Sunday, 18 May 2008

Sun, sweat and tears

Manchester City Centre was full of people again today with 31,000 people taking part in the 2008 Great Manchester Run. There were at least three times as many people cheering the runners on with spectators lining the route all the way to Old Trafford and back. The sun shine capital of Britain was back to its best and the image shown on TV will be exactly want we want. £s and £s will have been raised for dozens of good causes and lots of people will have had a lovely day in Manchester. The photographs show evidence of me starting, and if you look carefully at the right of the second photo, finishing. I beat my 50 minute target by miles, finishing in under 44 minutes, and am already being challenged to do even better next year.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Back to basics

I'm on a bit of a roll now but let's get back to Crumpsall and Blackley Village. Con Keegan and I joined in with two community events today. The first was a litter pick, clean up, and planting session organised with Parkhill and Cleveland Residents' Association and the first picture shows Con apparently doing some work as that's a bag of compost you can just see in his hand. The second event was a community event at St.Peter's Church in the village and Con is seen here in a a slightly more formal pose with the Chair of Blackley Village Residents' Association. These residents groups are part of the life blood of our area and if you live in these neighbourhoods please give them your support. In particular, if yiy live in the parkhill/Cleveland neighbourhood, their next meeting is on Monday night at 7pm at Crumpsall Methodist Church. I'm not in either picture because someone had to work the camera.

The Great Manchester Run

Hopefully I will have a photo to go with this tomorrow after I have completed the 10k of the Great Manchester Run. I'm raising money for St.Anne's Hospice, Cheadle, The JohnEastwood Hospice Trust, and the Christie's Appeal ( cheques please to Richard Leese via the Leader's office at the Town Hall ) and am aiming to finish inside 50 minutes. I have been training reasonably seriously but still please wish me luck!

Big screens and Parades

It would be difficult to get away without mentioning the events of last week. Most of what I would want to say is covered by my blog on the Manchester City Council website and I'm not going to repeat anything from that. What has come up since my last posting there is the row over a victory parade for Manchester United if they win in Moscow on Wednesday which even I as a bitter blue hope they do. So the record is straight, Manchester City Council has not made a decision cancelling a parade and we were not party to a press statement made on this matter yesterday by Greater Manchester Police. The Council did not consent to or approve that statement and we have received an apology from the Acting Head of Communications at GMP.

Thank you Crumpsall and Blackley Village !

This is my first post-election entry, although I am going to do a bit of catching up today, and my first task is to thank the Crumpsall electorate for re-electing me with a really healthy majority. I hope this reflects the work I, Con, and Jon have been doing in conjunction with local commmunities to make Crumpsall and Blackley Village a better place. Of course winning the election is where the work starts and we pledge to continue striving to make sure our area is one we can be proud of.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Mistakes,strength and weakness

This blog has tended to concentrate on news rather than opinion but I'm going to make an exception for the 10p tax issue. Clearly the government has made a BIG mistake. With over twenty years experience as a City Councillor I know that the only way you can avoid making mistakes is by doing nothing. Indeed to get this city of ours back on the road to greatness has meant taking a few risks and not every one of them has come off.
It's also true that not many people, including Prime Ministers, like owning up to making mistakes- do you - and so it's not surprising that it took a fair bit of pressure to get Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling to accept that they had made a mistake.
The big question for any mistake is what you do about, in this case what government does to make sure nobody on a low income is financially penalised by the abolition of the 10p tax rate. We will all wait with interest to see what proposals the Chancellor comes back with. However, having admitted a mistake, if it is then properly rectified that is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

St.George's Day

St.George's Day today and I'm delighted that Manchester City Council was one of the first councils, if not the first, to give it official recognition
by supporting the community organised St. George's Day parade, now in its 4th increasingly successful year. This year was a rather wet affair and Queen Victoria's [ Thelma - one of the key organisers ] crinolines have only just dried out in time for the St.George's day tea dance being held this afternoon in the Great Hall at Manchester Town Hall. Even in the rain there was a tremendous turn out of floats and of spectators. A great day! The parade is also a great example of Manchester's diverse communities coming together and special mention for the organisers of the St.Patrick's day parade for their assistance . St.George is also the patron saint of Catalonia but we will have to wait and see whether it will be the Mancunion reds of England or the Barcelonans of Catalonia celebrating tonight.