5 key points – why what the council says can’t be trusted

1. Consultation – the council says the vast majority of local people support the plans

– but provide no proper evidence whatsoever to back this up. We, on the other hand, have 2400+ names on a petition objecting to the scale of tree felling

– because the council failed to disclose the full details of tree felling and shrub clearance when telling people about the renovation plans, people may have voiced their support without being fully informed of the destruction involved and the impact this would have on the trees, plants, birds and animals that live in the park

– in a MEN article 12/1/13 the council are quoted as saying that “Another exciting part of the project is finding a model where the community have more of a say in how the space is used and money is spent, which will be a first for Manchester” but all the important decisions have already been made!  So this is not real community empowerment

2. Public safety – the council says people are afraid to go in parts of the park, and that is why they are cutting trees and removing shrubs in those areas

– the council’s own survey with the public in summer 2012 shows that 96% of people said they felt very safe or safe in the park in the daytime. So where is their evidence of all these people that are afraid?

– the Police have told us that shrubs are generally used for sexual crimes but there are no incidents of this type being reported in the park, and that therefore removing trees and shrubs will not make much difference to how safe people are (in the day or at night) in the park. Removing trees and shrubs to reduce crime and increase perceptions of safety is not a real reason, its an excuse.

3. Council has public duty to conserve (enhance) biodiversity  – under the NERC Act 2006

– Actions speak louder than words and it is clear from their actions that the council couldn’t care less about nature – they didn’t produce a Biodiversity Masterplan as an integral part of their renovation plans submitted for Planning approval, they only produced one because they were forced to as a condition of planning approval.

4. Council not taking responsibility for its decisions – the council keeps saying it has to fell trees as a condition of HLF funding

– The Heritage Lottery Fund have told us in writing that this is not true and “can confirm that at no point were the council told that HLF would withdraw the grant based on individual design decisions, including tree felling”.

5. Council bullying attitude

– The council attitude towards wild nature is one of wanting to control and dominate it, they want to get rid of what little wild nature there is in the park in favour of a tamed manicured version that they are hilariously calling the ‘Natural Zone’. And this bullying attitude can be seen in their treatment of local citizens too – they are dismissing and ignoring the objections of 2400+ people and are forcing through their plans regardless. This is hardly a good example of participatory democracy!

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6 Responses to 5 key points – why what the council says can’t be trusted

  1. Barney Bardsley says:

    The consultation process was deliberatley mis-managed so they could quietly go ahead with their plans unchallenged. The only reason I found out about this was someone kindly put a notice up at the entrance to the park stating the Councils intentions. So why couldnt the council, or even leaflet people in the area? Its not that difficult. But the Council do have form, I live next to the park and they did exactly the same when they wanted to cut perfectly healhy trees in Whalley Range down. They are sneaky, underhanded and dangerous to the environment. And just as the rest of the country is waking up to the value of trees the Manchester City Council are going the other way and destroying them to put ‘tennis courts’ on or simply to give work to their friends down at the masonic lodge. Unbelievable.

  2. leo says:

    the council seem hell bent on destuction of anything pleasant that we value or enjoy remember them on polling day

  3. jaylad says:

    The council must have the foresight to realise that with budgets slashed the up keep, of what is going to be basically planted borders, will not happen, just as the rest of Manchester City Councils parks we will be left with a baron field. Alexandra has a rich heritage (google it) and cannot be allowed to be set back a hundred years, as thats all this planned leveling of SELF SUSTAINING greenery will be. NOT IN MY NAME!!

  4. Craig says:

    What can we do about it?

  5. Ged says:

    Good quality wood commands a high price. I’ve noticed that many trees with substantial girths have gone since the new government took power. What happens to this potentially very lucrative source of income after the ‘good wood’ has gone?

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