Manchester Opposition slams Labour on new arena plans

Plans for a new indoor arena have been dogged by accusations of vested interests and “cosy relationships” between developers and the Council.

The plans for a new indoor arena in east Manchester passed through Manchester’s Planning Committee today (24/09/2020) attracted criticism from the Liberal Democrats who warned that Labour’s “cosy relationship” with developers is becoming a serious conflict of interest.

This comes after Labour blocked opposition members from speaking out against the plans, and rejected an appeal from Lib Dem leader, John Leech.

Liberal Democrat Leader John Leech said:

“A plan of this size and significance must be properly scrutinised, but Labour has once again silenced any opposition. Labour has absolutely no intention of presenting alternative views on this, or anything else for that matter.

“But as long as their cosy relationship with developers is kept sweet, we are asked to close our eyes and wave through whatever is presented to us.

“Only the Liberal Democrats have the courage to challenge vested interests and call out cosy relationships between developers and the council.”

Liberal Democrat Campaigner and 2021 Candidate Alan Good added:

“Residents already suffer from congestion, antisocial behaviour and litter on match days at the Etihad. Running more events will more than double the impact they already suffer through at the moment.

“The application also proposes no extra parking, instead using existing facilities at the Etihad. Our concern is that fly-parking will then increase throughout Bradford and Beswick, and transport capacity will be unable to accommodate.

“Building an arena away from regional rail hubs goes completely against addressing climate change, as this encourages more driving and pollution in residential areas.

“Not only this but the council are working on a scheme for a filtered neighbourhood in Beswick – it is currently unclear what impact increased congestion would have on these plans.”