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Mucky MCR: We've Come So Far, This Lets Us Down

Jonathan Schofield on why the city should wash its face

Written by . Published on July 23rd 2013.


Mucky MCR: We've Come So Far, This Lets Us Down
 

MANCHESTER has had a remarkable summer.

The success of the big Etihad Stadium gigs in June was followed by a superb Manchester International Festival in a gloriously sunny city. Combine these with all the amenity Manchester presently offers and we've had a packed city centre full of people enjoying themselves.  

Administrations must react to the situation before them. If there is a problem it should be addressed. Appeals to dirty people who chuck litter are all well and good but it doesn't in the short term achieve anything.

Next week we’re putting up a story on Confidential called Tourism Audit which will highlight how good we have become as a tourist city.  

Summer in the city

 

Summer in the city

This is all very encouraging for the economy, for jobs and investment. But it's also important for those more abstract virtues of city morale; about feeling good about ourselves because we live in a dynamic city.

But as is the way with these things it's not all good news. We’re letting ourselves down over one of the basics.

City centre Manchester has been very, very mucky over the last few weeks.

The city buzz has made litter collection and street cleaning a real issue. 

The bin's been emptied but the scum left all about - bad practice

 

The bin's been emptied but the rubbish left all about - bad practice, was the street cleaner in a rush?

If you should happen to have been out in the late evening in, say, Piccadilly or Deansgate, especially at weekends, or at certain times in the late afternoons, or before 10am on weekend mornings, then you will have seen litter bins overflowing onto the street. The pavements stained with dropped coffee, coke, vomit and who knows what else. 

Grubby two shoes

 

Grubby two shoes

It's been ugly.

People socialising in the evening, or having stayed over in Manchester walking to stations and carparks on Saturday and Sunday mornings must walk over litter carpets. 

Canal Street, Sunday morning, 10am

 

Canal Street, Sunday morning, 10am

The stained streets, dramatically highlighted as pavements have dried in the hot weather, are just as big an eyesore as the litter.

Cllr Bernard Priest,  Manchester City Council's executive member for neighbourhood services, said to Confidential: "We welcome the fact that Manchester International Festival and the recent good weather have brought thousands of people into the city centre, and we recognise the importance of clean streets to residents and visitors.

"We will be introducing new shift rotas before the end of July, following a lengthy process to amend staff working arrangements in order to meet the demands of one of the UK's busiest city centres.

"Due to successive unfair budget settlements, we now have drastically reduced resources but these new rotas will mean we will be using our resources in a much more efficient way. While we hope that residents will be able to see an improvement following these changes we will be closely monitoring how our streets look before deciding whether any more action is needed.

"We take our responsibilities to clean the city centre very seriously, but members of the public also need to behave responsibly by not dropping litter and I would like to call on Manchester Confidential readers to show their pride in the city by helping us keep the city litter-free."

Bless him for that call to arms with our readers but as these pictures show, the main problem is people not being able to fit their rubbish into the bins in the first place. Which is then spread by the wind and feet.

Nothing else will fit

Nothing else will fit - not even a wafer thin After Eight

People are trying their best.

And in any case administrations must react to the situation before them. If there is a problem it should be addressed. Appeals to dirty people who chuck litter are all well and good but it doesn't in the short term achieve anything. Of course people should show more self-respect and consideration for others but if they don't then action has to be taken.

The new rotas later this month must take into account the way people use the city centre and not depend on outmoded notions of restrictive practice.

If contracts have to be varied then they must. Anybody who's lived in continental city centres knows that street cleaning takes place in the very early hours to get the streets ready for the day ahead. It's the only way the thing can get done properly.

What is particularly worrying is the council statement that while 'we do also have a programme of pavement washing in the city centre we are not able to clean every street on a weekly basis'. Or even tell us how frequently pavements are washed.

We'll monitor what's happening with some of the dirty streets shown on this page and try and give people an idea of progress with the new rotas, if any.

Yuck

 

Yuck

Of course we live in straitened times with Manchester City Council having been whacked by Osborne's still-born austerity programme.

But poverty is no excuse for a dirty face. Maybe the council has to think of other ideas to maintain control over the basics in the city centre; volunteer programmes perhaps, street clearing teams of residents rampaging with brushes and litter grabbers through the streets.

