Increasing numbers of ‘Sold’ signs shows economic recovery picking up

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As I have been out walking the streets in my area I have been struck by the increase in the number of houses sold. It is one indicator that the economy is recovering. Another is the increase in the amount of work i see being done on houses with new roofs and extensions. There remains the worry of another housing bubble with price inflation. Successive governments have never built enough new homes and some developers are sitting on land.

How did this dreaful dormer get planning permission?

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On Stanley Road in Whalley Range one house stands out with an attic extension which is out of character to the other houses on the road but inside a Conservation Area.

I know it is at roof level and that not everyone is walking about with their eyes cast roof-wards but I was shocked to see the dormer extension at the front of this house. It is clearly not in anyway a match now with its partner that its attached to. Along the road there have been other new builds and as far as I can see all have maintained a roof profile with windows in a style similar to the original Victorian houses. I would have expected Labour’s Town Hall bosses to preserve the character of the road in this way but somehow this house has got away with something different. It no doubt allows more living space so good for the landlord but looks very odd and sticks out like a sore thumb.

This makes a mockery of a ‘Conservation Area’.

Fly-posting is dangerous in a place like this even for a good cause

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Widespread fly-posting is making our area look a mess. I am not sure what regulations apply to advertising of this sort when banners or posters are erected on private property like the railings round the Ghita Bhavan. When it’s on council property like street railings it is clearly under council control. When the council gives permission it is either a source of revenue or free advertising I assume.

Putting an advertising banner in a spot like this is clearly designed to attract the attention of drivers at the traffic lights on Wilbraham Road as they come down Alexander Rd South. It might be advertising a helpline but it is difficult to see this as being ideal when drivers may be distracted especially if they want the number of this phone line.

April and soggy autumn leaves still not cleared

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I am shocked that there are still leaves on some pavements and roads in our area in April, when they fell in the autumn. It is a clear indication that street cleaning is not being maintained at the highest level but also makes me wonder what our 3 local Labour Coucillors have been doing. As I walk around our area I report this sort of thing and will expect it to be cleared away by the council. If I can do this on Park drive, Clarendon Rd and Spring Bridge Rd for example why on earth have our councillors not done it months ago? Perhaps they are too busy doing other things but when they are being paid £16,000 pa I think this is something we should expect them to have done.

Resident complaint a reminder of previous Labour Broken Promise

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When a resident on White Moss Ave recently complained to me about the broken paving slabs on their road and the council’s failure to respond to their call for new pavement and resurfacing of the road it reminded me of what Labour have promised before and then failed to deliver. White Moss Ave is part of the Egerton Estate which over many years residents have felt the council has ignored. It was a very pleasant shock to residents on Kings Road when the local Labour councillors promised them a new pavement. I must say that at the time I was also delighted and pressed the council to retain the character of the area by re-using paving slabs rather than tarmac. When it came to it what the council delivered was awful. The pavement was not relaid or renewed. Patches and corners were tarmaced. What made it worse was that residents could see what the council could do when it did a proper job on a road not far away. What they got on Kings Road was terrible.

I am sure residents on Kings Road remember being let down by Labour’s broken promises.

Labour’s Big Local News: Councillors talk to the police

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If you are wondering what our 3 local Labour councillors have been doing for the last 2 years at £16,000pa then the latest leaflet reveals the BIG STORY is that they talk to the police. Can you believe it? Is this NEWS

In a 4 page leaflet only 1 of the pages is devoted to local issues which I suppose indicates that they don’t think local issues are that important, whilst the other 3 are national, general election stuff. Have they forgotten that the general election is not till next year? There is no news from our constituency Labour MP about what he has been doing but we are used to that. None of the news relates to the European elections in May but I suppose Labour are not sure what to say because they are so confused about their position on Europe: IN or OUT.

The ‘Local’ page in Labour’s leaflet sums up what you get when all 3 councillors are in the same party.

The top story is nothing to do with them but congratulates Ali in our local post office. The other story about them talking to the police tells us nothing. Surely everyone expects local councillors to talk to the police. What is the big deal. is this news?

In the meantime our area has become grubby with litter, graffiti and illegal fly-posting that they appear to have done nothing about. They just appear to have nothing to say and seem to think we are stupid.

IN or OUT? UKIP MEP refuses to debate the issue

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Chris Davies Lib Dem MEP for the North West challenged Paul Nuttal, UKIP MEP to a debate firstly by e-mail but got no reply and then he threw down the gauntlet (well actually a ski glove) in the European parliament. The UKIPper refused to take up the challenge and a face to face debate. Chris said “I can only conclude he is a chicken, but that seems a bit unfair on chickens”.

IN or OUT: Lib Dems fight to save 3m jobs by staying IN

Residents complain about poor quality work and ask if Manchester City Council is wasting money

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We all know that times are still tough even although we have started to come through the awful world-wide recession and the economic shambles left by the last Labour Government. When money is in short supply it’s even more important that it is not wasted. It doesn’t come as any surprise to me that what Manchester City Council is doing on the stretch of Brantinghan Rd between Egerton Rd North and Buckingham Road has prompted residents to ask how much money is being spent and are we getting value for money. The potholes are awful but it seems the council sends along someone with a bucket of tarmac and a shovel and says drop a dollop in each hole. It’s not a proper job and doesn’t last long before it breaks up and needs to be repeated.

There is clearly something wrong.

Two years ago I asked council officers if they had changed the quality of the material they were using for pothole repairs because on Egerton Rd South and Wyverne Rd I saw exactly the same thing happening. Patches were repaired and then in no time at all breaking up. I have been back to inspect them now and the problem continues on these 2 roads.

I am sure the council will want to blame everybody else and that will include the weather but we know they plead poverty but still waste money.

Great to see new house built and sold on a previously vacant space

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A new house on Manley Road sits waiting for its new owners to occupy it. This is one of several plots of vacant land in our area which have been waiting to be built on. Another home is good news as well as the improvement it brings to the street scene. I hope as the economy recovers under the coalition Government we will see even more building going ahead on vacant brown-field sites, especially as we have such a shortage of home.

Two years leaflets lacked local information

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After 2 years with 3 Labour Councillors in the ward all we have to show for it are these few leaflets with so little local information. If the local information was taken out it could all be fitted on a single A4 sheet. What have they been doing? They certainly haven’t been keeping local people informed about anything that has been happening locally through their leaflets. Our area is recognised as having a particularly high proportion of people with degrees, so our voters are bright. Apart from “Happy Christmas” we don’t hear anything from our constituency MP either. Do they think we are stupid? It certainly feels that way.

Is this what we expect of councillors who are paid £16,000 a year?

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