The Council has been working with tenants in Collyhurst for around six years now on a scheme for major regeneration of the housing estates scattered along both sides of Rochdale Road. The scheme was to have been funded through PFI and after all those years of work it was a bitter blow when, a couple of weeks ago, the government kicked the proposals in to touch. However the Council has no intention of kicking Collyhurst in to touch and is now looking urgently for alternative ways to fund essential improvements to existing homes and at the same time starting the incremental remodelling of the estates.
Today, Paul Andrews, the Executive Member responsible for Housing, and I, toured the estates with local Councillors, meeting the Chairs of the four tenants groups in the area. Our purpose was simple - to reassure tenants that Collyhurst remains at the highest priority for the Council, and although we don't know how we are going to do it, we are determined to find the resources to physically improve the area. The most striking thing about everybody we met was the absolute pride they had in Collyhurst and that they loved living there. This included people like me not even born in Manchester who wouldn't now live anywhere else. They also talked about the success they had had working with the police and the Council in tackling anti-social behaviour to the extent that any problems now were minimal. Collyhurst often gets a bad press but we met the real Collyhurst. Great people in a great area who deserve great homes to live in.