Transport for Greater Manchester budget consultation at Manchester Town Hall. A fairly well attended meeting although considerably down on last years. Support for ring and ride and real time passenger info. Less support for interchanges.
Labour Group meeting in the evening. Campaign for 2012 is progressing really well. Great to see so much enthusiasm and desire to work together across all factions, without a hint of posturing or personal agenda.
Met with James Hampson, new development worker for Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) in Lostock. I was very impressed at the project. I think there’s every potential for the development of sustainable community activity here and look forward to working alongside James.
Met with Trafford’s other TfGMC councillors, June Reilly (Cons) and Brian Rigby (Cons) together with officers ahead of Friday’s TfGMC meeting on Friday to discuss the agenda and any implications for Trafford. We’re awaiting finalisation of the budget from the Combined Authority (essentially the leaders of the 10 Greater Manchester boroughs). This won’t be determined until their meeting of the 27th January. There is cross-party support the Local Sustainability Transport Fund bid; the Bridgewater Way cycling improvements along the canal have proved the potential and we want to build upon that.
Met with community groups in Old Trafford to discuss the Council’s plan to replace paid staff with volunteers. The manner in which the council has gone about is bungling in the extreme; it has the potential to undermine volunteering for years to come. The groups are absolutely outraged and I don’t blame them.
Budget Scrutiny of Transformation and Resources, the directorate responsible for the libraries. Clearly the issue of volunteers taking over Old Trafford and Hale libraries dominated. We’re told there’s no Plan B for the possibility of volunteers not coming forward in sufficient numbers. There’s no plan to shut the libraries and there’s no budget for supporting the volunteers via commissioning or other route, although they might be able to find some money to help the group start. There will be training and funding for CRB checks.
Cycled over to Hale Library to get a better understanding of the dynamics there.
Transport for Greater Manchester Committee. (see Tuesday) I suffered a puncture to bike almost upon arrival in Albert Square and returned using the train to Trafford Park Station. I was one of five passengers to alight from a sparsely crowded train – leaving it fairly empty. If I’m to believe the figures no one uses this station, but my experiences seem to suggest otherwise; it doesn’t help that no member of staff at Deansgate seems to want to check ticket or take the fare. Still think Trafford Park Station has huge potential – I was lucky, the next train would have meant a 2 hr wait.
Met with the Scrutiny Team to discuss the report to the executive.
Campaigned in Davyhulme. Great response on the doorstep.