Tuesday, 25 February 2014

March 2014 First Sunday and Other News

Dear Friends

First Sunday this Sunday and it’s a rather novel event.

Rather than our usual communal dérive loiterers are invite to help further the work of one of my favourite walkers Phil Smith aka Mythogeography  I think it’s really important to acknowledge influences and say thanks to folk who inspire us so I really hope you will take part. Here’s the instructions direct from the crabman himself, please utilise them whenever and wherever you want on 2nd February

  "I am writing a chapter for an academic book on ‘zombies’ to be published by   Springer Press. My chapter is based on a very simple ‘tactic’ that I devised for Wrights & Sites’ ‘A Mis-Guide To Anywhere’ in 2006 and which I have used myself many times and given as an exercise for classes of students and others. In my chapter I want to write about the experiences people have when using this ‘tactic’. If you are interested, I would ask you to take a walk on your own (where and at what time of day is up to you) for at least half an hour. I would like you to walk ‘as’ the last human survivor of a zombie apocalypse. Everyone is now a member of the living dead other than you. I don’t want you to act out this role (fleeing the zombies, etc.) but rather simply to walk and see and experience the world through the eyes and feelings of a survivor in that fiction. When you return from this walk I would like you to write and send me an account of how you experienced your walk, and how you experienced the terrain you walked through. I would then use your reflections and those of others in writing my chapter. I might quote from your reflections in the chapter. If I did any such quotation would be an anonymous one, so I would not use your name in the chapter in any way. As a piece of academic research, and I am conducting this in my role as an Associate Professor (Reader) at Plymouth University (School of Humanities and Performing Arts), you are free at any time during the research to withdraw your participation. Should you decide to withdraw then any contribution you had made up till then would not be used after that. Thank you, again! If you decide to participate, please send any reflections on your walk to me at: mytho.smith@btopenworld.com"

Find out more about mythogeography here http://www.mythogeography.com/  and counter tourism also comes highly recommended http://www.countertourism.net/

After doffing our proverbial caps on Sunday there will be an extra, bonus, loiter for those who want to be sociable on Monday night 3rd February. Meeting in the Bullshead Pub, opposite Piccadilly Railway Station at 6.15. We’ll be setting off on a wander at 6.30 probably exploring more of Mr Smiths tactics or perhaps doing something else because noone should be followed slavishly.

If you want to loiter longer in March I’m also involved in several events for Manchester Histories Festival, the programme is due to be posted online on February 28th so please check here for details: http://www.manchesterhistoriesfestival.org.uk/

28th February is also important to me for some none-psychogeographical reasons. I’m organising a gig at the Castle Oldham Street for one of my favourite musicians, Chris Mills and the Distant Stars with the excellent Quiet Loner and Phil Davies andtheninjasmokebombs completing a superb nights entertainment. Advance tickets have sold out but there will be some available on the door, first come, first served, from 7pm.

Finally 28th February is the deadline for letters objecting to the Stopping Up Order for Library walk, one of Manchester’s most beautiful places that the council consider to be “an accident”. This is about our fundamental right to roam the city, its about our heritage, civic amenities, spaces of beauty and imagination, protecting public space and discussing what consultation really means. Mostly, for me, its about being able to walk free from suspicion and fear through those sensuos curves. Enough letters mean we will trigger a Government Inquiry and potentially stop this nonsense so please write if you can. More details here: http://friendsoflibrarywalk.wordpress.com/ 

I look forward to seeing you on the street

Love and rainbows
Morag xx

Monday, 17 February 2014

Please Write a Letter to help Save Library Walk

Dear Loiterers

Some of you may recall the fight for Library Walk, one of the most precious places in Manchester (oh! those sensuous curves!) being nothing if not tenacious the fight ain't over and we have a very real chance of a public inquiry and review of the project.

Please help protect public space and a beautiful place by writing a letter.

A Stopping Up Order has been issued to close Library Walk, if a number of objections are received then an inquiry must be launched by The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This is an opportunity to review the whole scheme and our experienced legal team are confident we have a very strong case to present at inquiry.

If you write a letter to oppose the Stopping Up Order we can halt work and trigger an inquiry. Your letter does not have to be long but every letter will count and will help us. The deadline is tight – we have until February 28th to act – and we have been advised against writing a pro forma as letters should be individual but here is a guide to what you could say.

You need to be polite, concise and logical and make it clear you object to the stopping up order. You do not have to live in Manchester to have your voice heard. NB this is a different legal process to the planning application so any previous correspondence is not counted here, but you can of course, cut and paste from anything else you have written. I’m writing a letter on behalf of The Friends of Library Walk and am happy to send you a copy if you want to see.

YOU MUST INCLUDE your name, address and the reference L/NJM/EVD5001/1080. State that you oppose The CITY OF MANCHESTER LIBRARY WALK FOOTPATH, MANCHESTER CITY CENTRE PUBLIC PATH STOPPING UP ORDER 2014 and include your reason(s) for doing so

Reasons to object can include

1) Public Interest
Library Walk is a place of significant architectural merit, between 2 grade II* buildings in two conservation areas and has been an integral part of the city centre topography for over 80 years. Library Walk has an important function increasing the permeability of St Peters Square (which will become more popular as a result of the redevelopment). Improved access, vibrant streets and aspirations to be a 24-hour city have been key aims of recent Manchester Council policy and stopping up Library Walk conflicts with these. Library Walk is a useful and well-loved route for residents which has inspired artists and attracts tourists. Of course these are not the only reasons closure is not in the public interest so feel free to include your own.

2) Closure of Public Space
Manchester Council are seeking closure of a public space and there is a fundamental objection to this. The limited opening times can be changed in the future as once a right of way has been extinguished, it will not be public anymore and there is no power to object to variations. Incidentally the proposed opening hours are shorter than Metrolink opening hours and security should not be a consideration under The Town and Country Planning Act

3) Legal Process
We believe Manchester City Council have been acting illegally as no temporary stopping up order was granted prior to commencing work leaving them open to prosecution, The Council should be setting an example and following the law.

LETTERS MUST BE SENT TO Liz Treacy, City Solicitor, PO Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA quoting reference L/NJM/EVD5001/1080

The deadline for receipt of letters is FRIDAY 28TH FEBRUARY so please act promptly. Also let The Friends of Library Walk know you have responded so we can provide evidence of widespread public support. We are working with organisations including manchester modernist society, The Open Spaces Society, The Greater Manchester Pedestrian Association and The Ramblers Association and thank you all so much for your support.

If you need any more information please contact me directly on 07974929589 or by email savelibrarywalk@gmail.com I’ve also got a stash of stamps and envelopes if you need them. Background information can be found at http://friendsoflibrarywalk.wordpress.com/

Thanks again, and please forward this to anyone who may be interested - remember every letter can make a difference.

Best wishes

Morag Rose
Friends of Library Walk