The Manchester Evening News published a portion of Jo Campbell’s letter on Friday. Sadly they didn’t feel that the existence of our petition was more important than a letter from Cllr Pat Karney that was published underneath. But since readers of the MEN only hear from Pat Karney more than once every six weeks or so, it’s perhaps understandable. Today they published a letter from a regular correspondent, Amal Basu of Ancoats-or-thereabouts. We got in touch with him via his website, and he has forwarded the complete letter he sent.
I read with interest Jennifer Williams’ article on Town Hall’s plea for suggestions to spend £15m windfall to make Manchester the UK’s “cleanest, greenest city” (from Cllr. Pat Karney) [10th September, Page 4]. My this open letter is through your widely circulated Manchester paper, for the dear Cllr. Karney
The idea of replacing the city centre bins with the ‘hi-tech smart bins’, like the so called ‘Smart’ phones, may be very attractive and youth-speak but is this the cure for the malaise that has in the Mancunians’ psyche by long ignoring needs of the locals who have given up any hope of improvements? Has it occurred to the Council that some bright coloured street bins and flower baskets are not deep enough to cure this malaise? Manchester, especially north and east fringe of the city centre where the Centre is planned to expand, is gradually looking like high-rise slums. People who live in these areas would need more than a few colourful bins and mangy flower baskets to have green consciousness. They need to live in a green environment to have respect for these superficial gestures. These two areas where there are still some open spaces could be converted to neighbourhood leafy squares and assigned to the local communities who would be thrilled to maintain it and bear the ‘green’ credentials for Manchester. Some of these open spaces (in Ancoats) are in danger of being sold off to build more buildings of dubious characters. If the Councillor wants to make Manchester ‘Green’ halt this madness and bring the local communities to the mission of greening Manchester. If Manchester wants to compete with London, be like Kensington and Chelsea which is strewn with little neighbourhood squares, then Manchester could shed its grimy Northern reputation.