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Sleuth: 26/06/2009 – a special report

A massively expensive fence to be built in the Gay Village...er...why?

Published on June 26th 2009.


Sleuth: 26/06/2009 – a special report

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to print. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows.

Rochdale Canal to be fenced
Sleuth has learnt that planning permission was approved on Thursday for a fence in the city centre. This is going to be a really long fence too, more than 300m in length. It will be between 1.1m and 1.3m high and sit above the existing wall alongside the Rochdale Canal in the Village. And the reason? It’s for our own good. The fence has been brought about following condemnation of canal side safety by coroners following drownings. The last death in this area, however, was in March 2008 when Wayne Bonner died after falling into the water. The most recent drowning, a month ago, of Alexander Lynch, which was also condemned by the coroner, happened in a stretch of canal close to Dale Street which won’t be protected by the fence.

A guilty wall
The problem lies with the wall alongside the canal. This is low and listed. Because it's low, people who are worse for alcoholic wear, and thus a little unsteady, often sit on it. Because it's listed (it’s 200 years old), it can’t easily be altered. Thus the supposed solution is to build around and above the wall as shown in this picture. The top part of the new fence will be glass so people can see through to the canal, and will be slanted back from the canal side to Canal Street to discourage people from climbing over and to make it impossible to sit on. The angle might also prevent fly-posting. This ain’t a cheap solution.

Guess the price of a fence?
Sleuth wonders if you’d like to guess how much the 300m long Canal Street fence will cost? This is from the proposal passed this week: ‘Fabrication cost of glass panels with top rail £360 per lineal metre at a total cost (excluding common installation costs) of £97,200’. That’s just the panels without installation costs. Add in the price of the metal posts and supports and the price increases by more than £100k, without installation. In the end the total spend on the fence may well be nearer £300k. Ok, this is a special fence for a Conservation Area, and one that will hang above an existing Grade II listed wall. But between £200,000 - £300,000 for a fence? Some fence.

Is it worth all the dosh?
Sleuth realises that we have to prevent injury and death where possible. But is this fence the solution? Village voices have been whispering in his ear that the fence probably won’t fit with the Village image, that it may be too intrusive and at a maximum of 1.3m high won’t do a meaningful job in any case. It must be remembered that every weekend thousands of people enjoy themselves in the Village, hundreds of thousands over the course of a year. One accidental drowning in something like 16 months is one too many but given the numbers who use the area, it begs the question of whether this fence is the real way forward? Why not just have lots of rubber rings handy by the doors of all the businesses? Sleuth certainly thinks he knows lots of other ways he could spend £300,000 to make city centre improvements. He also reckons that the City Council, Cityco (the city centre management company) and British Waterways have had their hands forced by a coroner’s, perhaps, hasty comments and had no other option but to seek a solution.

A long read
If you want to read the full planning report on the Great Wall of Village, click here

Effing bloody fences
Sleuth thinks that we’re getting carried away with fences. The one on Canal Street could be a lot worse. But generally for security or safety, things are getting out of hand, whether it’s putting up fences around drinking areas or protecting crowds at free festivals. As for safety, what about roads? They’re nasty pieces of work, loads more people get injured on those beasts than fall in canals. Sleuth wonders if we’ll start fencing those off soon – maybe something like this on Oldham Street. And maybe signs should be put on walls so people don’t walk into them. Sleuth thinks the Canal Street fence raises questions of how far we can, and should, spend money protecting people from the incidents of everyday life and their own actions in, say, getting drunk?

Sleuth the troubadour
Sleuth was walking through town on Wednesday night when he saw this snaking line of people wending its way along Mosley Street. It was the queue for the trams to take people to the Take That concert. So Sleuth got out his guitar and sang: “Just have a little patience/ I’m still hurting from a tram I missed/ I’m feeling your frustration/ Wondering when the pain will stop/ Cause the scars run so deep/ It’s been hard but I have to believe/ Have a little patience/ Have a little patience.” This explains the black eye.

Famous for what?
Callum Best, famous for being famous, or as Kelly in the Confidential office says, “Because he has a famous dad and for shagging a lot,” is appearing at the Circle Club under Barton Arcade tonight. He’s hosting the Rendezvous night which comes complete with, to quote, ‘alcohol water pistols, ice-cream van, chill out tent, Thai cocktail buckets and hot club dancers’. Let’s hope Callum gets in this time. Last time, famous dad and shagging reputation notwithstanding, the door staff failed to recognise him and wouldn’t let him through. A case of not being simply the best.

