Council Arrive in Force with Police at the Park- 9.30 am Monday 4th Feb 2013

Council have turned up in force with Police at the park this morning along with big machinery.

BBC and ITV  have arrived just now 9.40am

We need people at park to witness this.
This is about witnessing this failure of democracy with over 3000 names on the petition  Please video  as well on phones etc for our own evidence as we are taking this further.
Keep things calm and together .


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15 Responses to Council Arrive in Force with Police at the Park- 9.30 am Monday 4th Feb 2013

  1. Start a ‘Boycott the National Lottery’ campaign.

  2. Brian Telfer says:

    Exactly

  3. Rianna says:

    It seems like writing to the Councillors is a complete waste of time.

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Rianna
    Date: 4 February 2013 09:02
    Subject: Re: Unnecessary Felling of Trees – Harm to the Environment in the Local Community.
    To: cllr.r.battle@manchester.gov.uk

    Thank you for kindly responding to my e-mail.

    Having visited the park and viewed the pictures on the petition website what has caused me the utmost concern is the overwhelming felling of the magnificent trees.

    You mentioned that Manchester City Council has consulted widely with local residents and the surrounding community on the plans for the Park. I am a resident of Rosebery Street and Bowes Street and I was NOT sent any consultation papers; rather, I had to take upon myself to have a meeting with the project manager to relay across my concerns. If such consultation papers were sent out, as you say in your e-mail, by the City Council to the surrounding community of the park, then please will you send copies of this document to myself.

    Had there been overwhelming support for the restoration, then local residents whom I have spoke with personally, and who reside nearby the park itself, would have indicated with positive enthusiasm. All I have spoken to have disagreed with the destruction of the park and the excessive felling of trees.

    I lived through the Bowes Street regeneration of the Manchester City Council and did not sell my Victorian property to the council. Throughout the project the council bullied local residents in to accepting its plans and yet again we are seeing the same in regards to the restoration of Alexander Park. I do not believe that the Manchester City Council has the community’s interest at heart. The community wishes for its heritage to remain, Why is it that the Manchester City Council cannot come to accept and respect the views and concerns of the local residents that will actually be affected by this destruction of Alexandra Park and the environment.

    Again,I request passionately and most sincerely to you, that parts of the restoration plan considered by Manchester City Council be revised with a view to developing a more environmentally sensitive solution which is better suited and fits with the Manchester Tree Strategy and the overall environment of the local communities.

    With Best Regards

    Rianna

    On 31 January 2013 11:45, wrote:
    Dear Mr Riaz

    Thank you for your e-mail

    Throughout the development of the Alexandra Park project, Manchester City Council has consulted widely with local residents and the surrounding community on the plans for the Park.

    Overwhelmingly people have been supportive of the £5.5m investment in the Park and the exciting restoration that is planned. This will see new sports facilities, the restoration of the Pavilion, improvements to the lake as well as landscaping and planting schemes.

    Consultation has shown that Alexandra Park has a diverse range of users and the park will cater to the many differing needs and interests whether it is the natural world, heritage appreciation, social activity, sports or play.

    The only trees that are being removed are ones that are necessary to the delivery of the project and overall, 90% of the tree stock in the park will be retained.

    I hope this goes some way in alleviating your concerns.

    Kind Regards.

    Councillor Rosa Battle
    Executive Member for Culture & Leisure
    & Labour Member for Bradford Ward
    Executive Members’ Office, Manchester City Council, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA
    Tel: 0161 234 1833 (Internal Only: 800 1833) Fax: 0161 274 7001
    Mobile: 07984 821 331

    • Brian says:

      Hi Rianna, under the Freedom Of Information Act you can request the names and numbers of respondents in order to verify what ‘substantial’ means?? Yours B

      • Rianna and Brian – the consultation argument is a red herring so don’t be sucked in by it. I did fill in consultation papers which didnt mention anything about extensive tree felling. It asked questions about park usage and what improvements we thought would be good for the park. I doubt if hundreds of residents suggested felling hundreds of mature trees. If the choice between some of the new facilities and extensive tree felling had been clearly put I would never have supported such a development.

    • It might feel like a waste of time, but it really is worth writing to them. It keeps up the pressure and challenges their claim that only a tiny minority object to what they are doing.

      • Brian says:

        Hi here’s my latest e-mail from Councillor Murphy:
        Dear Mr Telfer

        Thank you for your e-mail regarding Alexandra Park.

        I can confirm that I am currently liaising with Eunice Long, South Area Manager for Community and Cultural Services and I will therefore respond back to you shortly to provide you with a fuller response.

        However, if in the meantime I can assist you any further, please do not hesitate contact me.

