Manchester City Council

Over the Hill

The first leg of the six part 2013 UCI Track Cycling World Cup takes place at the new indoor BMX track at the National Cycling Centre tonight and tomorrow night. There will be a full house both nights and the world's best BMX riders will be experiencing the world's best all-weather facility i.e. it's indoors. It's not always elite cyclists though. There is already a thriving BMX club based at the centre, a number of schools, primary and secondary, using it on a regular basis, and it's very affordable. I can't go when the competition is on so went up this afternoon to watch some of the time trial practice sessions. There was a big audience for that including a number of school parties. It was really easy to get to. A short tram ride to the Velopark stop and then a two minute walk over the canal and the combined Velodrome and BMX facility looks fantastic. Think I'll stick to the road on my bike though!

The MEN reported today on what seems a quite bizarre "research" publication from the Electoral Reform Society in which it argues that Council's like Tameside, Salford and Manchester are like one-party states because in each case one party has managed to win most of the seats. They clearly don't understand what a one-party state is. In a one-party state there is only one party. In Manchester's elections you have at least four parties contesting every seat. We have a free press, we have freedom of speech, we have a multi-party democracy and we have free, fair and open elections. To suggest we are akin to North Korea just because the majority of the electorate who exercise their right to vote choose to vote the same way is ludicrous.They of course are using this daft analogy to make the case for a proportional system. It's worth noting that under the "proportional" system that was the subject of the failed referendum a couple of years ago, virtually every seat if not every seat in Manchester would still be held by the same party. What I am pretty sure about though is that, given the nature of our representative democracy, the current position won't last for ever.

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

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