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Old February 3rd, 2008, 01:32 PM   #101
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I still think though that overall it's the best way to elect the Commons - single member constituencies of nearly equal size. It's the latter part of that definition that needs tightening - Wales for instance sends far too many MPs to the Commons for its population.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 07:48 PM   #102
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erm not quite what i meant to say. Manufacturing is still a key aspect of the northern economy, but we need to embrace so called new technologies to maintain our competitiveness.

And also historically all those english public school boys in the city of london just cant sully themselves with dirty smelly UK manufacturing. Whilst in the forthmentioned nations, they do. Ask a German graduate what they aspire for and it will be finance law or corporate manufacturing. Ask an english grad and it will be finance, media advertising.
I largely agree with you. But I think it is a frequent mistake of UK policy makers to adopt a black and white attitude to business. While our long term success may come to depend on particular types of industry or business, those in governance would serve us all better if they would support all business. I'm often left with the impression that those in governance in the UK have a very poor understanding of business and the concept of wealth creation, and dissapointingly seem to be almost hostile to businesses outside their chosen favourites.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 09:00 PM   #103
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I still think though that overall it's the best way to elect the Commons - single member constituencies of nearly equal size. It's the latter part of that definition that needs tightening - Wales for instance sends far too many MPs to the Commons for its population.
Trouble is MP, with this system it creates an effective electorate which is tiny i.e., the floating voters in the marginal consiituencies. This is what Tony Blair understood very well and why he won three elections in a row. Brown and Cameron also understand this which is why all policies are are aimed at this group in the hope of winning their supported and thus get elected. This is why Brown vetoed the super casino and is re-evaluating 24 hour drinking - nobody runs this by the good citizens of Manchester. Why? Because they would elect a dead dog if it stood on the Laour ticket. NB That is no disrepect to Tony Lloyd who is quite a decent bloke.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 04:51 AM   #104
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The House of Lords, though not directly elected by the people, actually represents the nation's politics better than the Commons does. It has nearly equal numbers of Labour and Conservative members, as well as a large number of cross-benchers and members of other smaller parties.
This I most certainly don't agree with. The Lords is far more conservative (small 'c') than any democratically elected chamber would be. This is primarily because the members are far older, more male-dominated, more London & Home Counties centric, far whiter and far more Christian than the average member of the population. The Commons is not perfect, but it is far more representative of the people than the stuffy Lords.

I don't know anybody who agrees with the Lords Spiritual existing (the 26 Bishops who automatically get seats in the Lords who were also the reason why the Casino was lost).

I don't know anybody who still agrees that the 92 aristocrats should automatically get seats because of which family they were born into.

The House of Lords is an affront to democracy and shouldn't be tolerated in this day in age.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 05:07 AM   #105
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...you left out those that bought their seats
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Old February 4th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #106
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This I most certainly don't agree with. The Lords is far more conservative (small 'c') than any democratically elected chamber would be. This is primarily because the members are far older, more male-dominated, more London & Home Counties centric, far whiter and far more Christian than the average member of the population. The Commons is not perfect, but it is far more representative of the people than the stuffy Lords.

I don't know anybody who agrees with the Lords Spiritual existing (the 26 Bishops who automatically get seats in the Lords who were also the reason why the Casino was lost).

I don't know anybody who still agrees that the 92 aristocrats should automatically get seats because of which family they were born into.

The House of Lords is an affront to democracy and shouldn't be tolerated in this day in age.
Sorry, I disagree. I think many people, including yourself, somehow believe that in a democracy every body and every position should be elected, etc. I'm not inclined that way. The House of Lords does a different job to the Commons and holds the government to account far better than the Commons does (for a number of reasons - mainly because the government has a majority of MPs and they are whipped into line so much). In recent years we have seen on many occasions the House of Lords stand up for civil rights and liberties when the Commons have failed (Nu Labor being the most authoritarian party in Commons history). And they are more representative than the Commons, with experts and members of other faiths appointed for meritocratic and balancing reasons. Yes, the Bishops should be removed and the remaining hereditary peers. But so should the Prime Minister's ability to appoint Lords. It's Tony Blair and now Gordon Brown filling the place with Labour cronies that is the main problem. And if you don't believe me how balanced the composition of the House of Lords is:

http://www.parliament.uk/directories...omposition.cfm

Far more balanced (in a political sense) than the Commons:

http://www.parliament.uk/directories/hcio/party.cfm
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Old February 4th, 2008, 09:32 PM   #107
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You're quite right MP, it makes for a fairer and less authoritarian government to have a second 'upper chamber'.

