OPINION: Loretto College - green ideals sadly lacking

26 March 2018

A letter submitted to the Manchester Evening News on 21.03.18 by Manchester Green Party member, Melanie Horrocks, based in Hulme.

Often schools can be a central part of a community, but sometimes the opposite can be true. Sadly, for the residents of St Mary’s Courtyard Hulme, and the area surrounding Loretto College the opposite is true. 

Despite many attempts by local residents to highlight problems caused by their students the college seem slow to react. At lunch times during the school week a mass of students leave the school to walk to the Asda complex for lunch. They walk en mass blocking roads and pavements, often refusing to make way even for parents with small children. Annoying, sometimes rude but it’s understandable that there will be an impact of mass migration of students. The problem is their return trip, which sees them eating lunch on the move and dropping food waste and packaging all along the route. Daily there is also food containers strategically dumped along the railings of residential properties. The litter and food waste is a huge problem. The school claim to have asked the council to install more bins, who have refused. 

Two school years ago Loretto sent teachers out to patrol Rook Street and the antisocial behaviour and littering fell dramatically. Sadly, despite this success the scheme has not been repeated. Not only is this unsightly for residents, there is no increase in street cleaning either and so we spend term time in litter filled street. Worse is the food waste, with a high percentage of chicken bones, a danger to local dogs and also likely to attract rats and other vermin to the area. 

The 2017/18 academic year has also seen a huge increase in travel to Loretto by car, with parents crowding the streets around the college at the end of the day. They park on double yellow lines, residents parking bays and one repeat offender at the junction opposite the school blocking the junction to other road users. The roads behind the college are so congested with students parking that bold street is now only passable in term time via a single car width track through the parked vehicles. 

Local Labour councillors are aware of the issue and have been for some years but nothing is being done. Reminiscent of the ‘Hulme is not a car park’ campaign in 2011 perhaps it’s time to remind both the council and Loretto college that ‘Hulme is neither a rubbish bin or a car park’. 

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