Expenses shocker
Sleuth attended the opening of the splendid Cutting Room Square in Ancoats on Thursday. Sir Richard Leese, the Leader of the City Council, presided over the unveiling of monoliths showing bits of textiles and insides of Ancoats buildings. Sir R is getting very good at these things now. He said: “This is an area that’s easily accessible from the city centre. I walked from the Town Hall and it took me 20 minutes. I hear someone got a taxi,” he said with a dramatic pause. “We’ll be studying the expenses very carefully.” Nothing like a good topical joke. The architecture bods on this site will review Cutting Room Square in the next week or two.

Mirror image recording
Sleuth was taking some BBC guests round town the other day on a guided tour. Manchester International Festival was installing Gustav Metzger’s Flailing Trees sculpture at the back of the Town Hall. This is a sculpture of inverted trees showing their roots: it means something very, very profound. Sleuth isn’t sure what. Stuart Flinders of BBC Northwest was filming the installation. He saw Sleuth and waved. When Sleuth looked back, Stuart had turned the camera and was filming the group. So the BBC filmed the BBC. How very cosy, thought Sleuth. Shame he hadn’t had time to tell Stuart who the guests were.

Sleuth’s angry rant of the week
This from a city centre reader: ‘AKBARS - ARGHHH!!!! Note to the drummers in the middle of Liverpool Road at 12.30pm last night. The cultural music and drum display from Pakistan was lovely – do it again at that time and the bottle of water hurled at you will not be plastic. How can you have signs on your door saying please be quiet and respect the neighbours and then let some flag-waving stag do loose with your drums?’ Honestly, what a killjoy.

Canal Street: people failing to fall off the canal wall


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

CasJune 26th 2009.

Infry, Richard is joke. Think about it - Dick Ed?!

smittyJune 26th 2009.

The artist's impression looks as though it is going to be quite nice. You will still be able to lean on it, by the looks of things, which was my big concern about it. Canal Street needs to seriously smarten itself up and this, imho, is a good step along the way. I've encountered many first-time gay visitors to Manchester who are quite underwhelmed by the UK's biggest gay quarter with its rather grubby appearance and and it does need to pull its socks up. It's great to see things like the Velvet Hotel, but it does need to have a few more things on it that suggest the gay community is about more than drinking alcopops, getting off your face and shagging strangers. Not wanting to overstate the fence, but it seems aesthetically pleasing and also performs a reasonable safety function. I saw a lad fall over once and it very much is a "there but for the grace of god" situation. Luckily he was fine, but it took the good people of the emergency services a good hour and a half to get him out, which is rather a long time for them to be tied up. Finally, I'm not one of these whiny gays who complains about everything. I love Canal Street, but just think it could be much, much better. It needs a facelift, this will help give it one. I'm reaching for some kind of metaphor about how spending vast sums of money on cosmetic enhancements for a crumbling gay erection seems somehow in keeping with the ethos of Canal Street, but can't quite get there...

M30June 26th 2009.

Another example of the nanny state. The fence on Canal Street will be an eyesore, a Berlin Wall for the new millenium. Anyone who has the stupidity to fall into the canal has it coming quite frankly.

scoteeeJune 26th 2009.

and lets face most things newly introduced to mancher are commisioned by rip off artists and merchants selling idea's to councillors who have no fukin idea how to barter for a deal..well why should they it's not their money is it?

TJJune 26th 2009.

Although large erections around Canal Street are more often than not met with approval, I can see this is something which could be targeted by thieves. Theres always some unruly element prepared to take a fence where theres a less than orthodox community.

BenJune 26th 2009.

Slow news day in confidential land?

YvesenJune 26th 2009.

For me there is too much about "ELF & SAFE T", this is what is causing a bigger problem, stupid people being allowed to live and bread. Darwins natural selection process is being thwarted and we are eventually going to be over-run by morons.

James TJune 26th 2009.

Well done Confidential. This is a local issue worth commenting about which is what you're all about I reckon. The fence is not needed, costs too much and also shows how stupidly 'careful' we've become.

robertajanedevianteJune 26th 2009.