Especially as 'questionable' legislation could be rammed through (in the case of a majority gov't) without much of a challenge.

Your position though is rather unclear, as you were quick to disagree with Monkey's assertion of the unfairness and undemocratic nature of the Lords, but then went on to agree with his points about bishops and hereditory peers.
Take away the PM's appointed cronies, tell me, just who would be left?

Under our current pluralistic system, the only fair solution is to have a totally elected upper chamber/senate.

Ultimately one day we may see a proportionally repesentative government where a second house would be made redundant, as the opposition party(s) will provide the checks and balances that you are in favour of.
Under a PR system, unless in the extremely unlikely event a certain party gains an overwhelming majority, it would put an end to the fast-tracking of dodgy legislation.

I have to concur with Manc Monkey's premise that the Lords does not represent the interests of the rank and file citizens of the country.
England is an ever increasingly secular nation, (thank god so what would be the sense of a group of unelected clergymen having a say in the way it's governed ? Don't you believe in the separation of church and state?

I don't believe the provincial cities will ever gain proper democratic municipal governance under the current SE-centric/monarchistic/established church system.

We are not even citizens in the true sense of the word. We are just subjects. We don't even have a written constitution.

One guy told me that because of our monarchy, we apparently don't need a 'written' constitution, honest.

I guess we'll never have a 'bad' king or queen ever again will we?
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Old February 4th, 2008, 10:14 PM   #108
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Sorry, I disagree. I think many people, including yourself, somehow believe that in a democracy every body and every position should be elected, etc. I'm not inclined that way. The House of Lords does a different job to the Commons and holds the government to account far better than the Commons does (for a number of reasons - mainly because the government has a majority of MPs and they are whipped into line so much). In recent years we have seen on many occasions the House of Lords stand up for civil rights and liberties when the Commons have failed (Nu Labor being the most authoritarian party in Commons history). And they are more representative than the Commons, with experts and members of other faiths appointed for meritocratic and balancing reasons. Yes, the Bishops should be removed and the remaining hereditary peers. But so should the Prime Minister's ability to appoint Lords. It's Tony Blair and now Gordon Brown filling the place with Labour cronies that is the main problem. And if you don't believe me how balanced the composition of the House of Lords is:

http://www.parliament.uk/directories...omposition.cfm

Far more balanced (in a political sense) than the Commons:

http://www.parliament.uk/directories/hcio/party.cfm
I believe that everybody who sits in our national legislature should be democratically elected.

You say you want to remove the Bishops, remove the hereditary peers and stop the PM appointing the Lords - I absolutely agree. So the only difference is that I want all members of the upper chamber to be democratically elected, where as you want them to be appointed by presumably an independent commission.

The fundamental difference is that I trust the people of this country to elect our legislators, where as I think you trust a commission of elites to do the job for us. That can't be acceptable in a true democracy can it?

If you don't want the upper chamber to be as partisan as the Commons, then that's fine - just remove the Whips and prevent any member of the new upper house (Senate?) from being in HM Government or Opposition (eg. Shadow Cabinet).

But besides that, the problem with not having elected members of the upper chamber is that it is too conservative (small 'c') and too South-East-centric and that is not good for the country (especially the North).

The Lords know at the moment they can get away with anything because they are not accountable to the people and can never get voted out of office. That's why half of them are asleep most of the time. Kick the cronies out.

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Old February 4th, 2008, 11:47 PM   #109
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Proof Manchester Planner

Fair enough ?, but if you have some spare time on these wintry evenings, you will find it in Article F of the Maastricht treaty, which roughly states that: “member states shall have ‘systems of government founded on the principles of democracy.” This point has been laboured to me for some years. I worked alongside EU officials and politicians for over 15 years. So trust me on this one. Its deadly dull legal stuff, but its obvious criteria for entry now.

It has been quoted by opponents of Turkey joining the EU, as well as progressives who are cautious of states like Poland, Belarus, Moldova and Serbia. It’s a particular tease from Germans, who like to remind me that their system is now more democratic than ours. (But Don’t mention the war erm)

In all other respects the UK is clearly a democratic state.. That is in terms of laws on minorities, anti oppression and discrimination, free and fair elections, legal system and media. Just dont recall anything about shoot-to-kill, illegal wars, bugging MPs or killing electricians on the tube. Aside from my sarkiness there, the UK is Ok on this score. Its just its political institution that fail the test. Thankfully the two that really matter - ie local councils and the lower house which decides the UK govt are elected. However much of our money and decisions on our lives are conducted by authorities made up of indirectly appointed members (albeit elected in their own areas).

