Manchester City Council’s net revenue budget – the budget used to deliver services – is just over £666m. More than half of this budget is spent on Health and Social Care, and Children’s Services.
The council is facing an incredibly difficult budget position in 2021/22. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has meant increased costs – especially for services which support the city’s most vulnerable people – and a big hit to their income. The anticipated hit to next year’s budget from Covid-19 costs is £134m.
On 20 September the Tory government scrapped their temporary suspension of landlords’ rights to serve eviction notices. Tenants across the country can face losing their homes if they fall behind with rent due to short-term hardship during the Covid-19 crisis.
Assia Shah, Whalley Range Labour candidate in May 2021, says “I’m really concerned about the impact this may have, especially in Whalley Range and Moss Side with many people living in rented accommodation – it could lead to huge stress and worry for people who might be in temporary money difficulties through no fault of their own. The Councillors and I strongly support the Labour leadership in calling for the eviction ban to be extended at least until there is a proper plan to take us through this crisis”.
Manchester City Council, with partners Sustrans and Transport for Greater Manchester, have big plans to upgrade the popular cycling (and walking) route along the Fallowfield Loop, and they have launched a consultation to prioritise the improvements.
The traffic-free route links Chorlton in the west to Gorton and Fairfield in the east, running along the southern edge of Whalley Range ward with a ground-level link on Athol Road. Funding for this work has been earmarked from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund. Assia Shah, Whalley Range Labour candidate in the next local election, says “The Council are seeking the views of all users of this much-loved amenity on how this money should be spent. If you ever spend time cycling, jogging or even walking the dog on the Fallowfield Loop, I urge you to let them know how you think it can best be improved”.
The consultation closes on Friday 21 August. For more information and to take part, see the web page here.
Contractors working for the City Council have successfully completed the resurfacing work to Withington Road (between Brooks Bar and Manley Road).
Assia Shah (Whalley Range Labour candidate in the next local election, to be held in May 2021) has taken a look at the finished work. “Aftab, Angeliki and Mary have been pushing to get this work done – it’s great that it’s now complete” she said. “Pot holes and damaged road surfaces are bad for vehicles but also can be dangerous for cyclists as well.”
The work has been carried out as part of the ongoing £100m investment programme of repair and maintenance of Manchester’s roads and pavements.
Addressing concerns raised by many local people over the last year, the three Whalley Range councillors have requested that Withington Road and Alexandra Road South are considered for inclusion in the next round of roads to be designated with a 20mph speed limit.
Councillor Angeliki Stogia says “These roads are predominantly residential but also serve local shops, schools, religious facilities and of course Alexandra Park, and are well used by cyclists and crossed by many pedestrians. We need to do everything we can to encourage safe driving”.
Part of Withington Road is already a 20mph zone, but these proposals would see the scheme extended to the full length of the road – see here for a plan. If you would like more information or to make any comments, please get in touch with any of the Councillors before June 22nd.