I do worry about this great city of ours you know.

I love all the new buildings going up, the new businesses coming in, the thriving restaurants, bars and museums but are we creating a two tier city.

Two reports out this week being us back to reality and show that while money is pouring into the centre, some of our suburbs are falling further and further behind.

One was the latest child poverty map which shows that in some places half of the children are living in what you could call poverty.Now I know we can all argue about what exactly constitutes poverty these days but surely regardless of how it is measured, the kids of Manchester are worse off than many other areas.

Maybe it can be in some part related to the other report that came out which shows that one in four adults in Greater Manchester are drinking too much. That’s more than 470,000 people and apparently there were 600,000 alcohol related admissions into hospitals.

We had a drive by shooting on Deansgate last weekend too, outside The Living Room, would you believe. Nobody was injured and the shots hit a door but two people were seen driving off on a motorbike shortly after the shooting. They put a video of it up as well on You Tube.


The police have been in the news quite a bit.They were cleared of using bullying tactics following an independent investigation into the anti cracking protests at Barton Moss, while on Tuesday they did another of those twitter days where they tweet all the calls they receive in 24 hours. Over two thousand six hundred and some quite ridiculous including someone who could not get their kid to go to school.

However the cynic in me suggests that it was more of a coincidence that the day before, it was being suggested that there was going to be further cuts in their number.

We are getting another tower block in Manchester, seventeen storeys on Mount Street overlooking the Midland Hotel.They are pulling down that awful 1970’s London and Scottish House which they say is considered to be outdated in terms of its environmental credentials and doesn’t meet the requirements of modern day occupiers.

And they have sold the Toastrack. Rumors are they are going to turn it into luxury flats. I will always remember the story that back in the 1970s students made a giant slice of polystyrene toast and stuck it on the roof for rag week.

I have been to a couple of really good exhibitions that have just opened. One at the art gallery, a rather moving look at artistic depictions of war, where they have got for the first time out of Japan, the works of the hibakusha, the haunted memories of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, memories so devastating that it was many years before they were able to set them down in the form of art.

I also went to the Manchester Museum where they have an exhibition all about Siberia. The star attraction, the body of a female baby mammoth named ‘Masha’, preserved in the Siberian permafrost for thousands of years, on loan from the Zoological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, hadn’t arrived but nevertheless there were some great exhibits.


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