Interestingly France has been criticised as having aspects of its governance that would question its criteria for Article F. Despite its claim to be “patrie des droits de l'Homme.” Human rights critics have cited Article 2 of the French constitution and the Toubon Law of 1994, which effectively discriminates against Breton and Occitan speakers in France, by making French (or the Parisien/Picardian version) the only legal language of the Republic.

But my point is that a main problem is Manchester governance that it is only partly directly democratic. I don’t want to be gratutious but look at the comparison of western European and non European English speaking countries, we dont match up to their democratic criteria.

Now this is getting off track abit. Lets concentrate on Manchester, please. And not the chorus of young Asian women that are at the bottom of this page as I type. Or is that me?!?!

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Old February 5th, 2008, 12:02 AM   #110
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But my point is that a main problem is Manchester governance that it is only partly directly democratic. I don’t want to be gratutious but look at the comparison of western European and non European English speaking countries, we dont match up to their democratic criteria.
I don't see how. Manchester City Council is democratically elected and they send some of their elected councillors as representatives to a number of bodies for Greater Manchester issues and the North West Assembly. What's not democratic about that?
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Old February 5th, 2008, 10:18 PM   #111
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5:00 am, February 4, 2008


Steven Broomhead, NWDA chief executive



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Advertisement

City Region debate rages - but business is out of the loop
By Simon Binns


Greater Manchester's ten local authorities are bidding for a much bigger say in the spending of billions of pounds worth of business growth funding currently controlled by the Northwest Regional Development Agency.

Under the City Region plans, members of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities are seeking to take over many of the NWDA's devolved decision-making powers. Although widely discussed for months in the region's corridors of power, the proposal has received little media coverage and many people in the private sector are unaware of it.

If given the go ahead by ministers, the changes would affect up to £2bn of central government and European money due to be channelled via the NWDA between now and 2013 into projects such as property development and regeneration, product development and equipment purchases.

According to AGMA's proposal document, the City Region would accelerate central government economic growth targets, and plug a “£30bn productivity gap” between the North of England and the UK average. However, NWDA chief executive Steve Broomhead told Crain's that it will negotiate hard to ensure that it still has an active role to play with regional businesses, and will not give up part of its budget without ensuring that it has a say in how it is spent.

Broomhead is adamant that the changes would not reduce the agency's role in delivering and funding projects across the region. He said he did not want to see the new body become another level of needless bureaucracy in the relationship between central government, local government and business.

Turgid discussions


“The main issue is that we don't want to take our foot off delivery,” he said. “We want to have an active role. What we don't want to end up in is turgid discussions.

“We are looking forward to debate, as we need to establish how the NWDA will work with central and local government under the new City Region scheme, but it must not get in the way of the priority of the agency, which is providing sustainable economic growth for the region. We don't want there to be any navel-gazing.” The NWDA's budget for delivering projects in the North West for 2006/2007 was £402m, which will be reduced to £345m by 2010/2011. Its total spend between 2006 and 2009 is projected at £1.2bn, and the agency is responsible for administrating £521m of European Regional Development Funding in the North West between 2007-2013.

Lord Smith, leader of AGMA and chief executive of Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council, said that there did need to be a clearer understanding of the proposals from local authorities, agencies and business. He confirmed that the new body would look to take some funding powers from the NWDA.

“The NWDA will become more strategic and will have to agree an economic plan with the new body, as some of its funding will be given to us,” he said. “I'm sure it will be subject to negotiation.”

Keeping councils happy



Lord Smith said that more work would be done to ensure member councils were happy with the governance of the new body at February's AGMA meeting.

He said the local authorities were looking to attract senior figures from the Greater Manchester business community to help drive the new body.

“We're hoping the business community can have more influence on how funding is given to them,” he said.

The City Region sub-regional group was originally scheduled for launch in April, but it will now be postponed until June at the earliest, until the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) holds its AGM, as central government will not give feedback on the plan until February. AGMA must then check that its proposals are in line with government expectations and wait until after the May local elections.

AGMA said it had consulted the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, but knowledge of the planned changes is not widespread among businesses.

