchsurfer from South America I recently showed round the city when I asked at the end of his trip what he though of Manchester, “When can I come back?”
Cllr Kevin Peel
Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Manchester’s fantastic City Centre
Posted on 09 February 2012 by kevpeel
Letter taken from the Manchester Evening News, 9th January 2012
The Liberal Democrat Leader on Manchester Council rarely writes to Postbag so you would have thought it would be a significant subject of concern to all Mancunians, like savage coalition cutbacks in public services or scandalous growing unemployment for our young people.
It seems the big issue for the Liberal Democrats in Manchester is no fireworks on New Year’s Eve. They have claimed that half of Deansgate will close because of this situation. They have jumped on the wrong bandwagon with over 85% of your online readership poll supporting the City Council’s stance in not spending public money on fireworks.
Officers of the Council did seek sponsorship for the event throughout the city but because of the uncertain business environment brought about by Councillor Ramsbottom’s Coalition friends we did not have any takers.
We hope we do secure sponsorship for 2012 and we will try very hard to do so. Manchester changed for the worse when the Coalition entered 10 Downing Street. Councillor Ramsbottom parades with Clegg on many of his city centre leaflets.
It’s time the Liberal Democrats in Manchester used their contacts in the Coalition to stand up for the city and stop acting as the agents of the Tory Party.
Councillor Pat Karney and Joan Davies
City Centre Labour Party
Posted on 09 February 2012 by kevpeel
Letter taken from the Manchester Evening News
It’s good to hear that Ian Simpson has apologised to local residents for the noise made by the Beetham Tower, and promised to do something about it. That’s what I call being a good neighbour.
While some city centre residents have found the noise just an amusing side issue, others have been rather annoyed by the disturbance to their sleep during the early hours of the morning.
I’m glad Manchester City Council have been involved too. Problems like these can be dealt with if all parties work together and communicate clearly. Transparency is the key. Perhaps Ian Simpson’s office would be willing to keep in touch with local residents through the residents groups that are springing up in the city. I’ll pass on details of those I know of.
The Beetham Tower is often described as a ‘Marmite building’: you either love it or hate it. I’m one of the fans, particularly when a spectacular sunset bathes it in pink, but the noise is becoming a bit tiresome.
Posted on 01 February 2012 by kevpeel
Victory for city centre residents as new parking scheme goes out to consultation following year long Labour campaign.
City Centre residents are to get a brand new parking scheme after a 12 month campaign by your local Labour team. The scheme, which will replace the poor existing provision, was designed following focus groups with city centre residents organised by city centre Labour & Co-op councillor Kevin Peel.
Your city centre Labour team started the campaign for a better residents parking scheme 12 months ago to ensure that city centre residents were not affected by changes to parking charges in the city centre following Lib Dem-Tory government cuts of £178m to the council’s budget – cuts backed by local Lib Dems.
The new city centre residents parking scheme:
• Easier to join, with less restrictions on who can purchase permits
• More flexible, with the ability to purchase a permit for a cheaper zone and different times
• Better value for money, with a range of different options and ways to pay for your permit
Long-standing city centre resident and local campaigner Joan Davies, who has been actively involved in the campaign, said:
“While local Lib Dems try to score political points by blaming cuts on Labour and fail to respond to the needs of city centre residents, we’ve been busy getting things done.
“The new scheme we successfully fought for is easier to join, more flexible and better value for money.”
The consultation is now open. View the details of the proposed new scheme and have your say here. You have until Friday 2nd March 2012 to submit your comments. Want to share your views with us? Get in touch.