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<b>Friday 27 June:</b> Brown in Manchester, racecourse on hold and floods are back

Published on June 27th 2008.

ON THE FIRST anniversary of his premiership, Gordon Brown will be in Manchester today. His schedule includes a visit to Manchester College of Arts and Technology. He will also be discussing Greater Manchester’s proposed congestion charge, though he has not been drawn into taking sides as to whether there should be a public referendum on the project.

THE HIGHWAYS AGENCY put a hold on Peel Holdings’ proposed £100 million leisure development at Worsley and Boothstown, when they issued a directive to Salford Council not to consider the proposal, to be called Manchester Racecourse, for two months. Citing concerns over the volume of traffic that the proposed development would create, the agency issued an initial directive that could be extended further. The stretch of motorway around junction 13 of the M60 already suffers problems with congestion. Local residents fear further delays if the scheme goes ahead.

A NUMBER of Greater Manchester homes were flooded last night as torrential rain swept the region. Boothstown, Wigan, Middleton, Weaste and Failsworth all suffered severe flooding. Fire services had a busy night tackling the results of the downpour.

THE ASSOCIATION of Greater Manchester Authorities meet today for the first time since Sir Richard Leese said publicly that congestion charging should be subject to a referendum. The ten council leaders will be discussing the prospect of a referendum on the proposed charging plan which three of them oppose. Bolton Council has already said that it will hold its own referendum.

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EmbarrassedJune 27th 2008.

As there is no longer a section in which to specifically rant about: 'Free classical concerts at Spinningfields' I'll do it here.I went in my lunch-hour, so could only stay for 30 mins but thoroughly enjoyed the talented four-some that had turned out to entertain the genral public. How embarrassing however that when I arrived, the four performers out-numbered the audience! Yes it was spitting, but the area was under the bridge that is created by Leftbank apartments and so sheltered from the rain. Is there something endemically wrong with British, or perhaps more to the point Mancunian culture that a conurbation of 2.5m people cannot even draw double figures at any one time, to a free classical concert celebrating the city's own music?

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