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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There are 9 responses to “Over the Hill”

  1. tooright Says:

    Too right re your comments on one-party states! ridiculous indeed

  2. franky Says:

    While I agree with you that under the present system Labour wins Manchester, but that does not make it a democratic system. The reason the referendum was lost is that the tories are afraid of democratic elections. You can see how they rule now backing the rich against the poor. Bring on proportional representation!!

  3. Noodles Says:

    My understanding of PR was that the Tories would be sunk if it came in due to their strength being in the 'shires', or Ward's where there aren't many people. I might be wrong.

  4. Ian Says:

    How does having Manchester under the complete control of only one party make for a more fairer place?

  5. SteveA Says:

    Why it it wrong for Manchester to be under the complete control of elected members who the people of Manchester trust and elect ?

  6. ian Says:

    You see I remember when mrs T had a majority of just under 200 and shee what she pushed through without an effective opposing group. Now when Labour control all the seats who will ever hold them to account?

  7. ManchesterMan Says:

    @Ian - the people of Manchester hold the Labour Party to account 3 times every 4 years at the ballot box.

    What would your solution be, given that PR would produce a similar, if not bigger, Labour majority?

  8. Noodles Says:

    A wider point, but does anyone think there will still be big political parties in 10-15 years?

  9. Ian Says:


    Since most of the EU hold votes by some form or other PR there has not been landslides in favour of one party.
    PR gives all votes a chance of counting.
    Is it fair for the thousands of Tory voters in Manchester who have no chance of getting a local councilior of there choice.
    So to be honest PR would take away from the Labour party no bad thing in my mind.
    Mind TBH it matters not you controls the city its who controls the Country that counts. As a council tax payer I am a bit annoyed at this Labour group raising Council tax by 3.7% when they could have frozen it.



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

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