What’s the sequel for Manchester’s libraries?

Article published: Monday, July 15th 2013

After months of flash mobs, petitions, occupation and protest six local libraries in Burnage, Fallowfield, Levenshulme, New Moston, Miles Platting and Northenden are having their funding withdrawn by Manchester City Council. What will the promised new “community” service look like?

Letter: money for Central Library…but not for community libraries?

Article published: Friday, February 22nd 2013

The Manchester Evening News reported on a £500,000 donation to Central Library. At first glance it might seem impressive that the Wolfson Foundation can donate such a large figure to a public library. But this money is to carry out the ‘wish list’ of culture bosses, after £48 million has already been spent.

Gates come down on Library Walk dissent

Article published: Friday, September 21st 2012

The masterplan for a dramatic overhaul of St Peter’s Square, including controversial plans to gate off and glaze Library Walk, was rubber stamped by Manchester City Council’s executive on Wednesday. Friends of Library Walk campaigner Morag Rose ventured into the Town Hall to witness local democracy in action, and was unimpressed by what she saw…

Working poverty: is a living wage enough?

Article published: Wednesday, September 19th 2012

The success of campaigns by London Citizens and others have raised fresh interest in the idea of a living wage. As Manchester City Council bump up the minimum wage for their lowest paid workers to £7.15, with Trafford following suit, living wage activist Barney Wakefield gives his take on its strengths and weaknesses.

Elected mayors: a sticking plaster on the north-south divide

Article published: Tuesday, May 1st 2012

Referendums on whether or not to have directly elected mayors will take place in 10 English cities this week. Underlying the political gamesmanship, the elected mayors issue reveals a delusional approach to the north south divide.

It’s Xmas – Welcome to Manchester Plc

Article published: Friday, November 20th 2009

Businesses in the centre of Manchester must wish it could be Christmas every day. Or to be more precise, that the Christmas shopping period came more frequently. They got an early present of their own this week, when the Council proudly announced it will be providing city-centre shops with a free marketing campaign worth £600,000.

New Council Houses – crumbs from the table

Article published: Monday, September 14th 2009

Jesus Christ may have been able to feed five thousand hungry punters with a few bits of bread and fish, but do Manchester City Council have the divine powers necessary to spread a handful of new houses around the thousands of people in the city in need of a place to live?