Picking up after the Christmas and New Year lull
It wasn’t completely without council business over Christmas. I received the usual bits of casework and of course the Barton Biomass Plant consultation period was running throughout. I’ve been pursuing a Health Impact Assessment on the plant through the Director of Public Health. We know that the current air quality is costing lives and the tolerance within that state for further particulate emissions has to be measured.
On a more positive note I have nothing but praise for the refuse collections carried out over Christmas and New Year. I didn’t receive any complaints in Gorse Hill and I thought that to maintain collections through the snow and Bank Holidays was brilliant. I was forced to defend the service on the www.urmston.net forum. Understandably there were residents who would have preferred a blue bin collection during Christmas week. I made enquiries with the Contract Manager at Trafford and the reasons were not just for bureaucratic convenience. The companies who receive the waste paper and cardboard need to do so in a regular pattern – they couldn’t cope with four weeks of collections in one week. The fact that there wasn’t a great deal of green waste meant that crews could be transferred to the grey bin collection.
There’s lately been quite a few major applications come through. We’ve got the Town Hall application, the Victoria Warehouse Hotel/nightclub conference facilities application, Coronation Street studio application.
Connected to the Town Hall application, we’ve also had the welcome news that whilst the building work is progressing the Council will be using Quay West, opposite the Lowry Centre, keeping the staff in Gorse Hill ward.
Just outside Gorse Hill ward we’ve had the license application for Bowlers in Trafford Park to hold weekend dance events with a capacity of 4000. That’s a lot of people. There’s poor transport connections and they’d rely on coaches and cars so there’s potential for trouble if people are unable to get away. I’ve been to see the applicant and made representations to licensing at Trafford.
During the period I’ve attended a number of meetings at Barton Clough in preparation for a possible regular Ofsted inspection. I’ve also met with Trafford’s corporate director for Transformation, Theresa Grant along with Sharon Richardson, head of Access Trafford. We discussed the changes in library opening hours (see below), preparations for the local elections / AV referendum and Trafford’s reliance on recruitment consultancies for senior posts.
Really disappointed to see the contraction in opening hours particularly at Lostock Library which now has no late afternoon closures (the library is closed after 3pm throughout the week). We are not tolerating this and looking to develop a campaign to adjust the times. We’re deeply angered that there was no prior consultation to this move and it was implemented within days of the announcement. Typical Tories.