Greater Manchester Spatial Framework Respsonse

16th January 2017

Dear Sirs / Madams,

I am writing to you as a long-term citizen of Greater Manchester regarding the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework

Three generations of my family were Salford dockers and I have lived in Greater Manchester for more than 30 years

I chose to study at the University of Salford from 2007 – 2014 where I obtained an Ecology degree, a Work Placement certificate with the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit and a Gold Award

I have lived in Trafford, Salford and now the Oldham area, and have spent many years recording, photographing and filming the wildlife of Greater Manchester, and I have recently published a book entitled “The Birds of Salford Docklands” on Amazon and have many more books being written about Greater Manchester and the North, therefore, I feel that I am in a rather decent position to comment on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF)

Firstly I would like to say that I welcome the opportunity to comment on the GMSF – I believe that this can be a very positive situation if we are to build a truly prosperous, healthy, green and sustainable Greater Manchester

As a businessman I would like the GMCA to refer all the plans for the GMSF to ecologists – the business world is changing very quickly and humanity is rapidly switching to renewable energy and the green economy

I agree with Andy Burnhams’ recent comments that the GMSF needs completely re-writing

We have an amazing opportunity in Greater Manchester, and the North of England, to be at the forefront of the new green business revolution, and bring green jobs and green growth to the region

However, we have to first protect our green assets – all our Mosslands, greenspaces, Country Parks, rivers, canals – to build a Greater Manchester Eco Framework (GMEF) to allow the new industries of the future, EcoTourism and Renewable Energy to flourish

We have some unique wildlife habitats on our doorstep such as the Salford Mosslands, Pennington Flash Country Park, Horwich Moors, Dunham Massey, Carrington Moss, Greenheart Wigan Flashes, Mersey Valley, Etherow Country Park, Dovestones Reservoir to name but a few, however, we need to go further to promote these sites and maximise the green economy potential we have here ie: we need to have a Greater Manchester EcoTourism plan that builds a green infrastructure such as EcoTourism University and College courses that can provide training, skills and jobs for our young people

In 2000 I went to TAFE College in Cairns, Tropical North Australia, and obtained EcoTourism and Tourism qualfications – we should have many courses similar to this here in Greater Manchester

I would suggest that all politicians and business leaders take an Ecology Course to learn about new concepts such as the green economy and EcoSystem Services to see the real value in protecting our green assets such as Mosslands and woodlands

Our parks are not just places where residents have access to greenspaces and fresh air, they are places we can promote to tourists, places we can take people on specially designed tours

I am very much in favour of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework if we can all work together, communities, ecologists, scientists, politicians and businesses, to build a truly progressive Greater Manchester – it can be done with proper planning and thought for the future

The Greater Manchester community is full of creative and ambitious talent that should be tapped into and consulted properly

The Greater Manchester Peoples’ Plan for the Environment meeting held on the 1st December 2016 is a big example of the types of talent and creative thinking that can happen when the Greater Manchester citizens get together

Yours faithfully

Mr James Walsh
Greater Manchester Citizen