Saturday, 13 August 2011

Apology to David Oates.

We received an email recently from David Oates about our blog dated July 16th, ‘The Manchester Housing Crisis’.

He pointed out that the picture we used for that image was his and that we hadn’t asked permission to use it. That was true and we wholeheartedly apologised.

We have since credited the image to David and very graciously, he allowed us to continue using it.

Part of the reason the image was used is… it is striking.

David has a website, we particularly like his architecture shots of Manchester.

And of the reasons we are pleased to point people in David’s direction, not least is he is based in Hulme. That’s always good.

(Image: Clip Art)

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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Manchester Riots: Where’s Richard?

The scenes of crime and disorder in Manchester on Tuesday evening was a shock to everyone.

The pictures of young people and police running through the streets of the city were disheartening BUT that was balanced out by the way Manchester citizens came together in the morning to clean up the centre. Many came away from their efforts with ‘I ‘heart’ Mcr’ drawn one their faces.

Most of the local reaction has condemned the violence with Manchester City Council spokesman, Pat Karney telling the BBC that it was ‘one of the worst days Manchester has ever seen’.

Councillor Karney was also seen showing Labour leader Ed Miliband around the city.

Given the scale of the disturbances, people have been asking ‘Where is Council Leader Richard Leese?’

A meeting on Tuesday afternoon of community activists in Moss Side discussed what action could be taken to prevent disturbances in the area. At one point, the Chair mentioned that he had tried to contact the Council Leader and Deputy Leader Jim Battle only to be told they were both on holiday. While that drew some laughter, its not so funny now.

Leaders are needed in times of trouble, even the Prime Minister and Mayor of London realised that eventually.

“I ‘heart’ Mcr”? Well, be in Manchester.
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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Ethel and Manchester Council's Social Care Consultation

"Example 2: Ethel uses an electric scooter to go out independently but is worried that she will get lost and not be able to find her way home and therefore has stopped going out. In future we propose to use GPS technology to support Ethel to maintain her independence.”

Following on from the cuts to Manchester City Council’s budget of £110 million this year (2011/2012), an additional £60 million is being sought for 2012/13.

Within this, the Council’s ‘Directorate for Adults’ is expected to reduce its budget by £39.5 million (slide 5).

As part of these reductions the Council is running a consultation exercise on some of its proposed changes to its Social Care services and charging policy. Some aspects of this changes appear to be

  • Greatly reducing the level at which users start paying for services
  • A much greater emphasis on home based care
  • Increased use of ‘reablement’ support and prevention
  • Use of technology and innovation.

On an initial reading the two elements that stand out the most from the Directorate for Adults

Consultation: Changes to Social Care Provision. Guidance and information to help you complete

the questionnaire’ paper are

  1. Ethel (above)
  2. Another example: “some people with dementia get a visit 4times a day to remind them to get up, eat, take medication. Some people have found that a text alert reminds them to complete these tasks without the need for a visit.”

It may be reasonable comment say the 2 examples are minor in a whole range of things written but this writer would point out

  • though the papers have lots of ideas about ‘what could happen’, it is difficult to make out what the changes are going to actually going to be for its users. What is plain, and not in the consultation papers is the number of services that will no longer be funded from 2012 (see table at the end of the paper)
  • though the lowering of the threshold for payment is clear, how much extra it will cost people is not
  • that usually, when trying to persuade in a debate, the most convincing, positive examples are used. As an illustration of innovation in the new services, these, 1) and 2) seem poor.
  • the council does not indicate if it will trial any of these ideas first. Will GPS really help Ethel get home?
  • The Council doesn’t indicate if it will merge services with other local authorities to achieve economies of scale. It has already done this with its legal services and is considering several more departments.

There are currently 2 consultations both of which end on Monday August 8th

· Changes to Social Care Provision

· Charging for Social Care

If you have an opinion, there is still a chance voice it, especially in the supplementary questions.

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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Comment: All change at The Sally

By Steve Durrant and Patrick Sudlow

For decades The Salutation (the Sally) was a thriving centre of Hulme life and character. Recently It has been bought up by the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and managed by the owners of the "Trof" chain, in anticipation of more students using the area.

And have they retained and respected the character of the pub? Well, no.

The owner has now been overheard complaining that pub is full of old men, no women, no students and no one had money.

If he had done some homework, as business folk are supposed to, he would have found out the Universities and NUS advise students not to drink in pubs in Hulme, hence the lack of students in the Sally.

He would have realised also that the music nights attracted people, but they have stopped. They have even ripped the stage out.

But change can be good, and hopefully when the refurbishment is finished the pub will be an inclusive hub for all the community, it is certainly good that the brewer is independent.

We need to support our local pubs to make sure we don't lose them. The future of the Sally could be an interesting predictor of how students and locals mix as Hulme changes with the spread of the MMU.

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