How do we stop them building it then ? Also I'm in canal St a lot and havent seen any notices prior to planning permission ?

AnonymousJune 26th 2009.

yawn.

SteveJune 26th 2009.

This is actually a plan by a homophobic council who want to lock the queers IN! Just you wait, the next thing there will be proposals for fences all the way around the gay village! A gay ghetto! Complete with clear walls so all the rest of society can peer in, point and laugh!OK this is tongue in cheek (pardon the pun), but it could very easily be seen this way! I think the council should rethink before it gets a very bad name for itself!I agree with the nanny state perspective as well, the same drunken stupid cant who falls off a wall into a canal will only get themselves killed in another way somewhere else - probably run over by a car or a tram causing great distress to innocent drivers - you think you can repair alcohol induced brain damaged individuals with fences? Then you are just as stupid as they are and I hope you fall into the canal while you are building the fence! You deserve it you ignorant patronising pile of steaming poo!As for money being siphoned off for absurd projects - I'd like to know who is paying for all the tram tracks to be re-laid? I sincerely hope it is the original contractor at THEIR expense! It is obvious the lazy incompetent twits didn't do it right the first time!

east lancsJune 26th 2009.

Exactly. As pointed out above; a load of those rubber rings would be just as effective, surely?

AnonymousJune 26th 2009.

It's not hard, it's about common sense and this is not common sense. It's a coroner who's never been out in the Village talking through theory rather than living it. Maybe the whole expenses thing will reveal that as the governed we just want common sense not a distorted, led by insurance claims, dictatorship who knows what's best for us. If a tree looks like a tree it is one. Simple. Don't make a wall guilty.

M30June 26th 2009.

smitty, I'm not a whiny gay either, but I think that the village is what it is. I can understand why you'd want Canal Street to smarten itself up, but who should it smarten itself up for? More hen parties? The rich? Not everyone wants and can afford champagne bars, and whilst I think Velvet is fantastic (despite the rooms being overpriced), for every Velvet, there has to be a Thompsons Arms or Napoleons. Part of the charm of Canal Street is the edgy feel of it. If it becomes over sanitised and bubble wrapped then it loses much of it's charm, appeal and serves to alienate those who made it what it is. A wall will serve to ruin an original feature of the area.

ACHTUNG!!!June 26th 2009.

What a load of nonsense, live dangerously I say. If the canal is a danger to lives, lets fence off all the roads so that no one gets run over. Absolute madness. Who else is fed up with the council looking after us?

M30June 26th 2009.

smitty, it's the people of the village who are the problem, not the buildings

crispy40June 26th 2009.

How did they manage to grant palnning permission without posting any notices of interntion along canal street?? I'm not exactly clued up about the legal of this ut i thought notices had to be posted in the area that would be affected by a development?? It seems crazy that a decision has been made when there is clearly so much debate to be had on the topic??

janeyJune 26th 2009.

SO!!.... are the council goonnna fence off the Quays in Salford ?? nope i dont think so..this monstrous waste of money will just be vandalised and fall into disrepair !www.facebook.com/…/group.php…

Duke FameJune 26th 2009.

We could put perspex over the canal and no one would fall in. Nobody could throw litter into the water either, job done, cost £10kI hate the city council, always spending our money, sack 90 % of the staff and we would save on council tax.

Ben SalfordJune 26th 2009.

Speaking of barriers, could someone explain to me why in spinningfields 'free' movies you cannot drink your own beer or wine (and have some nasty thug of private security guard threaten you), however in the fenced enclosure you can queue up for hours for some overpriced drinks from Giraffe - but that's fine? I hardly think Sex in the City type secretaries watching Breakfast at Tiffanys on a Thursday night are going to run amok and cause a riot or throw things at the screen like with the football.

InfryJune 26th 2009.

What you don't care how public money is spent. Even he it seems it's being spent on ineffective solutions to minor issues? Bet you never vote either do you Richard?

WTF!!June 26th 2009.

EDITORIALLY REMOVED: it's a serious question we want to ask.

tom eddisonJune 26th 2009.