Chris Ginnes, operations director of Manchester-based Smartlife Technology, which develops garments to track the body's vital signs and wellbeing, said that he had no knowledge of the City Region or how it would work. The company received a £500,000 grant from the NWDA last October.

“I've never heard of it,” he said. “I'd like to know more, such as if you can apply to more than one City Region depending on where you have offices. There definitely needs to be consultation with businesses, but it's not something I'd previously come across.”
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Old February 12th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #112
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When I refer to something being democratic, I am talking about it being directly elected.

Thatcher abolished the Metro counties's councils, but not the authorities. They live on - in the case of Greater Manchester - as the AGMA. A body which consists of nominated representatives from the ten boroughs. The nominated dont necessary reflect the balance of seats on each council.

First democratic hurdle that is falters at is accountability. By being nominated, they are only accountable to the party whips on each council. It is they who choses the members on the AGMA and the NWDA assembly.

If they were directly elected they would be accountable to me and you through the ballot box.

Second by not being directly elected, they can not say they have a mandate from the electorate.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 08:58 PM   #113
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I'm putting this article here because I believe its a pertinent example of how a strong, unified voice can weild massive influence, helping to shape central government's priorities and influence key decisions on spending and delivery.

Funding and enabling affordable housing and housing growth is another element of the sort of infrastructure essential to the functioning of cities. Affordable housing is just as an important an issue outside of London as it is within. Here is another example of how much moreimportant London's needs are perceived to be within the corridors of power than anywhere else, seemingly.

Quote:
Housing superagency sets up London board
7 February, 2008

By Eleanor Goodman

Sub committee chaired by London mayor will help speed up capital’s £3bn housebuilding programme

The government has set up a new Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) sub committee to speed up the delivery of London’s £3bn housebuilding programme.

The London Homes and Communities Agency Board will ensure money from the HCA’s investment programme and land from the London Development Agency is used to deliver the housing programme in London and the South East.


It will focus on delivering sustainable homes, increasing the number of affordable family-sized homes and created communities through regeneration.

Mayor Ken Livingstone will chair the board and HCA chief executive Sir Bob Kerslake will be vice-chairman.

Caroline Flint, housing minister, said: "It is essential we increase the amount of affordable housing in London but we need to ensure homes are built where they are most needed.

"By strengthening our relationship with the mayor's office and giving a stronger voice to London boroughs we can ensure we create new communities and regenerate deprived areas in a much more joined-up way."
http://www.regeneratelive.co.uk/stor...0000000144efbc
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Old February 13th, 2008, 10:48 AM   #114
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How long has Warrington been an associate member of AGMA?

Only just noticed it.

Thunk they are also in a similar position with the Merseyside version, but may be wrong.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 09:07 PM   #115
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AGMA MAA

Today's TIF referendum decision may well have put the chances of it ever happening back a fair bit, however, as David Ottewell says

http://blogs.manchestereveningnews.c.../post_351.html

it shows how our region is miles ahead of anywhere else as far as working together, not matter what their political position is.

Most likely TIF will die, but in the long run MAA will grow from strength to strength.

It'll be interesting to see how tis develops with time.

I suspect the Tories may actually promote the Manchester MAA deal as it gives them a slight chance of taking some power over GM.

Interesting times ahead, and not just TIF.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 09:32 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by M€trolink View Post
Today's TIF referendum decision may well have put the chances of it ever happening back a fair bit, however, as David Ottewell says

http://blogs.manchestereveningnews.c.../post_351.html

it shows how our region is miles ahead of anywhere else as far as working together, not matter what their political position is.

Most likely TIF will die, but in the long run MAA will grow from strength to strength.

It'll be interesting to see how tis develops with time.

I suspect the Tories may actually promote the Manchester MAA deal as it gives them a slight chance of taking some power over GM.

Interesting times ahead, and not just TIF.
Exactly what I thought Metrolink. Not being unkind but the general public as a whole don't see the bigger picture, just their wallets and purses.

Trafford and Stockport will vote no. Bury will probably also vote no. Manchester, Oldham, Tameside, Rochdale will vote yes. (trams) Salford, Bolton and Wigan could go eitherway.

As I said, a straight Gtr Manchester wide yes or no vote would have been better.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 09:47 PM   #117
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Exactly what I thought Metrolink. Not being unkind but the general public as a whole don't see the bigger picture, just their wallets and purses.

