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.
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.