Improbable. Perhaps. I'd definitely join in. And it's not as though there aren't some heroic amateurs out there already. Several noble souls in Castlefield and the Northern Quarter are doing their bit by helping clear the streets in their areas in their own time, gratis. We've got a profile of these good guys coming up soon. 

Perhaps businesses should show more pride and civic commitment and hose down the areas outside their shops and offices. It's again what frequently happens in Mediterranean tourist hotspots and city centres.

Of course they'd complain about crippling rents and rates and that they're already paying into schemes such as Business Improvement District (BID), but as stated above, if there's a problem it has to be addressed.

There's no excuse in having a picnic and not clearing it up - residents and visitors should have a touch more self-respect

 

There's no excuse in having a picnic and not clearing it up - residents and visitors should have a touch more self-respect

Meanwhile a key objective in Manchester’s current City Centre Strategic Plan is that the city centre ‘must establish (itself) in people’s minds as an exemplary location that is widely regarded as clean, safe, well-maintained and managed, and indeed stewarded; a place that is actively looked-after and cared-for’. 

BID hosts with Cllr Pat KarneyBID hosts with Cllr Pat KarneyGreat strides have been made with the introduction of city centre hosts in limited areas of retail Manchester (see BID link above) but the litter and stained street situation is unacceptable - and still at times terrible in the streets the hosts walk.

Anecdotally our Manchester mess is worse than in our competitor cities in the North and Midlands which is a crying shame given the summer we've had: a summer that shows, litter and filth aside, we're miles ahead when it comes to events and innovative ideas from both private and public sector

Maybe we won't use this telephoneMaybe we won't use this telephone

St Ann's Square at 6.20pm on a SaturdaySt Ann's Square at 6.20pm on a Saturday

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here @JonathSchofield or connect via Google+

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72 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJuly 23rd 2013.

I've also noticed the effect of the recent hot weather distilling fluids spilled onto pavements around town into foul smelling deposits. I contacted the council about a specific area and asked how often road and pavement wet cleaning was carried out. The council was helpful in that they contacted the local bar responsible for much of the problems and requested they improve their sweeping, but received no answer to my question about council cleaning. It seems they are leaving the responsibility to local businesses, whereas it should be a shared effort I think.

AnonymousJuly 23rd 2013.

As a resident, it's depressing to live in such a sh*t hole.

1 Response: Reply To This...
PaulJuly 25th 2013.

Tell me about it. I had to move out. It's embarrassing.

Hero
Stuart BaileyJuly 23rd 2013.

It's not just Manchester City Council who are being very lax about litter. Trafford have even removed dog poo bins from some of it's parks. Seymour Park is a prime example. The bins are over flowing and rubbish is blowing in the wind. i even witnessed the grass being cut the other day that the rubbish was just mown over.....

Hero
Penny CloustonJuly 23rd 2013.

To be fair the weather in Manchester has been extraordinary ove the last few weeks due to the lack of rain which can normally be relied upon to wash the streets so is it any surprise that Manchester might not have the resources to wash the streets as much as we would like. I'd have to say when I have visited that there London and Paris that whilst there was not much rubbish to see where I visited, you definitely knew that the pavements were the source of the smell. However that does not excuse the lack of rubbish collections from public bins as this must be a health hazard and surely additional rubbish collections can be made from any additional money the council receives from the public events. I note during MIF that the recycling facilities were great within Albert Square even if some people were unable to use them properly so should we be pushing for more recycling bins across the city? As for the litter picks, this is currently a discussion occurring in Levenshulme and whilst there are some who will gladly take part to improve the area that they live in, there are others who refuse saying why should they do it when they believe the council should do it or if they do take part then they want the collected rubbish to be deposited on town hall's steps. It should be noted that last I heard the council will be providing skips for the litter pickers to deposit their collections into.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Hero
Penny CloustonJuly 23rd 2013.

There were paragraphs in there when I wrote it.

PaulJuly 25th 2013.

Absolutely nothing to do with the weather. The streets of Manchester have been filthy for years. The cuts have just made it more evident. The people need to be ashamed for what they are doing. The council has a responsibility to also provide more adequate bins. I am embarrassed when my friends come over from Germany.

AnonymousJuly 23rd 2013.