Trafford and Stockport will vote no. Bury will probably also vote no. Manchester, Oldham, Tameside, Rochdale will vote yes. (trams) Salford, Bolton and Wigan could go eitherway.

As I said, a straight Gtr Manchester wide yes or no vote would have been better.
I've been hamming that MEN comments board and I can say the people on their are very selfish and are very narrow minded. They come out with alsorts of rubbish. "It will cost £1 Billion to put the charge in place", "Ohh no the loan, am going to die". Am pretty sure most have mortgages so their worries on that are rubbish and "its a new con tax". Its only a new tax if you choose to drive to work at those certain times of day. People forget everything about this bid. Not many have looked at the book and that's very clear.

It doesn't worry through because the question that's on the paper that will win. Bad things always bring out the worst in people and that's when they start commenting rubbish.

I've already convinced a number of people I know to vote yes and I explained why it will benefit them. I was shocked to find out that none of them didn't know about the transport improvements. Most through it was just a congestion charge with minimum funding.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 10:14 PM   #118
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Yes Andymufc, Manchester there are a lot of uninformed members posting on the MEN website but there are also plenty of people posting who do understand what we're voting for, who are against the proposals myself included.

Maybe you could answer the following points i raised on another thread?

Rochdale to Mcr Victoria currently takes 21 minutes on the train with the very expensive addition of Metrolink you can do the very same trip in 45 minutes, how on earth is that an improvement on our existing transport infastructure?

It's the same for other areas Wythenshawe and Stockport lines both go round the houses.

I live in Middleton and work in Hazel Grove I drive to work and my weekly commute is 6 hours if I was to do the same journey on public transport it would be approximately 20 hours according to the GMPTE journey planner, you will not get people out of there cars until there is a viable alternative.

In my opinion it's a tin pot second rate transport system and there is not a prayer of this getting voted in.

Please feel free to come up with some answers which may make me change my mind.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 10:26 PM   #119
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Yes Andymufc, Manchester there are a lot of uninformed members posting on the MEN website but there are also plenty of people posting who do understand what we're voting for, who are against the proposals myself included.

Maybe you could answer the following points i raised on another thread?

Rochdale to Mcr Victoria currently takes 21 minutes on the train with the very expensive addition of Metrolink you can do the very same trip in 45 minutes, how on earth is that an improvement on our existing transport infastructure?

It's the same for other areas Wythenshawe and Stockport lines both go round the houses.

I live in Middleton and work in Hazel Grove I drive to work and my weekly commute is 6 hours if I was to do the same journey on public transport it would be approximately 20 hours according to the GMPTE journey planner, you will not get people out of there cars until there is a viable alternative.

In my opinion it's a tin pot second rate transport system and there is not a prayer of this getting voted in.

Please feel free to come up with some answers which may make me change my mind.
ME, me, me. Is that what it's all about?

What about the rest of the Gtr manchester's population that don't drive and don't cause congestion. Why can't they have better public transport, why can't they have new longer trams, extra train carriages, more bus lanes, cleaner, better and more frequent buses, real time services, oyster cards, extra school buses for the kids, park and ride schemes not only for Christmas, but for the rest of the year and a cleaner enviroment.

When your old and unable to drive anymore and you begin to rely on a reliable, intergrated public transport system to get you around the city and there still isn't one, will you 'still' be thinking me, me, me?

The lot of you are so f***ing shortsighted.

Last edited by jrb; July 25th, 2008 at 10:40 PM.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 10:33 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Mcr24 View Post
Yes Andymufc, Manchester there are a lot of uninformed members posting on the MEN website but there are also plenty of people posting who do understand what we're voting for, who are against the proposals myself included.

Maybe you could answer the following points i raised on another thread?

Rochdale to Mcr Victoria currently takes 21 minutes on the train with the very expensive addition of Metrolink you can do the very same trip in 45 minutes, how on earth is that an improvement on our existing transport infastructure?

It's the same for other areas Wythenshawe and Stockport lines both go round the houses.

I live in Middleton and work in Hazel Grove I drive to work and my weekly commute is 6 hours if I was to do the same journey on public transport it would be approximately 20 hours according to the GMPTE journey planner, you will not get people out of there cars until there is a viable alternative.

In my opinion it's a tin pot second rate transport system and there is not a prayer of this getting voted in.

Please feel free to come up with some answers which may make me change my mind.
Yep they are, glad we agree, answered your questions in the other thread . How did you find this?
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