At the risk of sounding like a lone voice are we possibly being a little homophobic here? Would anyone mind a one of payment of £300k to save a child's life, or a heterosexual's life. for a one off payment of just £300k i think the fence would be great value if it only saves the life of ONE gay mans life every TWO HUNDRED years. And WHO CARES what it looks like if it saves lives. Surely that's like complaining about the colour of a lifeboat that's come to save you. As an after thought i would add that it isn't just gay men who use the village!

janeyJune 26th 2009.

I agree with Ben Salford those gorillas really spoil the whole relaxed atmosphere. A couple behind me had brought a picnic hamper and obviously spent some time putting it together for a relaxed bit of al fresco eating but alas they had there own wine ....oh nooo....so some security guard started giving then an earfull and saying how there are signs for bylaws all over the city to stop outdoor drinking (tell that to the rangers fans) so they couldnt drink there own and had to but from giraffe!! and yet i saw a group of lads who had a bag of cans refused entry into the roped area so they sat outside it drinking there cans and they were fine ...what happened to those bylaws the gorilla was stating ..it all rubbish . the couple with the oicnic hamper were hardly going to go on a wrecking spree through spinningfields ???

Office PestJune 26th 2009.

The last thing we need is another unwanted erection in Canal Street.........As for the drummers drumming at 12.30pm in the evening....?? Surely this is lunchtime.Yak yak

M30June 26th 2009.

I love to sit at the edge of the wall by Velvet, I don't want to be told by Manchester City Council (somehow I think Councillor Karney has a hand in this) that i can't sit there in feat of "elf and safety". I also believe that 95% of those who end up in the canal are those cottaging and cruising for sex on that well known stretch.

CameramanJune 26th 2009.

All to-gether now.........."Don't fence me In"

CasJune 26th 2009.

I have many gay friends and have spent more evenings down canal street than most. The problem down there is the resurgence of the people whose whole personality is about being gay! In the 80's and even early 90's gay people stood out and were persecuted, now they don't and that is fantastic! Yet why do you get the people who need to stand out for being gay? Who are guided in everything by their sexuality. So what, you're gay, I'm not sure if you noticed but quite a few other people are too! Sometimes down Canal St it's almost like a competition to see who can be the 'gay-ist'. This is a shame as it overides everything good down there.

ian bradleyJune 26th 2009.

NO, NO, NO, we dont wan't a fence of any kind along the wall on canal street! an easeyesr solution, don't get drunk, don't fall in!!

smittyJune 26th 2009.

M30, I'm not saying that it all has to be plush. The point of it cleaning up its act is actually for its key clientele - the gay communities across Greater Manchester. At the moment, I'm afraid to say, all you get on Canal Street are bars, bars, bars, bars and bars. It seems to be that you have to wear fake tan, be 20 (or erect enough scaffolding on your face to try and pass for it - usually without success), be pissed, be off your tits on drugs and have a general demeanour of "I'm better than you". Gay is meant to be "good as you", not "better than you"! Now, I'll stresss again, I am not having a go for having a go's sake - I just think that it could be so much more than what it is. The fence, if it adds to the aesthetic as well as being a safety feature is (in my view) A Good Thing.I lived for four months in San Franscisco. Canal Street should do a better job of apeing the Castro. It is what it is, but it could be better.

scoteeeJune 26th 2009.

Fuk me-it's a fence, haha.What's the issue?i'm more intrigued by the thought that Mancon could even be arsed to dream up an article on it,,and so long an article too!

BenJune 26th 2009.

Exactly. Cars and trams would never be an issue, you'd hit it - bounce over to a padded wall and continue to bounce until your momentum stopped - it would certainly solve a lot of the NHS's problems!

Mr CleanJune 26th 2009.

If they give me 10% of the installation costs, I'll clean it for a year for them.

Why?!June 26th 2009.

Will I researched well before I bought my 'apt' and at the time you couldnt see the canal path due to a building which is no longer there and due to the 'credit crunch' the replacement hasnt been rebuilt!I love the area I live in but do you really think its ok to have rent boys at work in full view of peoples homes?

BenJune 26th 2009.

Andy, to which area are you referring? As much as I agree that areas such as outside the Rembrandt/New Union/Manto's lead a lot to be desired, for the most part it's a very nice and diverse area. But hey ho - different strokes for different folks and all that

just curious...June 26th 2009.

