CONTROVERSY… in Liverpool, as Mayor Joe Anderson was pipped to the Walton MP Labour nomination by a relative unknown, Daniel Carden. The 30-year old, better known as Unite chief Len McLuskey’s “bag carrier”, needs to make a good impression in the area fast if he’s going to avoid some stony faces when he goes door knocking. Carden’s been quiet on Twitter since 2009, but witnessing his success, a kind citizen quickly set up an alternative account for him.
POWER WALKER… Meanwhile in Manchester, newly-elected Mayor of the city region Andy Burnham must have worn down the soles of his shoes during his first week, he’s been out and about so much. Commitments to end rough sleeping, overhaul the GMSF, reject congestion charges, it’s been all go. Other than politico glad-handing, is there an ulterior motive? As a politician once overheard to have grumbled to aides: “I wish people would talk more about my policies, and less about my eyelashes,” he’s ensuring that everyone has plenty else to chat about.
PHRASE… To London for Propteq, the fascinating annual get-together of property technology types, this year flying in from 30 countries to share ideas and innovations. When it comes to buzzwords the language of tech venture capitalists is as buzzy as you can imagine. “My top five risk buckets…” was perhaps the standout phrase of the day, from Dominic Wilson of proptech investor Pi Labs in answer to a question about how he measures risk. We’re out!
HEADSPACE… We’re coming to the end of Mental Health Awareness Week. The first in a series of symposiums promoting better mental health in the property industry took place on Tuesday in London, with the second event due on 16 May in Manchester. Leading the charge against mental illness is Alan Burke, a figure well known to the city’s development industry, who will share his experience of the breakdown he suffered in 2015, and the backing he got from “hard-nosed and hard-pressed property businessmen and women” who turned out to be great support. Book here: https://www.lionheart.org.uk/symposium
MERCH… Who doesn’t love a good badge? These belters are the proud property of Cllr Samantha Dixon, Labour leader of Cheshire West & Chester Council, and councillor for the city of Chester ward. The Countess Counts campaign was launched last year by local MP Chris Matheson, he of the famously narrow 93 majority, in response to fears about possible closure or merger of Countess of Chester Hospital with Arrowe Park in Wirral. No formal plans for closure have been launched but Matheson and Dixon say they remain vigilant. A decent badge will boost any campaign, that is a fact.
STAR TURN… Blackpool is fundraising for a £25m museum at the Winter Gardens, to celebrate the heritage of the seaside resort. The campaign’s received a boost after signing a collaborative agreement with highly esteemed cultural institution, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Curators from both museums have found “star items” in the V&A archive which will go on display in Blackpool, including suits worn by Morecambe and Wise, George Formby’s banjolele, and props from magician Tommy Cooper. Now you see them…
HOPS… After years of being the quiet part of town, U+I is ramping activity up on the Mayfield site, to remind people that there is more of Manchester to the North of Piccadilly. With the Grub Good Fair set to open later this month, to create an added draw for the city’s foodie and boozy types there’s even going to be a bespoke craft ale made for the occasion. Micro-brewery Runaway has created the Mayfield Pale Ale – a relaxed 4% ABV, and of course it’s vegan friendly.