They can't blame the cuts ,how come Liverpools city centre is spotless.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 23rd 2013.

It's easier to blame cuts than do something about it.

AnonymousJuly 23rd 2013.

Kevin....Joan..are you there?.....what say you. Probably not a sexy enough subject.

AnonymousJuly 23rd 2013.

I asked KP about this and of course the cuts were blamed. It's not good enough!

DavidJuly 24th 2013.

Are you kidding? Liverpool is generally much worse, especially around the Matthew Street area. It's only recently Manchester has had this, and it's because of the increase in events. Hope they get it sorted quickly.

AnonymousJuly 24th 2013.

The streets in Manchester have gradually been getting worse and worse for a few years now, but never as bad as they have been the last 6 months to a year. The increase in events doesn't help, but it's far from the cause. Matthew St is admittedly not the best, but most of Liverpool city centre is far cleaner than Manchester.

PaulJuly 25th 2013.

Liverpool isn't spotless but it's noticeably better than Manchester. Even London streets are noticeably cleaner except for small confined areas of high density bars/takeaways. The city of London is impecably clean considering the amount of people. Manchester is by far the filthiest city I have ever been to. Cardiff is pretty filthy in parts but is way behind Manchester.

Toon ArmyJuly 23rd 2013.

I'm currently house hunting in Manchester and was surprised by the state of the streets. I've been a regular visitor and its always been spot-on, I hope it goes back to how it used to be. I currently live in Newcastle Upon Tyne and its always spotless. Although I do appreciate the size of Newcastle compared to Manchester I'd have expected more of an effort to make sure all areas were covered.

1 Response: Reply To This...
PaulJuly 25th 2013.

It's been filthy for a few years now. I lived in the northern quarter for 3 years and the whole area looked like a complete dump on sunday mornings. What makes things worse is that the council now seems unbothered about tackling it by trying to make a point about government cuts to council budgets. I moved out as I couldnt stand the filth any longer.

AnonymousJuly 23rd 2013.

I live in the city centre and have found the filthy streets a turn off in the heatwave. It's embarassing for Manchester. Glad of the rain this morning.

Jill JillianJuly 23rd 2013.

When was the last time you saw a street cleaner with a brush

tblzebraJuly 23rd 2013.

The Rochdale Canal is also terrible through the city centre JS; narrow-boaters often can't open the lock gates fully due to the volume of rubbish.  There's also a group of residents making a real difference in improving the area around Ancoats' canals: ancoatscanal.wordpress.com/…

melodyJuly 23rd 2013.

I've noticed this also the place is a mess it's disgusting, we had family stay with us recently, we live near the northern quarter but I had to avoid Oldham street it is such a mess and Piccadilly as well awful, sick blood and chicken bones yummy !. I would have thought especially with the MIF the council would have gone all out. It is embarrassing and as a proud mancunian I think it's time for me to leave this city behind. New York is spotless, we're a city of similar size why can't we sort it out

AnonymousJuly 23rd 2013.

It would also be nice if the potholes were filled, white lining re-applied where needed, and the planters around the city centre had more plants than litter!

AnonymousJuly 23rd 2013.

Forget Joan and Kevin....what exactly do Bernstien and Lees think?

AnonymousJuly 23rd 2013.

Would you eat in a resturant with rubbish piled up outside , like wise would you invest in a city that can't even clean its self.

DavidJuly 23rd 2013.

Schofield as usual manages to be both critical of the council while ultimately peddling the Labour Party myth that its all ultimately the fault of the governments austerity programme.Also as per usual he never interviews any non Labour politician who might present an alternative view. More money does not mean better public services.Its about good management and flexible and productive staff.The police service have managed to absorb significant reductions in manpower while the crime rate has fallen.Manchester council is just extremely inefficient and unwilling to tread on the toes of the public sector unions,who provide Labour with much of its funding. The problem with Manchester is that it is so polically dominated by Labour,that its elected members are more concerned about the interests of their Party than they are their voters.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 23rd 2013.

True they cut and run down things in the publics view and peddle the ' poor us' not our fault attitude while still funding their own pet projects

AnonymousJuly 24th 2013.

