Thursday, 1 November 2007

Sure Start comes to Crumpsall

Work is well underway on building a £1.3 million Sure Start centre for Crumpsall.
When completed, early in 2008, the Centre will provide places for more than 50 pre-school children as well as providing space for activities such as parenting classes and community meetings. the centre, located on Moss Bank, across the road from St.Anne's RC primary school, will be open from 7.00am to allow early starters to drop their children off ( hopefully on foot ! ) before going to work .
Sure Start has been a great success elsewhere in Manchester. We want children in Crumpsall to have the best possible start in life and this new centre will help to provide this in a safe, attractive and stimulating environment.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Slowest in Europe!

I don't want to turn this into a transport site but thought it was worth adding something to my last post on the basis of a survey published by road analysis website which shows that Greater Manchester has the 4th most slow moving roads in Europe !

And some people , presumably with ostrich like tendencies , still argue that we should do nothing to tackle congestion !

Sunday, 14 October 2007


Well bicycles do have a part to play in a 21st century transport system and I intend to continue using mine as much as I can on trips to and from the Town Hall . But if the economy of Manchester is to thrive we will need a lot more than a few bikes . The city needs massive investment in public transport - buses,trains and trams,park-and-ride,it needs first-class facilities for passengers, and it needs all of this to be joined up with integrated timetables and ticketing, and fares need to be affordable. We also need to control the amount of traffic on the roads. Congestion is bad for our health and it costs our economy billions. That's why the 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester have submitted a bold plan to government that if successful could see between £2.5 and £3 billion invested in transport for Manchester and put the brakes on congestion. Like any bold plan there are opponents who have now even resorted to saying that I don't understand the needs of motorists because I don't drive . Well I might ride a bike, and I do regularly use buses,trains and metrolink, but I can also be seen regularly driving around the city. I'm not anti-car, just anti sitting in traffic jams.

Monday, 1 October 2007

A day at the seaside

Two days actually, at this year's Labour Party conference in Bournemouth - not a patch on Manchester last year and most delegates I spoke to are really looking forward to the conference coming back to Manchester next year. I went down to Bournemouth for two days for several reasons. Firstly, it was an opportunity to promote Manchester. I spoke at three fringe meetings, including the Core Cities meeting where I'm shown in the picture alongside Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Salford M.P. Hazel Blears. Secondly it is an opportunity to put policy proposals forward, and thirdly it is an opportunity to talk directly to ministers and their advisers about the things that are most important to Manchester people. In two days I met with dozens of influential people including at least 8 cabinet ministers about what our city needs - all of them short meetings that otherwise could have each taken weeks to set up and would have each involved a trip to London. Two days well spent from a council point of view but didn't see much of the sea !

Friday, 21 September 2007

Now some good news on Health

The last post on this Blog carried bad news about one of our local GP practices. In the last couple of weeks we have had good news about North Manchester General Hospital which is to retain a full range of maternity services and in the next couple of years will gain a range of children's services, including a children's accident and emergency service .
This is very good news for the health of people across North Manchester but we need more still . Much of the building at NMGH is well past its sell-buy date and desperately need replacing with modern, state-of-the-art facilities. Crumpsall councillor Richard Leese, pictured here outside A&E at NMGH has recently met the new Chief Executive who agrees that new hospital buildings at Crumpsall must be a priority.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Carnival Time !

Pirates on parade as Crumpsall Carnival celebrates its 11th year
Ahoy there landlubbers! Crumpsall Carnival celebrates its 11th year in style with a Caribbean pirate theme on Sunday 24 June.
The fun kicks off in Herristone Park at 12.30pm when the costumed festival parade, featuring a pirate ship and including a samba band, scouts, guides, cadets and local schoolchildren, sets off.
It will arrive in Crumpsall Park at 1pm when Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Glynn Evans will formally open the event, hosted by the Friends of Crumpsall Park in partnership with the City Council.
The park will be the venue for a host of entertainment including the Bloco Novo samba band on the main stage, judging of the fancy dress competition, winners of a talent contest hosted by Northern Air Radio, Smiley the Clown, dancers and more live music.
Other attractions includes a tea dance with the Crumpsall Concert Band, six-a-side football, tennis and boxing taster sessions and a funfair. Health and jobs information will also be available.
Councillor Mike Kane, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said: "Crumpsall Carnival is an enjoyable family event which continues to grow in popularity. It’s a real community celebration with something for everyone. This year’s pirate theme promises a swashbucklingly good time for all!"
Chair of the Friends of Crumpsall Park, Tom Sogbetun, said: "The Crumpsall Carnival is an event for everyone to enjoy. It brings the whole community together once a year for this multi cultural carnival and encourages greater use of our park. It’s been going for more than a decade now and keeps getting bigger."
Crumpsall is one of Manchester’s oldest parks opened in the 1890s. It was one of the first to see the shift towards providing open space for leisure and sport. The11-acre park remains one of the most used in the city.
The carnival runs from 12noon-4.30pm at Crumpsall Park.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

and the winner is ....

Chenelle Martine - seen here with Crumpsall Talent night host and Northern Air Radio Star Dave Beedie..

