How should our community spend £170,000? You decide!

Back in late 2007 an idea was muted by council officers that Salford needed a shiny new “gateway” into the city that looked appealing, instead of the drab entrance to Salford that the M602 roundabout offered. With the news that MediaCity:UK was to happen, a £3m funding application was submitted to the North West Development Agency and the idea was born.

The programme was split into two phases, the first involving updates to lighting, subways, plaques and pedestrian crossings at the M602 and Broadway roundabouts, which many considered necessary due to the complete lack of maintenance by the council.

The second phase involved the relocation of the Quays Cargo Cranes from their current location at the head of Ontario Basin to the M602 Roundabout. Many Salfordians have often complained about the way the cranes have been allowed to rust and rot and a lot of people wanted to see them saved and restored. However, phase two came at the astronomical cost of £750,000. Personally, I was quite vocal about the plans, and many shared my view that £3m spent on prettying up a roundabout, carrying out repairs that should have been done anyway and moving 2 huge lumps of metal up Trafford Road did not present value for money. That money could have been better spent saving Hope Hospital’s Maternity Unit, our NHS drop-in centres, building schools big enough for the number of children or repairing our dilapidated roads and council-owned buildings.

Yesterday I learned that funding for phase 2 has been withdrawn. The official word is that phase 2 has not been “scrapped”, but essentially (other than what work has already started) the rest of the plans are very unlikely to go ahead.

Why blog about this? Well a small, almost insignificant part of phase 2 was the construction of three “super crossings”, aka wide pedestrian crossings at key locations on Trafford Road and Broadway, which would make it a bit safer for pupils to cross these busy roads when the new Oasis Academy at Media City opens. With phase 2 being in doubt (read cancelled), the super crossings are unlikely to go ahead without the funds being found elsewhere.

One proposal put forward has been for the Ordsall & Langworthy Community Committee to exhaust it’s entire budget for the year to pay for these 2 super crossings. It’s worth noting that when the plans were submitted  by Oasis Academy for planning permission, they did so on the basis that these extra crossings would be in place by the time the new school opened. Their plans included the bare minimum needed (in terms of pupil travel plans) to allow for planning to be passed.

So, what’s the cost of these super crossings going to be to the community?

The answer is circa £160,000-£170,000 – and the reason I am blogging about this is to ask what you, the Langworthy community, think about this. I’d love to hear your thoughts, either by leaving a comment below or emailing me at steve@stevemiddleton.info

There will be further discussion on this at the next community committee meeting on January 11th (6.45pm). I urge as many Langworthy residents and groups as possible to attend to ensure you get your voice heard. If you cannot make it, I will do my best to get as many responses heard by the committee as possible.

Comments

  1. Ruth Mcauley November 13, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Whats wrong with having a lollypop lady?

  2. Steve Middleton November 9, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Sorry, Aled, yes it’s this Thursday 11th November. Don’t know why I typed September – I’ll blame my iPhone 🙂

  3. Aled November 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I presume it is this coming Thursday which is 11 November 2010 at 9.45am. It is a big shame that the playing fields are on a different site. It will be difficult to manage it especially the community use aspect of the proposal. Your Committee will get a lot of benefit from that if it was all on one site.

  4. Steve Middleton November 9, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I’ve just discovered that the planning committee is making a site visit to the location of the new Oasis Academy at MediaCity this Thursday 11th September at 9.45am

    Anyone who wishes to go along & raise any points with the panel may do so.

    As I am on nights, it’s doubtful I will be able to make it, but it would be a great opportunity to put forward points about the inadequate pupil travel and super crossings.

  5. Aled November 6, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    You could make the crossings cheaper by getting the Council to go out to competitive tender. How they prove value for money is a mystery to me but I do get the impression that UrbanVision are very very expensive.

  6. Steve Middleton November 6, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I wouldn’t like to speak for the whole committee but I certainly had initial reservations about demolishing a beautiful building & replacing it with an ugly square box. An adequate explanation for not keeping the original building was given at the plans presentation at community committee. I may not like it, but at least I understand it now.

    The pupil travel plan has not been approved as acceptable as yet, and this needs to be rectified soon. Planning should not be consented unless an approved pupil travel plan is in place. Added to that, we now discover the community committee may need to step in & exhaust it’s entire budget to pay for crossings that should have been part of the original plan.

    I worry how difficult it’s going to be for some students to cross Salford through rush hour traffic twice a day. It also can’t be ideal to have the school playing fields across a busy road (Trafford road).

  7. Aled November 6, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Is the O&L Comm Comm happy with the Oasis Academy plan? The 21st C Learning Commission has advocated scrapping the project on the grounds that the site is inadequate and can’t be justified on pupil nos basis. OK the Cabinet has vetoed that but it does mean that at least two other High Schools have to go if we don’t have too many empty places. We need an open debate on the subject but it isn’t going to happen.

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