I think you're kidding yourselves with all this baloney about tourism and shallow plastic events like the MIF and markets. The vomit and filth are the consequence of turning Manchester into a party city instead of a centre for business, the media and education as it used to be. The city centre is in a downward spiral now and it will be very difficult to turn it around. How long before the dirt, and vile anti-social nightime behaviour stop a significant number of people visiting? I truly can't see why anyone would want to come anymore. But keep up the deluded hype by all means!

JoanJuly 24th 2013.

I agree, parts of the city centre have been filthy, particularly so during the recent hot weather. Other parts are generally fine. There’s a range of reasons, but that doesn’t mean it can’t change. The council is under massive financial pressure, as everyone knows. The city centre cleaning regime is undergoing a revamp, with new rotas. As with any change there’ll be a short-period to bed-in, spot and correct the problems. I’ve reported a on few particularly sensitive areas in recent weeks and seen positive action. Over the next few weeks I’ll be zooming round taking pics of the problems I see and asking for corrective action. Email me at cllr.j.davies@manchester.gov.uk if there’s a particular spot you’d like me to look at. Kev and I will be getting a report on the implementation on the new rotas shortly. The blame for the mess is wide-spread. Cuts and inefficiencies are part of it, but the cause of much of the litter is the way people, and some businesses, behave. Empty bottles strewn across public realm areas, piles of cigarette ends outside offices, pubs and bars, and fliers strewn outside venues can all be avoided. Certainly if they happen the council should clear it, but also try to change people’s behaviour; that takes time and will never be completely effective. There are positives. The vast majority of people put their litter in the bins, and when they are full place their litter carefully around the bins. The recent 40% good-weather increase in footfall in some parts of the city plus the greater temptation to picnic outside has overrun the current bin-emptying capacity. Council officers recognise the need to improve flexibility to cope with demand surges – I always argue that if we were Blackpool council we would have a flexible beach-cleaning capacity, and it’s recognised that this is what is needed for the city centre, as well as other areas.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidJuly 24th 2013.

The council seems to manage to employ staff at all hours of day and week at considerable expense to target motorists.They don't display the same interest in targeting people dropping litter.Maybe because they view one as more profitable. As usual You prefer to blame the public and blame the government and you dare not criticise council cleaning workers,as you will upset your friends in the public sector unions. If the streets are not cleaned and people deterred from dropping litter,there is actually only one body to blame,that's your council.

AnonymousJuly 24th 2013.

We cleaned around the full bin outside our premises after a recent charity walk putting the extra waste into bin bags.Surprise surprise the street cleaners emptied the bin and left the bags which by the morning ended up strewn all down the road.There seems to be a 'not my job mate' attitude to street cleaning even though they are getting a wage rise.

JoanJuly 24th 2013.

Anon: can you please give me date and location? This is not what should happen. The contractors who empty the bins are supposed to empty the bin and also remove the rubbish placed next to and on top of it. If you email me your contact details I'll get back to you. cllr.j.davies@manchester.gov.uk

John HarrisJuly 24th 2013.

All of this idle chat and no-one has pointed out the really significant issue, ie Schofield's grotesque apostrophe abuse in the title

1 Response: Reply To This...
Manchester ConfidentialJuly 24th 2013.

Thank you, we have now changed it.

AnonymousJuly 24th 2013.

Can Cllr Priest explain why MCC weren't using their resources in a 'much more efficient way' prior to the spending cuts? Because it sounds as though they were just fine with wasting money when it was plentiful. It's the same old story when any criticism is made of MCC - blame it all on the cuts.

David BishopJuly 24th 2013.

Never really understood why we don't have the people on community service doing stuff like this... and making sure there is salt on the roads (and pavements) when it is icy too. Do MCC have a view on this?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
johnoJuly 24th 2013.

yes what do those on Community service actually do?

James SmithJuly 25th 2013.

Agree entirely, don't want to sound all Daily Mail but it used to p*ss me right off having to walk into work through filth whilst some criminal scumbag will be tucked up in bed whilst paying off some paltry fine at £1 per week, or doing his half and hour a week community service at a convenient time in the afternoon, well god knows where because have never seen a single one in Greater Manchester. I think MCC did actually try to introduce something along the lines of dealing with litter but seem to recall the MEN running a number of negative stories against it. There is a problem with scrotes in

AnonymousJuly 24th 2013.

