Guest Blog: Cllr Simon Wheale: Our concerns about St Peter Square plans

The current plans for Peterloo memorial gates on Library walk are not appropriate.

On Wednesday, Labour’s Town Hall bosses brought forward their latest plans for the regeneration of St Peter’s Square.

The Liberal Democrats in Manchester have grave concerns about some of these plans, particularly the plans for an inappropriate Peterloo Memorial on Library Walk. South Manchester MP John Leech submitted an Early Day motion in parliament, now signed by 28 MP from 7 different political parties (although none of Manchester’s Labour MP’s).

Also, Lib Dem Candidate for Manchester Central Marc Ramsbottom blogged about it here.

We want to see a prominent, explanatory and respectful monument, decide in consultation with the people of Manchester. The gates on Library walk are none of these.

Simon is “Calling-In” these plans for further scrutiny

We also expressed our view that taking the second city Metrolink crossing down Deansgate, rather than through St Peter’s Square, would spread the benefits of Metrolink to a wider area of the city.

We raised our concern that the removal of the Cenotaph from St Peter’s Square could leave it looking like a glorified tram stop; we highlighted the importance of the Cenotaph, visible from Deansgate, the Bridgewater Hall, the Cornerhouse and Piccadilly, in defining the identity of St Peter’s Square and stated our view that, without it, the Square could lack focus and character like Piccadilly Gardens.

We did not have a problem about having a glass structure to link the Central Library and the Town Hall Extension, but said that Library Walk should be open at all times to walk through for pedestrians.

We do not think that the Council is trying to engage with the people of Manchester. That is why we called for a further 3 month debate on ideas for St Peter’s Square and Library Walk, and why we are “calling in” these plans for further scrutiny.

 

2 responses to “Guest Blog: Cllr Simon Wheale: Our concerns about St Peter Square plans

  1. To move the cenotaph in St. Peters Square would be a ludicrous idea.
    as already stated: it is the cenotaph which defines the square setting it apart from the now council instigated no- man’s- land of Piccadilly gardens

  2. The Cenotaph is already moving, and surely it’s an improvement to put it on a pedestrian area near the town hall rather than its current position trapped between the Metrolink platforms and a road carriageway ?
    I used to think that running trams down Deansgate would be a good idea, but there are serious technical problems due to the height difference of the road and the tram tracks. We should also consider the massive benefit gained by having all 4 lines go through St Peter’s square – I’d rather go there or to g-mex and wait for any tram instead of having to decide between several different stops, each served by only half the trams.
    The new bridges that link the spinningfields area to Salford station are providing public transport links for people in the middle of Deansgate, and these links will improve once the Ordsall chord section of new track is complete.
    If we want Deansgate to be more appealing to shoppers and other leisure users then it doesn’t need trams, just less motor vehicles. Through traffic is already being designed out of the area thanks to the removal of a lane on many sections and the closing of the entire road outside the Cathedral.

    Back onto the original topic – a Peterloo memorial.
    The subject matter and the people of Manchester deserve something prominent – a token gesture tucked out of the way should be opposed by as many people as possible – anyone for Peterloo 2.0 ?

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