Chenelle was one of a number of entrants to perform her own material as well as opening her three song performance with a stunning Gladys Knight cover . The quality of all the performers [ pictured left with Dave ] was , as promised , superb and the judges had a really difficult time seperating out the top three and the overall winner . You can see some of the judges , including me on the left , in the photo above listening intently . My job was made even more difficult in that I had one of the entrants number one fan , her mother , sat right next to me . The Cleveland was heaving and provided a great venue for a great night . If you missed it then you can catch the top three when they perform live at Crumpsall Carnival on the afternoon of Sunday , June 24th . [ If you look carefully you might notice Dave is sitting in a NMGH wheelchair and has been spending more time of late listening to the radio so it was great to see him back on stage ] .Thanks too to Tom Sogbetun for the photos .

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Concern Over GP

The announcement that long-standing local GP Dr Simenoff is to retire at the end of June has shocked and worried his many patients . Many have contacted me wanting an answer to the question of where they will go to see a doctor after the end of the month . The Manchester Primary Care Trust , the part of the NHS responsible for GPs in the city , has contacted the Council and say that they are in the process of allocating all of Dr Simenoff's patients to new , local doctors and that there are enough doctors in the area to cope . Once they have done this they will write to all patients offering them a place on another GP practice's list . Obviously your three Councillors will keep in touch with the Primary Care Trust to monitor what is going on and to try and ensure that everybody in this position gets reassurance as soon as possible .

Clearly Dr Simenoff's retirement is nobody's fault but we need to make sure that nobody is left without an easily accessible local doctor .

I'm sure all of Dr Simenoff's loyal patients would also want to join us in wishing him well in retirement

Tuesday, 5 June 2007


Maybe not , but next Saturday night's Northern Air Radio talent night at Crumpsall's famous Cleveland Hotel could just unearth the next big thing . The talent night , organised by Northern Air Radio's and Crumpsall Carnival Committee's Dave Beedie , has now become an established event in its own right aswell as a great warm up for the Carnival a couple of weeks later and is a highlight of the Crumpsall cultural calender . Our skillful team have been sifting through demo CDs and promise not only a fantastic line-up but also an all new line-up . None of the acts appearing this Saturday have previously appeared in the competition . The talent night is always fantastic entertainment , is free and is always packed out so arrive early if you want a seat . I've been bullied into being a judge [ 3rd choice apparently after Con and Jon ] but at least it does guarantee me a seat . See you on Saturday !!!

Sunday, 3 June 2007

.................and the sunshines on Herristone Park

The sun shone on Herristone Park this afternoon for the annual fun day . There was entertainment from the Crumpsall Comets , and other activities including face-painting , a football tournament , art activities , refreshments and a clown [ with me in the photo - joke !! ] for the younger children . All the work was done by by Chris and Gail and other local residents from the Friends of Herristone Park . I just went along to enjoy the event but got roped in to blowing up a few inflatable pirate swords - don't ask - for the Crumpsall Carnival stand . To be fair to Con , he'd been there since noon helping put up marquees [ or so he claims ] . Parks staff , Bill , Lisa , Martin , and Andrew were there to add their support and loads of local residents of all ages turned up to enjoy a great afternoon .

Wednesday, 30 May 2007


No , not the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever but life expectancy in Crumpsall . The NHS in the form of Manchester Primary Care Trust have just published a book of statistics which amongst a whole pile of other stuff tells us that , out of 33 wards in the city , men in Crumpsall Ward had the 4th highest life expectancy and women the 3rd highest . The figures are a little out of date , covering 1999-2003 , and are on the old pre-2004 ward boundaries , but its still good to know that living in Crumpsall means living longer . However us men have got a bit of catching up to do , because our average life expectancy at 74.1 years is 6.1 years behind women's average of 80.2 years . That's one gap I definitely want to make a personal contribution to narrowing !!!

Thursday, 17 May 2007


I've not wasted any time in lobbying soon to be leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister Gordon Brown . I met with Gordon yesterday evening following a meeting organised by the Co-op party in New Century Hall . One of the many jobs of local Councillor is to lobby goverment for policies and resources to help us regenerate our city . It's not often you get to talk to the person at the top and as the picture shows I was getting my point over with feeling . I'm personally looking forward to a Brown led Labour government and I'm equally confident that my words didn't fall on deaf ears . However , I'm going to wait and see how successful I was before revealing the content of the discussion !

Monday, 14 May 2007


Back in the eighties the ponds at Bowker Vale were threatened with being drained and turned into a housing development site . That threat was successfully averted and in the intervening years the wildlife value of the ponds has increased enormously . Now the ponds are under threat again with a developper wanting to drain one of the ponds and turn the other into a " feature " in the middle of a housing estate linked to Blackley New Road by a monstrous bridge over the Irk . This would destroy the ecological value of the site and destroy a green haven at the heart of the city . Crumpsall's Labour Councillors are determined to fight this every step of the way and make sure it doesn't happen !