As someone who visits both Manchester and Liverpool regularly, neither is especially clean but it's true Manchester does seem to be more litter strewn - but the half of Liverpool's city centre that is spotless is Liverpool One, run by a private company. Just saying...

1 Response: Reply To This...
DavidJuly 24th 2013.

That is a good point.The Trafford Centre is also cleaner than the city centre.Maybe that's because a private company feels it has more of a commercial incentive to provide a attractive environment to the public,as its business largely depends on it.The council on the other hand is horrible complacent.Even great cities like New York in the mid 1970s can go into decline if you do not provide a safe and clean place for people to live and work.

Manchester ‘pride’?July 24th 2013.

This appears to be a growing cultural ‘thing’. In that it has simply become OK and normal for at least a very large minority, who have access to throw away goods everywhere, to become an active part of the throw away society… and simply throw away stuff everywhere. It has become socially acceptable to place a disposable BBQ on park furniture or grass or in flower beds and create a napalm patch work effect. It is standard to have a few beers and cigs and then just get up from the rubbish ring and walk off. This may cause some spluttering into coffee cups – but if it is so unacceptable why is the city so filthy so often. I took a walk through the lovely canal side park in New Islington a while ago and it looked like the day after Glastonbury. I personally have been a volunteer on city center and surrounds litter pics and have watched people litter in our wake. I have seen the amazement on many of my foreign friends faces when they see this. And it is agreed that people from all walks of life seem to do litter everywhere in the city. We have spoken to some litter bugs and their amazed reaction to being pulled up on it, as if we had just told them it was wrong to wear sun glasses, shows just how deep rooted the issue is. It is a truly broad egalitarian phenomenon. Manchester (perhaps rightly so) has a habit of wearing it’s sporting, music and cultural and industrial pride in huge neon on it's sleeve. Why then such an absence of civic and community pride and a preparedness by large amounts of people to trash the vey place they would wax on about as the UKs 2nd city whenever in a bar overseas? Maybe this is a national sickness or even global – but I only live here. We can blame the council or the Tory’s or Maggie etc etc all we want…. But is it really the case that people think ‘b&*^% council don’t supply enough bins so I am going to just litter and strike a blow against the man!? People carry packaging to the park for a picnic…. Why do they not simply carry it home? We need to look at ourselves – why is there so little practical pride by so many in this great city? Why such an absence of such a basic community spirit? Maybe more emphasis on educating people about the costs and 'wrongness' of littering is needed. After all it is now no longer OK to smoke in doors in public places.

1 Response: Reply To This...
DavidJuly 24th 2013.

I would be careful with foreign comparisons especially with European ones.Paris really is truly filthy and dirty.That especially so when you are out of the centre,in the suburbs.Virtually all the building there and trains are blighted by graffiti.But that might explain the run down state of these places.Nice places are clean places.

Manchester ‘pride’?July 24th 2013.

Can’t stop litter… but can stop paragraphs it seems!

Manchester ‘pride’?July 24th 2013.

David then all hope is truly lost if our only consoling comparison is the fact that the French are just as bad!

Poster BoyJuly 24th 2013.

It's a question of priorities and the hard truth, in the face of hollow words, is that a clean and litter free city centre, evidentially, isn't.

AnonymousJuly 24th 2013.

I live in City Gate apartments on Blantyre Street. If you park here, you have to buy a ticket. The money goes to the council. We had a big litter issue with some people who parked who thought it was ok to dump their car litter onto the street. When we asked the council to provide litter bins, we were met with a negative response - no money for new litter bins. So the residents decided to buy 3 litter bins out of the service charge to help keep Blantyre St clean They are used every day and are emptied by the City Gate caretaker. We also power wash "our" side of the street twice a year. Our residents also get involved with the regular litter sweeps around Castlefield. We are trying to do our bit to keep this little bit of Manchester clean. It would be nice to have a bit more support from the council.

1 Response: Reply To This...
PaulJuly 25th 2013.

Good on you for doing your bit. Unfortunately, there is something in the culture of Mancunians that makes them think it is ok to litter. I used to regularly clear the bottles and litter from the side streets I used to live in around the northern quarter. Although it was soul destroying as every morning there was fresh mess in large volumes. The council definitely needs to do more and have harsher penalties. I thought Mancunians were supposed to be proud of their city?

