Canal Street Online Manchester

Meeting to discuss recent proposals for Portland St area of the Gay Village

Meeting to discuss recent proposals for Portland St area of the Gay Village

Recently a meeting was called by MCC for local residents, venue operators, charities and many other stakeholders to hear about the proposed ideas for redevelopment of the area where the Gay Village meets Portland St.

Following recent controversery involving social media, it was decided that clarification was required on the matter and Sir Richard Leese led a small top table panel, including former Lord Mayor Carl Austin-Behan to make a statement and to take questions from the floor.

Did you know, for instance, that the small car park next to New York New York (and maiin stage site for Manchester Pride) is currently Japanese owned?

This and many other matters of interest were discussed in a largely positive and co-operative gathering.

Passions ran high however and amoungst other things, Sir Richard was rebuked for not referring to the village as The Gay Village..

Sir Richard says..

"The meeting though did raise a large number of anxieties about the Gay Village and for its future as an area characterised by it being a home for LGBT communities. I gave three clear commitments to the meeting.

The first concerned the Portland Street SRF itself where I promised to widen the consultation and extend the consultation period ( which will now be up to when the pre-election “ purdah “ period begins towards the end of March ).

The second concerned Pride where I promised that the Council would work  to ensure a long-term future for Pride including the identification of a suitable event space.

The third, repeating something I had said publicly at the Council’s Executive Committee, was that the Council would work with businesses, residents, and users of the Gay Village to develop the vision and strategy to ensure it had an undiminished and sustainable future".

Gay Village Petition initiator Loz Kaye said:

"I'm glad there seems to be a growing realisation from the council's side that mistakes have been made and regeneration plans were not launched in a way that properly included the LGBT community.

However, nothing real has changed. Even if the length of the consultation is extended, the problem remains the document and the whole approach. The regeneration plans were insultingly badly put together. 

Any regeneration plans should take in the Gay Village as a whole, not carve it up in to portions. The starting point should be communities, not plots of land.

The whole mess shows why it is really necessary for LGBT people to have an independent and critical political voice."

A brand new Facebok page has been set up and welcomes anyone to get involved. Click below.

Follow on Twitter too. Here.

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Published: 8-Feb-2018

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