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

ELECTION VICTORY - now the work begins

We've been so busy with elections that we haven't been able to post any entries over the last couple of weeks . Well elections are over now and the obvious first thing to report is the election result , a stunning victory in Crumpsall and Blackley Village for sitting Councillor , Con Keegan . Con polled 1832 votes , a 9.9% increase on the previous year , giving him a majority of 1268 . Thanks to everybody who gave us their vote this year , and if you need reminding , just remember that we are Councillors all-year round for all the citizens of Crumpsall and Blackley Village .

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Keeping Manchester Labour

Election time is obviously extremely busy for all Labour Councillors across Manchester. Every night is spent working on the local election. However, this time also gives us the opportunity to meet people face to face (apart from our surgeries and residents meetings) and listen to their views or problems. Its a great way to engage with people and to focus on what we need to do to meet their needs in the future.

If anyone has any comments about the local elections or would like to discuss any issues then please do not hesitate to contact us via this web-page.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Carnival Coming Up

Sunday , 24th June is guaranteed sunshine because that's the date for the next Crumpsall Carnival held as usual in Crumpsall Park . Councillor Richard Leese has been on the carnival committee from the very first carnival but it is not going to claim the credit for what is a genuinely community organised event . The City Council's Parks' staff also play their part along with the Council's North Manchester Regeneration team but the carnival simply wouldn't happen if it wasn't for the voluntary efforts of local residents like Tom ( also a survivor from the very first carnival ) , Bernie and Louise ( the pair with green hair ) , Dave , Steve , Chris and a few others . There's always room for more help and it's never too late , so if anybody's interested in getting involved e-mail Richard at and he will put you in touch with the committee

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Labour Councils cost you less

Cllr Richard Leese , has said that the publishing of the 2007/08 council tax rates clearly show that Labour councils offer the best value for money."Labour councils cost local residents on average £262 per year less than Tory controlled councils and £201 less than Lib Dem councils."And thanks to Labour's consistent investment in local government, and prudent management of city council finances, the Council Tax rise in the City of Manchester will be the lowest rise in Greater Manchester for the eighth year running.In neighbouring Lib Dem controlled Stockport , the rise is close to double that of Manchester." The choice is clear . If you want excellent services and value for money from your local authority, vote Labour !

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Labour Listen's

Every week all three Councillors or members of the Labour Party post leaflets through people's doors in a particular part of Crumpsall or Blackley Village. The leaflet has information on it stating when we will be in the area, and that if anyone has any problems the leaflet should be displayed in the window for us to see. We will then knock on the door and listen/help with any problems or issues.

Myself and Councillor Con Keegan met a number of residents who raised several concerns of a number of different natures. For obvious reasons I will not go into those concerns. However, 'Labour Listen's' allows local Councillors to meet people in their own homes and listen to any problems or issues of concern. We will always try to meet with local residents and try to do whatever we can to help.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Back home in Blackley Village

This Monday Con and I attended the quarterly meeting of the Blackley Village Local Plan steering group . I suspect even most residents in Blackley Village will be wondering what's that . The Council , Councillors and Blackley Village Residents Association [ BVRA ] have been working together for several years now , firstly to produce a regeneration plan for the village and secondly , through the steering group , to oversee its implimentation . Items for discussion on Monday included the reclamation work that is taking place on the Old Blackley Works site . This is causing some nuisance to local residents , and as Councillors we made sure both the contractors and the Council's Environmental Health department improved the quality of information provided to residents . Hopefully the work of removing foul smelling chemicals will be completed in the next week or so . Also discussed was the detailed planning application for developping unused land on the Avecia site . This is a key component of the regeneration plan so there will be a public drop-in and a special meeting of the steering group in April . Residents have 4 representatives on the steering group nominated by BVRA .

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Manchester goes to parliament

One of the jobs of the Leader of the Council is to lobby parliament for the money and powers the city needs , so I have spent the last 2 days in London [ thankfully I'm now safely back in Manchester and civilisation ] talking to ministers , M.P s and members of the House of Lords on a range of issues including transport , worklessness and the proposed destination casino . Improving Crumpsall and the rest of Manchester means working effectively with National Goverment and that means talking to them . Our local M.P , Graham Stringer and other Manchester MPs , Tony Lloyd , Paul Goggins and Sir Gerald Kaufman help enormously in this work , as do Manchester based peers like Keith Bradley . Spending a couple of days there has allowed me to cram in literally dozens of meetings and being in Parliament also meant I bumped into a range of people it was useful to talk to about Manchester , including 5 cabinet ministers .

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Daleks come to Manchester

On my way outside the town hall today I was surprised to bump into an old friend. As usual Manchester is attracting all sorts of people/machines to this great city.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Surgery and Residents Meetings

Attended a surgery tonight, dealing with resident issues and concerns. My colleague, Councillor Con Keegan also attended Parkhill Residents Association. Having spoken with Con he said that the meeting was really well attended.

A photo from the not too distant past really just to experiment with our new communication channel but also I suppose to show off hanging a few metres from the top of the City { previously Sunley Building } tower . That's me in the white helmet

Leader of Manchester City Council and Crumpsall Ward Councillor

Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council

Councillors Richard Leese, Con Keegan and Jon-Leigh Pritchard