Andrew BelfieldJuly 24th 2013.

its always filthy (bar the heat wave)chewing gum cigarette butts ,half knawed chicken legs,broken bottles ,the streets never get washed daily like you see in spain when on holiday etc. the after effects of the courteeners gig at the arena was also left unfinished-on the grass area .i went to sit there the other night and felt like i was sat in an ash tray,there were lighters left in the sun,bottles,also all this red and white ticker tape obviuosly from the encore explosion. oh and i note fosters lager stuck advertising on the canopy there which is now marked with 5 big "f"s permanently.

JenwanJuly 24th 2013.

Whilst cuts to services may indeed have had an impact on the collection of rubbish and street cleaning, and the weather on what happens when this rubbish/spills are left unattended there is definitely a culture of 'couldn't care less' among our fellow Mancs (and not just Mancs). I regularly attend various festivals over the summer months and am always left appalled by the amount of litter left around campsites, and not just by 'kids', although the fields occupied by teens/early 20's are generally in a far bigger state than elsewhere. If they treat the city streets like the place they call home for 3-4 nights it is no surprise litter is becoming an ever increasing menace. There really is no pride, or consideration for others. I see nothing wrong with using groups, such as those on community sunshine, to help tackle this issue. Or holding clear up events using volunteers. Perhaps schools may also be willing to get involved, and that way we're also educating the next generation to take more pride in their surroundings. It appears there are many other avenues to explore so why aren't the council being proactive, rather than waiting for Manchester to get such a bad name in the press that no one wishes to visit our otherwise fantastic city?

PaulJuly 25th 2013.

Manchester is the filthiest city I have ever lived in. I regularly visit southern cities and they are spotless. I come home and there is filth everywhere from the minute you step foot on Piccadilly Metrolink platform. It's got nothing to do with the recent hot weather. I lived in the NQ for 3 years and had to move out because of the filth. The people of Manchester should be ashamed. I have seen business people in suits sitting around the Lory Hotel at lunch time just throwing their sandwich wrappers on the floor. The only places there is not a problem is Spinningfields and that;s privately cleaned. I will move from Manchester soon and it's partly due to the filth. I can't live in a city like this. It is embarrassing.

PaulJuly 25th 2013.

I regularly see jet washing of the pavements in other cities. I lived in the city centre of Manchester for 3 years and never saw on once. I now live in Media City and Peel regularly jetwash the whole area to keep it clean. It really is noticeable how filthy the people of Manchester are.

AnonymousJuly 25th 2013.

Walk through the vomit-stained streets on a hot Sunday evening as I did last week and take a look at the people: shaven-headed thugs and rough tattooed women waddling about, prematurely aged through booze and fags. See the signs at the Opera House for shows based on XFactor and Disney movies. Read the news about glassings at "trendy" bars. Cultural this ain't. Stuffing your face at restaurants and booze with every event isn't "culture", no matter how much Manchester Confidential would like it to be (because it pays the bills). Yes we can blame the council and indeed there does always seem to be money for marketing and MTV concerts (more lowest common denominator trash). But "we've come so far" - come to what exactly? All you've done is encourage people, who would have been puking, boozing and fighting on out-of-town estates 15 years ago, to come into the city centre and do it. I can tell you, tourists don't like it and the impact of that will be felt soon!

Hero
Ann WebbJuly 25th 2013.

I really think local businesses should be made to jet wash and pick up litter outside their premises. I also think there is a role for the traffic wardens. They are more of a visible presence then the police - couldn't they help in the fight against litter, by reporting streets that need cleaning to a 'hit squad of litter pickers'?

DavidJuly 25th 2013.

Why should local business do this?.What do they pay taxes for?.In the expectation that the the council will do this. What is noticeable is that privately run and owned,public spaces seem to make the effort to keep them clean.As otherwise they would lose customers and businesses.Public sector ownership is not subject to these pressures,and clearly Manchester Council is more interested in not upsetting the unions,rather than it is cleaning the streets properly.