Isn't 300mtrs @ £360 = £108k, and not £97 200 ? Someone is short changing themselves !I'd put a net between the walls just above the river, that way they can still be fished out but at a fraction of the cost !

Wonald Waste of MoneyJune 26th 2009.

Whether it looks nice or not is besides the point. It costs more than £200k. And doesn't look big enough to do the job and is also angled so you can't lean against it.

al QuaiJune 26th 2009.

The wall is to protect the rest of us from potential suicide bombers

johnthebriefJune 26th 2009.

How will we throw scrotes in the canal now?

smittyJune 26th 2009.

I'm still a bit confused as to what the bid deal is about the fence. It looks quite nice, performs a reasonable function and might help tart the area up a bit. To read some of these posts, you would think that the council had banned the sale of fake tan or something equally serious. There are genuine gay rights battles across the world that still need to be fought. I would suggest, respectfully, that this ain't one of them... And on a side point, Will I thought your response to Why?! was shocking - people shagging down the canal is pretty anti-social, selfish and unecessary.

Jonathan Schofield - editorJune 26th 2009.

Anonymous that raises an interesting question. Maybe readers could help usout. We're having a re-design launching in a couple of weeks or so. We are debating whether to have a Gay and Lesbian section at all. For example issues like the one with the fence that Sleuth outlines could have fitted in our News section, Pride could fit in events, a food review of a village venue in the food and drink section. If we look at, say, the Guardian with its lots of sections today, there was no Gay section. As a general magazine for Manchester shouldn't we follow suit? Is it old fashioned in some respects, even oddly exclusive to say that gay and lesbian issues are to be treated differently from the many other issues and news we cover - especially in the context of Confidential becoming a true general magazine for the city. Should gay and lesbian life be separated out when we don't do the same for any other section of society, be it for women, or a particular ethnic group? Of course, we have Body Confidential which might be deemed more female than male but it isn't exclusively so, we cover issues such as prostate cancer there and manswear shops. There are niche websites as well such as canal-st.co.uk What do readers think?

KirbyJune 26th 2009.

Where there's a Will there's a way.

The Real Tom EddisonJune 26th 2009.

That post above wasn't from me but from a collegue being funny. I couldn't care less - I think for grown men falling into canals comes under Darwin's survival of the fittest ethos.

Jason ButterworthJune 26th 2009.

Yeah cping500 I knew about this but Mancon have broken the story when it's been approved. It really beggers belief that we should have to pay so much money for nothing. I'm fuming, I really thought the thing would be thrown out and laughed at when it went to planning. I'm clearly naive.

AnonymousJune 26th 2009.

Pauli is right: there is no gay issue. The people involved in the incident were straight. The people who did not help (see comments on the MEN articles) were football fans.It would be nice if ManCon got its gay page restarted with much less pink froth than the previous writer provided, and where some of the other issues could be discussed.

BenJune 26th 2009.

Certain areas are definately neglected in the village but it really is hardly the worst part of town. I quite enjoy the area up by queer of a summers evening!

Callum BestJune 26th 2009.

will it be too high to sit on?

emma graceJune 26th 2009.

Ben, after I posted that I thought "actually, that would be VERY cool!"

GaryJune 26th 2009.

And it's glass... Anyone see a potential problem with this? So everyone will be standing with their drinks in plastic pots next to a glass fence?The whole thing is the most insane waste of money and the stupidest thing that the lame-brains at Manchester City Council have ever come up with. They are really are cretins and are destroying the entire city.

GNTJune 26th 2009.

Have any of you actually read the article? Wonald Waste of Money: The barrier is angled out over the canal so the lead bar to which its hung from can be lent against. janey: Unless rubbish can defy the law of gravity, all will fall into the canal as it currently does. I with regards to the cost... has anyone actually factored in revenue the "Village" actually brings to CityCo? I would suggest that it far outweighs this cost, in fact CityCo could probably re-vamp the entire street (which is needed) and still have change. Everyone seems to turn a blind eye when CityCo spend over £100k on some crappy LED lights in the base of trees that line Princess Street (which might be worth noting never worked properly and are now de funked and look crap)... Or do I smell double standards when the Village is concerned?? Hmmmmm

Kim & AggieJune 26th 2009.

it'll be a bugger to clean

WillJune 26th 2009.

"Why?!" move there then? Maybe you should have researched your choice of area a little more thoroughly before selecting your 'apt'?

