Manchester City Council

Looking After Levenshulme

Today was a day spent with St. Peter!

In the morning I did our regular Councillor's Advice Bureau at St.Peter's Church in Blackley Village. It's a listed beautiful building and the vicar has tremendous plans to use it both as a church and as a community facility and there is plenty of room for both. The Advice Bureau always coincides with a drop-in coffee morning which means there is always a cup of tea for me and for residents who come to see me, as well as a chance to chat informally with local residents. It was good on Saturday to see a couple of Police Community Support Officers in there, building those important relationships with local residents.

And then on to another St.Peter's, this time in Levenshulme, for a public meeting arranged in conjunction with Sir Gerald Kaufman M.P. and the Friends of Levenshulme. I was being put on the spot about issues that need to be tackled to improve quality of life in that part of the city. The church was standing room only, but with one exception it was a very courteous and well-mannered meeting. Short introductory speeches were made by a representative of the Friends, then Sir Gerald and then me before a question and answer session where I was given a good grilling. Questions included licensing of private landlords, Levenshulme Sure Start, availability of housing, community facilities in the area, the need to clean up various bits of derelict land, and the future of Green Bank playing fields [it's to remain as playing fields]. The Council is going to develop a local plan for Levenshulme and again there were questions about how local people would be involved in and consulted about that plan.

The Friends of Levenshulme have been campaigning under the slogan "Who's looking after Levenshulme". As I told the meeting, if the people who live there aren't, then nobody is. The job of the Council is to work with and support communities in building the sort of neighbourhoods that they want. Having a couple of hundred people turning out on a Saturday afternoon to talk about their neighbourhood shows that there are at least a couple of hundred people looking after Levenshulme and that's a couple of hundred people we want to work with.

I want to thank everybody who did for turning out and for what was largely a very positive approach and look forward to the Council working with them for a Levenshulme we can all be proud of.

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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