        Kind Regards.

        Cllr Nigel Murphy
        Labour Member for Hulme Ward
        and Executive Member for the Environment
        Manchester City Council

        Executive Members’ Office, Manchester City Council, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA
        Tel: 0161 234 3350 (Internal only 800 3350) Fax: 0161 274 7001
        Email: cllr.n.murphy@manchester.gov.uk
        Website: http://www.manchester.gov.uk
        . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
        Tina Howard-Bryning
        Personal Assistant to Executive Members
        Executive Members’ Office
        Manchester City Council
        Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA
        Tel: 0161 234 3328 (Internal: 800 3328)
        Fax: 0161 274 7001
        Email: t.howard-bryning@manchester.gov.uk

        brian telfer

        04/02/2013 12:55

        To
        “cllr.n.murphy@manchester.gov.uk”
        cc

        Subject
        Trees in Alexandra Park

        What on earth is going on with destroying our trees in Alexandra Park? Reading around the subject I get the drift that 400 or so ‘users of the park’ form a quorum vote for decisions about the fate of Alexandra Park? Is this legal? Is this the intention of the Heritage Lottery fund and Camelot when they donate money to charities?? How many trees have been felled last year in these areas (Whalley Range and Hulme)? Will Manchester City Council be re-planting every tree they have felled so that future generations can benefit from them? I hope Camelot and the Heritage Fund will be happy with the news coverage that they are destroying trees to make tennis courts?? How many tennis players do we have in this area?? yours B

    • Rianna and Brian – the consultation argument is a red herring so don’t be sucked in by it. I did fill in consultation papers which didnt mention anything about extensive tree felling. It asked questions about park usage and what improvements we thought would be good for the park. I doubt if hundreds of residents suggested felling hundreds of mature trees. If the choice between some of the new facilities and extensive tree felling had been clearly put I would never have supported such a development.

      • Brian says:

        Has anyone got any updates or are they stonewalling, but still going ahead with it thinking we’ll forget about it?

  4. Tracy says:

    I had a similar reply from one of my local councillors, and I’ve not even had an acknowledgement from Cllr Flanagan or Richard Leese. They are all singing from the same hymn sheet. I’m going to forward my emails to Lucy Powell and complain about the manners (or lack of) of these people, and about the manner in which this whole ‘consultation’ has been conducted.

  5. jaylad says:

    e.long@manchester.gov.uk
    9:47 AM (9 hours ago)

    to me, e.flanagan
    Dear Mr Taylor

    Thank you for contacting us about the tree felling as part of the Alexandra Park restoration. In responding to your concerns about the loss of some of the trees, I want to give you as full a picture as possible about what is happening in the Park and why.

    The plans for the restoration and refurbishment of Alexandra Park were formally submitted to the Planning Committee in October 2011 and, as usual with planning applications, the plans were publicised for consultation. Five objections to the plans were received, summarised as:
    – Loss of trees and destruction of habitat and associated impact on wildlife and biodiversity, have Greater Manchester Ecological Unit been consulted?
    – Overprovision of tennis courts and insecure boundary treatments to those courts
    – Criticism of the design of the pavilion extension

    Five letters of support were received, summarised as:
    – Thrilled at the proposed plans for the park
    – The park has been neglected for so long, this provides many positives to the community and builds on the vision of the founders of the park whilst making it fit for the people of Manchester in 2011.
    – Considerable local consultation in which the local residents have played an active role has lead to a cohesive and diverse plan for the development of the park
    – The demolition of the Surestart building on site should be conditional on the acceptance of the Heritage Lottery Bid.

    The Friends of Alex Park were quoted in the report to the Planning Committee as follows: “Whole hearted support for this application which relates to the Heritage Lottery Bid to refurbish and restore the fabric of this historic park. The Friends Group have been closely involved with this process from the very start of the first bid 10 years ago. This is the third bid to be submitted. We have been consulted in detail at every stage and greatly appreciate the efforts of all those involved. There are some who are concerned that the plans involve the removal of some trees and undergrowth, but they fail to appreciate the longterm benefit represented by these plans, which include sensitive replanting and restoration of this historic landscape and the refurbishment of the remaining historic buildings and structures. It would be a travesty if all the hard work and effort (not to mention expense) involved in this drawn out process, was wasted by the failure of the planning application, and we therefore urge the planning committee to grant the necessary permissions.”

    None of the objectors attended the Planning Committee. Representatives of the Friends Group did attend. The planning application was approved.

    In December 2011 the Council’s bid for Heritage Lottery Funding for the restoration and refurbishment of the Park was successful. The Council has match funded the bid from its Capital Budget and about £1m has been granted by various Sports Bodies so that a total of over £5m is being invested in the restoration and refurbishment.