AndyJune 26th 2009.

The place ( Canal Street) is a dump anyway, an embarrassment to the gay community. Completely over commercialised & fails to embrace any diversity whatsoever. Fence both ends of the street off all together in my view.

BenJune 26th 2009.

I quite fancy the idea of child proofing to the point where the entire city is padded - how utterly amazing would that be? Bouncing from building to building

scoteeeJune 26th 2009.

apologies cping500,I needed another shave by the time I had finally lost inerest part way through the article and besides, if it was done in house that makes it all the more disgusting...

Salford Will(as above)June 26th 2009.

Just reading the comments above. Including the one from another Will (my namesake) please don't think I am THAT will, with his bizarre comments....I shall call myself Salford Will...

AlanJune 26th 2009.

Something like they have in the Yumbo (Playa del Ingles) on the top floor next to Mykonos bar would be good. So you can sit on it on top of the wall but the back of the seat acts as a wall to stop people falling over.

AnonymousJune 26th 2009.

Just to say that the coroner (a women actually) did not just say something at the inquest but issued notice to the Council about this.It did not REQUIRE A FENCE (the statement is in the planning papers in Sleuth's piece. To do nothing was not an option since every "no fee lawyer" in town would luv it...every time a foolish person falls over the wall they would sue and I am sure they would do it on purpose (you don't have to drown!)Of course this opens the way for aggrieved people to press for further "statements" to protect us all and fill our pockets when we sue.

AnonymousJune 26th 2009.

This is a truly horrible idea, horrible because its not about saving lives- if they wanted to do that they'd ban all the trams and buses that regularly mow people down. Horrible because it looks ridiculous. And horrible because some councillor probably recommended his cousin to design or install it at taxpayers expense. What's wrong with railings which would look quite at home on top of the wall and you can see through them, there could be quirky artist commisioned seats like the ones in Laguna CA and likewise some sculptural leaning posts. Get Anthony Gormley involved.

Richard EdwardsJune 26th 2009.

Really who gives a F**k

Z..Z..Z..Z...June 26th 2009.

You love them fences dont you Sleuth

Why?!June 26th 2009.

Dont really care about a fence.. but can someone please do something to stop the rent boys hanging around the canal at Dale St/Ducie St lock? Last Saturday from my apt I was able to observe 5 gents engaged in various different sexual activities.. really dont care what you get up to but please not in daylight where you can be seen... I dont want my kids to see any sexual activity gay, straight or otherwise.. please take your business else where!

emma graceJune 26th 2009.

M30 I agree with you. I remember commenting when this was first flagged up a few weeks ago. It's very sad that a few have died, but come on. What's next? Paying people to hold our hands as we cross the tram tracks? This is the sort of thing that will snowball and it's just stupid

AeronJune 26th 2009.

I bet you're a barrel of laughs at parties 'anonymous'. In fact, Sleuth's right to raise the issue of the fence, not because its erection is of major importance per se (although the cost is quite ridiculous) but because it is symptomatic of the nanny state in which we now find ourselves. When are the powers that be (and that includes coroners) going to realise that life has risks and it is up to us as individuals to determine whether we want to take those risks or not. I smoke, knowing I risk getting lung cancer; I go out in Canal Street, knowing I risk falling in the canal if I get too drunk; I cross roads, knowing I risk getting run over, and I choose to go on holiday, knowing there is a risk the plane might crash. But without risk, think how boring life would be. I don't want to spend my life bubble-wrapped, I want to experience life and the risks it brings. I recently wrote to the M.E.N. criticising its stance on plastic-only vessels when drinking outside in case some idiot tries to 'glass' me. It's absurd. I could go on but I don't want to bore 'anonymous' any longer. S/he clearly has much more interesting things on their mind.

cping500June 26th 2009.

aww you are a bit late about the fence... to much sitting on....maybe The planning notice was on issued in the last week in April and the Committee were supposed to consider it on at their meeting in May, but unfortunately the closing date for representations was AFTER the June date of the committee. They had also failed to post a notice on Canal Street.It will have been approved by the Committee on the 25th June.Local residents posted a note about it in May on the Manchester City Centre Resident's Forum and Save our Village had a picture (the one above) on its website. In June I posted a note of the LGF forum which no one reads!!. The reason for doing some was the coroners letter (on the planning doc) and th City Council would alledgedly be liable in the light of this if they did nothing. But the letter does not require a fence AND refers to all waterways so expect a lot more fences! Half the cost was paid for by the City Co the commercial city centre commercial organisation. I understand local residents near the Canal opposed the fence. I mentioned back in the winter it would be good idea to consult everyone before they were committed. They didn't.