1 Response: Reply To This...
crisbyJuly 25th 2013.

David thanks to your rabid anti-council and anti-union bias you miss an obvious point. 'why should business pay extra'? In the privately-run spaces you praise, that's exactly what they do, through their rent or service charge. Maybe there's a solution if we think in those terms. The Council's resources aren't enough to keep up with the cause of the increased litter, which is changes in the way people behave as well, I suspect, as the amount of packaging. after all, business is making more money as a result of all these people swilling around the city; so why shouldn't they take part in the solution?

James SmithJuly 25th 2013.

There are too many issues now that a change needs to be made, the practical one party state that is MCC is long overdue a shake up. Faceless career Councillors who are either oblivious to, or deliberately ignore, the views of the business and inhabitants of the City, and in particular the City Centre. Short sighted, unimaginative and ultimately damaging. The numerous bad decisions they have made, and continue to make, have no consequences to them, because come the next round of elections they know they'll back the very next day on the back of a party politically motivated/generated majority. Not until their cushy little backsides are on the line might they start to sit up and take a bit of notice.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 26th 2013.

Sadly though, this city is POLITICALLY DEAD. (Just how the Labour Party want it?) Voter turnout is getting lower & lower and more & more embarrassing for this once great city. Manchester is in desperate need of an opposition, both in the town hall and in the media too. But without "intervention" by central government and another "imposed" Local Government Act (similar to the 1972 one), I just can't things ever changing?

AnonymousJuly 26th 2013.

Well done Manchester Confidential. Never understood why the MEN never ran a campaign on this whole issue? Sadly they're not even based in the city anymore (so probably wouldn't even know, right?) and these days seem totally reluctant to criticise MCC full stop.

AeronJuly 26th 2013.

A friend of mine brought some Swedish guests into the city centre for Sunday lunch last weekend. We walked from my place on Ducie Street, down Canal Street, through China Town and on to Deansgate and Spinningfield. The litter situation, at least until we reached Spinningfield, was shameful. Why is there no bin emptying and street cleaning done first thing on Sundays? Surely it's not a surprise to the council that after a busy Saturday night, there needs to be an early-morning clean-up operation like they have in major cities across Europe. Come on MCC, this is embarrassing.

DavidJuly 26th 2013.

Leadership comes from the top,and in the case of Manchester it's got in Leese somebody with none of the qualities necessary to be leading a major city.The man is completely unaccountable.I don't much like Boris Johnson,but you can be sure that if this were London he would personally get himself involved in clean up campaign.If for no other reason that he wants to keep his job.Leese on the other hand seems to want to rival Robert Mugabe for the length of time he stays in power.

AnonymousJuly 26th 2013.

As a city centre resident I wholeheartedly support this campaign. How many times am I supposed to phone the council? Don't officers ever see the piles of filth, the broken bins and the masses of old fag ends for themselves? And it's got nothing to do with cuts - that's just lazy old Labour smearing their tired old politics on to a serious management issue. David is right about Sir Richard Leese being unaccountable - and of course Sir Richard and his ilk at the Town Hall don't ever walk the city centre streets and see for themselves how feeble the street cleaning has become. As far as I'm concerned, the entire council leadership have well and truly earned the 'Dirty Old Men of Manchester' award. The MIF is supposed to have generated squillions. Can't they spend even a few bob of it on polishing up the city?

SpennerJuly 26th 2013.

I spent about 8 years living in Germany up to my early teens. When I arrived back on the shores of my birth the one thing that struck me, as a 13 year old, is how unclean and unloved generally everything seemed. I came back to Manchester in 1980. Someone has since elucidated the German/English attitude to litter dropping. If a German drops litter, they have to ultimately pay for someone to pick it up, through their taxes. If an English person drops litter, its keeping someone in a job. I don't necessarily subscribe to this opinion, but I do believe there is an English attitude problem. How many of us, after witnessing blatant littering, would tap the litterer on the shoulder and point out the error of their ways? I wouldn't. Maybe I should start. We can blame the council for the rubbish if we like, or the litterers, sure, but how many turn a blind eye to these infractions? We sadly miss collective social responsibility in this country for fear of repercussions. I go into "town" almost every weekend. Sometimes it's a bit of a dump, Im not going to stop going though. Manchester is "dope" as my teenage son would say.

AnonymousJuly 27th 2013.