    The plans for Alexandra Park have been discussed for 10 years and the Council has tried hard to involve as many people as possible in these discussions. The 2011 consultation highlighted, for example, that the natural aspect of the park is very important to some users. This directly led to the creation within the plans of separately zoned areas within the park. and three distinct zones were created – a Community Zone, a Natural Zone, and a Formal Zone. These modifications were introduced in direct response to feedback from consultation. Although Alexandra Park is a Grade II registered park, there was no intention to recreate a park that is totally Victorian in nature. By creating separate zones it was intended to create a contemporary park fit for modern day demands. Consultation has shown that Alexandra Park has a diverse range of users. The intention is that by having the three zones with their own character and focus, the park will cater to the many differing needs and interests whether it is the natural world, heritage appreciation, social activity, sports or play.

    The Park covers an area of 60 acres; it has a stock of 1590 trees within the boundary walls. Whilst many have been planted some are self sown and have developed within shrubberies which are dense, creating areas of the park where some people have expressed concerns over personal safety.

    As part of the restoration 258 trees will be removed;
    53 of these have been identified in the tree survey as needing to be removed for arboricultural reasons including being poor quality specimens;
    58 trees will be removed to address issues of personal safety.
    92 trees will be planted in the park including varieties already present such as Lime, London Plane and Poplar and adding new species such as Oak, Rowan, Cherry, Apple trees, and Pear trees bringing greater diversity to the tree species in the park.
    Overall, 90% of the tree stock in the park will be retained.

    Also being planted is 7000m2 of a variety of plants and shrubs creating an area rich in flowering plants and berries essential to improving the biodiversity in the park and a home for wildlife.

    The raised terrace comprises mainly sycamore and maple trees that were planted in the 1970’s, these particular non-native trees are considered to be highly invasive and have limited conservation value according to the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit. The reason for felling the trees in this location is to restore the terrace as an open raised area with wide footpaths and views across the rest of the park.

    Within the funding that has been made available to the restoration and refurbishment of the park is sufficient to employ a gardener and apprentice gardeners to maintain the planted areas for the next 10 years.

    As you can see, I have gone in to a lot of detail about Alexandra Park in the hope that the information I have provided alleviates your concerns.

    Kind regards
    Eunice Long

    Eunice Long
    South Area Manager
    (Community and Cultural Services)
    Mauldeth House
    Nell Lane
    M21 7RL
    Tel Internal 807 1300
    Tel External 882 1300
    Mobile: 07795504270
    Fax 0161 274 7142

    • jaylad says:

      Finally i received this email with regards my complaint to M.C.C.after waiting over a week!
      I feel like i’m banging my head against a wall with these ROBOTS! how many points can we pull on this email?? Have a go.
      Also look at who else is copied in at the top.

      • Simon Marsh says:

        People can feel vulnerable in a range of different environments, including those without any trees or vegetation (like underground car parks or deserted alleyways). The solution to this is to have a friendly uniformed presence, like park-keepers to patrol the park and respond quickly to any anti-social or criminal behaviour.

        The stuff about sycamore being “highly invasive and of limited conservation value” has been completely disproved, this opinion is no longer considered best practice in arboriculture.

        http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/pdf/sycamore-paper-ext-version.pdf
        http://www.rfs.org.uk/learning/sycamore
        http://www.southtyneside.info/article/17065/which-trees-are-the-most-valuable-to-wildlife

        If they have been working on the bid for 10 years why have they not completed a full inventory of all the parks trees to form the basis of all their tree management plans for the park?

        They say 258 trees will be removed, 53 because they poor quality specimens and 58 for reason of personal safety, what about the other 147, were they just in the wrong place at the wrong time?

        The trees they are judging “poor quality specimens” or “safety hazards” are typically younger, middle aged trees with premature ageing characteristics like rot holes, bark loss, dead branches, cracks, etc. Unless they are in imminent danger of collapse, all mature trees should be retained to become the next generation of veteran trees.

        Why is the Council not complying with British Standards introduced to balance the needs of tree care with those of development? Where is their BS 5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations Survey? A completed BS 5837 Survey is usually a prerequisite for planning permission. They can’t seriously argue trees won’t be affected by what they are doing can they?

      • jaylad says:

        They are at 258 trees felled NOW! Any more and its another lie we can expose on behalf of the magnificent ……………..M.C.C

    • Brian says:

      It must be a matter of public record how many people attended each of their meetings. What the Quorum size was used to justify this process and how many residents were approached etc. Surely they can supply this information on their website. Apart from defining what a ‘mature tree’ is will they be held accountable if 259 trees are felled?

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