Office PestJune 26th 2009.

Why not have a couple of baywatch style lifeguard towers on Canal Street?

InfryJune 26th 2009.

What you don't care how public money is spent. Even he it seems it's being spent on ineffective solutions to minor issues? Bet you never vote either do you Richard?

EJJune 26th 2009.

"And in this week's guest publication 'Fence Weekly - The Manchester Special Edition' fill in the blanks: Manchester Fencemakers ______________________ in Gay Village..."

Ed OrmerodJune 26th 2009.

Steve, are you are very angry man about everything? Still I agree about the fences. They are foolish and come at a ridiculous cost. The ratios of death to cost don't seem to justify it was well. I'm sure £300k could be better spent in the Village.

WillJune 26th 2009.

The Canal Street fence is such a pathetic idea isn't it. Can you imagine when the glass gets smeared with chicken fat fingers from McTuckys, and the filth it will gather. It won't only be an eyesore, but it will be disgustingly kept. I mean, who is going to clean the damn thing. Another example of a council that is out of touch with reality......and since when did the coroners office become a planning pressure group?Just pathetic.

Dutch TedJune 26th 2009.

If this catches on Amsterdam will be bankrupt!, and as for Venice.........

janeyJune 26th 2009.

just a thought if the glass fence on canal street is angled the way i think it is then surely it well collect and harbour rubbish between the canal side of the wall and the glass.. it will fill up like a trough ??!!

paulipipsJune 26th 2009.

Bloody hell why has much of this rant turned into a 'gay' issue. Nanny State hysteria affects us all - just because a Coroner blessed with excessive hindsight and an overactive 'blame mentality' comes out with his usual hot air why the hell do we all have to jump. If he really wants to save lives in the city centre then make alcohol illegal - its responsible for more deaths than a canal - or does the coroner like a drinky - bloody tosser !

robertajanedevianteJune 26th 2009.

I have created a Facebook page to STOP this happening and would urge anyone against it to e-mail their Councilor or MP MEP to lobby against it ?www.facebook.com/…/group.php?gid=110061363114…

cping500June 26th 2009.

But Scottie read the docs... the design was 'in house'

emma graceJune 26th 2009.

Tom no-one has posted anything of a homophobic nature; you are jumping to conclusions. The point people are trying to make is that we are adults, and should take responsibility for our actions, especially when drunk. People walk out on tram tracks and train tracks every day, and it's up to them to bl00dy hurry up and get out of the way. Are we supposed to Child-proof the entire city (covering up and completely undermining a large portion of it's architectural and historical value)?? If they do go ahead with this, I think this issue will snowball and soon the entire city will be covered in bubble wrap, lest someone should bump their head or trip and scrape their knee.

WillJune 26th 2009.

Why!? It is fair enough that you don't want these acts in view and I'm sorry my comment read as harshly as it did (as pointed out by Smitty), particularly now that you've explained how the building site made it difficult for you to know what was going on. I wasn't out to shock or offend and should have chosen my words more carefully. What I meant was that I think there is a need for some sensitivity on this issue. On the surface it might seem anti-social, selfish and unnecessary (Smitty) but for some men, the canal probably offers the only chance of contact they are able to have - through little or no income, 'the closet', not feeling comfortable in the village etc.Because that section of the canal is central it is also relatively safe as opposed to the back of beyond where the workers and their customers are likely to be more vulnerable to attack.

AnonymousJune 26th 2009.

This is a truly horrible idea, horrible because its not about saving lives- if they wanted to do that they'd ban all the trams and buses that regularly mow people down. Horrible because it looks ridiculous. And horrible because some councillor probably recommended his cousin to design or install it at taxpayers expense. What's wrong with railings which would look quite at home on top of the wall and you can see through them, there could be quirky artist commisioned seats like the ones in Laguna CA and likewise some sculptural leaning posts. Get Anthony Gormley involved.

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