Manchester is s*t hole. Something needs to be done. It's disgusting. Showing a Spanish friend around Piccadilly and NQ last night and felt embarrassed. Bins overflowing, rubbish everywhere. This is the sight people see when they get off the train and come into Manchester. We need to get some pride in our city. Rubbish breeds more rubbish. There's needs to be more bins, stricter penalties and education.

LukeJuly 27th 2013.

I think Manchester is the dirtiest city I have ever visited, I'm from Asia and I wouldn't of thought that a UK city would be so dirty with litter, vomit, urine and waste. Shame on you and your local council.

DavidJuly 27th 2013.

Manchester has got progressively more filthy.Yet the same man,Leese,has been running it since 1996.A position that he owes entirely to the Labour Party,not the people of Manchester.What is worrying is that when he does eventually go,the people of Manchester,in this one party Labour city,will be handed down yet another mediocre figure for the next twenty years.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 27th 2013.

Perpetual rule of a city (and a huge influence on the economy & transport prosperity of its Greater Manchester neighbours), all based on a couple of thousand of people in Crumpsall voting for him every 4 years. Unbelievable! This system can only be changed by central government though - and it ain't going to be a Labour one!

AnonymousJuly 28th 2013.

We the great British public had our chance to introduce a more proportional voting system - OK, not a perfect one, but a start - and firmly rejected it. We deserve what we get.

DavidJuly 29th 2013.

No we are not to blame.Its the result of a political and civil service establishment that resists any real power devolution in England.London got an elected mayor for the whole city,all we were offered was just for Manchester.The job of mayor for Greater Manchester,if it has real power,should be only second in importance to the mayor of London.

AnonymousJuly 29th 2013.

Maybe there was an opportunity for change back in 1997 and the early years of that "pro devolution" New Labour government. But unlike Greater London, I can't see the people of Bolton, Wigan & Tory Trafford etc - ever voting for a Greater Manchester Authority and directly elected leader. Then there's the small 'c' conservative nature of Greater Manchester people too (70-80%) - who it seems will just never vote for "change" & more politicians anyway. Every Greater Manchester council would campaign against it also - turkeys don't vote for Christmas. Personally I'd like to see it happen, but unless central government "impose" it on us (without a referendum) - nothing is going to change!

suzi hoffmannJuly 29th 2013.

Well done Jonathan - such a timely piece. Things are particularly bad in Castlefield arena which is now partly a boy-racer track, free car park and partly a council depot. I'm waiting for one of these kids to drive into the canal - then maybe the arena will be locked again (just one locking bollard is all we need). The other problems are to do, not with the council but local restaurants, pubs, shops + businesses who should be denied a licence unless they have proper plans in place for: good recycling practice; sweeping up cigs/rubbish/bottles around their premises before close of business in the evening; providing bins and finally - supermarkets should do more to assist with litter picking at weekends - why should I go round picking up Sainsburys/tesco bags + the empties ? All this - and on the spot fines issued by those traffic people in red jumpers!!

CatJuly 29th 2013.

I live here and it's disgusting in some areas. There's very little street cleaning, sick stains, graffiti, rubbish, broken glass and cigarette ends everywhere. The people who do it are vile and it must give visitors a terrible opinion of our city but those idiots will never stop unless these fines that the little notices on lamp posts 'threaten' are actually carried out. Manchester is a lazy council when it comes to cleaning up but they're good at wasting money on traffic wardens - except of course on King Street where the cars parked on double yellows are invisible

AnonymousJuly 29th 2013.

How about this for a start, try taking a proactive approach and contacting the council here: www.manchester.gov.uk/environment… regarding an area that you feel particularly needs it, if many people keep on it perhaps they will do something to shut us up...might be worth gathering a cleanup group, do the work for them, hose it all down, photograph the results, send em an invoice for the time ( clearly one that will never amount to anything) and embarass them into doing something, just a thought but the city is too filthy to ignore it.

AnonymousJuly 30th 2013.

Maybe maybe if the local councillors, actually spent some time in the city centre, instead of swanning off on a weekly basis to somewhere else, it would quickly get sorted. That's you Mr Peel

1 Response: Reply To This...
tblzebraJuly 30th 2013.

How very brave of you to attack anonymously. I don't know about Mr Peel, but I do know Ms Davies lives in the city centre and spends the vast majority of her time here.

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