Ancoats

On the campaign trail

Loz Kaye's picture

It has been a busy election season for me, and even though we've been going as a party for nearly 5 years the first time operating at more than one level at the same time. A typical week saw me talking to voters in the tower blocks of East Manchester, doing a press call for the North West Euro region and going down to London to help out with Lambeth leafleting.

Once again, I stood in the council elections for Manchester in the Ancoats and Clayton ward. Really untypically this is the 3rd time we have fought this ward within 9 months! The end of 2013 saw 2 by-elections as well as the regular election this May.

A lot of the issues we deal with play out on the big stage – net neutrality in the European Parliament, mass surveillance taking in the whole globe. But there is nothing like council politics to see why transparency and democratic engagement are vital.

The fight to save Ancoats Dispensary

Loz Kaye joins a protest meeting at the threat to a listed monument to enlightened social policy, the home of the first hospital orthopedic department in the world.

The Dispensary is the last remnant of a city that has been all but swept away; the vision of transforming the Cardroom estate that started this chain reaction simply hasn't lived up to the hype. Back in 2007 it was said that the development was to by complete by 2012 and was to be "the most ambitious regeneration project in the world".

We all want to see improvements to our city and our lives, but the Dispensary is a link with the past that is also a potent reminder that developer's PR froth is just that. To lose the building would be a signal that no responsibility needs to be taken, that some people can just walk away. As one woman puts it bluntly in the meeting, "it was an experiment in social cleansing".

Monday, 10 September, 2012 (All day)