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The Grouch 11/11/2010

Mr Bloxham’s unwise tweets, more water taxi news, Vermillion’s spending spree, outbreak of manners in Piccadilly and more socks for Xmas.

Published on November 11th 2010.

The Grouch 11/11/2010

He’s here; he’s there, he’s Splashing everywhere...
The Grouch likes twitter (@mcrgrouch, if you must), but not as much as Urban Splash chairman Tom Bloxham (@TomBloxhamMBE). He loves to keep the twitterverse up to date with what he’s up to, where he’s going and where he’s been. But surely there must be a drawback to letting strangers know you’re movements, which is why I’m not sure the following tweet was the best idea: ‘off to Dubai (on the new A380) for 2 days - anything I should see ?’ Yes Tom; you should see the state of your house when it’s been cleaned out by social media savvy cat burglars. On a semi-related note, Leanne Forshaw, former Splash PR doyen and The Grouch’s only friend, has moved on to pastures new, to Roland Dransfield in Manchester – collectively the city centre’s most glamorous PR agency. Good luck Leanne.

Water taxis – your chance to help
We know you like the idea of water taxis bombing up and down the Irwell and the Ship Canal. So do we. Waxi originator Steve Cadwell is still waiting to hear back from Peel as to whether it’s a goer or not, so in the meantime, he’s trying to get the scheme included in the local transport plan (LTP), which will shape the future of Manchester’s public transport investment. And he wants your help, dear readers. “I've been asking for over a year now for water transportation to be included in the Local Transport Plan but without success,” he told me last week.

The consultation period runs for 12 week ending 24th December and all comments received during this period will help Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA) and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) refine their final plans which will be published at the end of May 2011.

You can leave feedback via the website - http://www.gmpte.com/LTP3/introduction.cfm. “I'm hoping the canals will be included in the Local Transport Plan for the next 15 years,” he said. And The Grouch agrees. Get clicking.

I’ll have 1.5 million spring rolls please
The Vermilion & Cinnabar Thai and Indian restaurant in East Manchester is spending £3m on a new banqueting suite for up to 800 people. The cynically-minded out there may suggest that’s roughly £1m per customer on a Tuesday night, but The Grouch would never dare.

The banqueting hall will have its own dedicated kitchen and the dining hall will be designed in a similar way to the main restaurant, by the same designer who spunked £5m on it - Portuguese designer Miguel Cancio Martins. The new project will create around 50 jobs.

Manzur Ahmed, son of Seamark founder Iqbal Ahmed OBE and managing director of Vermilion & Cinnabar, says the restaurant has been forced to turn away big bookings due to a lack of space.

Sounds to me like they’re hoping to snag a bit of business from a certain nearby football club. Smart thinking.

Peace in our timeAccording to the police, anti-social behaviour has ‘significantly decreased’ in the Piccadilly area of Manchester in the last few months. Funnily enough, The Grouch recently moved offices from Piccadilly to Spinningfields, although we’re sure there’s no link.

Alex King, Piccadilly Partnership manager for Cityco, the city centre management company said the Gardens were being used for more creative events, which was helping stem anti-social behaviour.

You could eradicate it in one fell swoop, however, by simply shutting down the branch of the Spa on Piccadilly Approach (surely the Wetherspoons as well? Ed). Possibly the most mental shop in Manchester.

JJB hopes for white (socks) Christmas
JJB Sports had to take a £455,000 fine from the FSA on the chin recently, but will be cheered by the news that it grew like-for-like revenues by 11.5 per cent for the period between August 2 and November 7.

Year-to-date like-for-like sales are up 13.4 per cent at the once embattled sportswear chain, which was cherry-picked by former boss Dave Whelan before being steered by a new management team.

It still has £16.6m of debt to grapple with however, in a weak retail market, meaning a heavy reliance on Christmas and New Year sales.

Bundle of white sports socks in your Xmas stocking anyone? No, thought not.


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yeah babyNovember 11th 2010.

commented appropriately on the waxi idea and use of the canals etc in the transport consultation.

good luck!

Sortthetrams, not wrecktheriverNovember 14th 2010.

No chance for Salmon in waxi-peasouper river Irwell, is there? While river water quality's improved so much that salmon now coming back to Mersey, they won't make it up the Irwell [as they did before 19th century] if bed-sediment's constantly churned up by boats every few mins will they! Fish breathe water, not mud through their gills. Thames at London's massively bigger than Irwell [and has tidal flows] to take impact from its river traffic.
Occasional excursions are good to use our river as a tourist asset, but LTP should focus on wider needs of *all* congested city, not just Quays. And on sorting out shaky expensive tram system.

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