MEPs are appointed on a regional basis and I include a link here. THIS is a link to the north-west.
There are 8 MEPs for the region with a mix of parties including Labour, Conservative, UKIP and independent
I have looked a little at the Brexit vote also and found that, though Manchester voted to remain, the surrounding areas such as Salford, Oldham and Bury, which perhaps have more in common demographically with Harpurhey, voted very clearly to leave. Unlike some of the other areas we are looking at, therefore, it’s hard to speculate about this element of Harpurhey’s electoral behaviour. The vote has only been broken down in larger areas (our areas being Manchester [remain], Barking and Dagenham [leave], Trafford [remain] and North Tyneside [leave]). There is a website that claimed to offer the data broken down into wards through primary data and ‘careful modelling’ but the spreadsheet doesn’t show any information for our areas.
Index of multiple deprivation
Harpurhey rates poorly in most categories barring ‘barriers to services and housing’. 7 of the 10 LSOAs (Lower Super output Areas/ neighbourhoods) assigned to Harpurhey are within the top 10% of the country’s most deprived. It is currently the second-most deprived district in Manchester, rating only one place behind Moss Side. It’s LSOAs rank particularly poorly within crime, health, employment and income. The north side of the zone fairs slightly better in terms of housing (north of Moston Vale) and south looks better in terms of the living environment indicator (I presume because of green/derelict spaces?). Again, education and training look slightly better in some northern neighbourhoods of the ward, whereas the south side is within the top 10% once again for this. See the map below for an idea of how the area relates to other areas in Manchester.
Population density doesn’t seem to stand out too much in comparison to the rest of Manchester.
Population density for Harpurhey is 128.1664 persons/hectare.
There are two regeneration plans which could potentially affect Harpurhey at this moment. The first is the Northern Gateway proposal which was released by the city council in July 2018. It aims to connect Manchester’s northern districts with the town centre by funding 15,000 homes over the next 15-20 years. According to the document, 20% of these will be ‘affordable’. The project should now just have now completed a process of public consultation and, subject to ratification and amendment, it will begin in Collyhurst and seems to cover areas right up to the borders of Harpurhey so could affect the area. As well as the homes, it aims to ‘urbanise’ Rochdale Road and develop a series of community hubs of healthcare and retail as well as talk of ‘expanding’ existing primary schools and the possibility of a new secondary school. In the document they also talk about creating neighbourhoods which have distinctive characteristics and building on the industrial legacy and existing green spaces of north Manchester. It is vague on what this process will look like, however. The document also once refers to offering direct employment opportunities but again, doesn’t specify how this will be actualised.
Harpurhey is also included in a Strategic Regeneration Framework for North Manchester. Again, the document is vague on implementation but seems to suggest an overall regeneration of several areas in the North, including Harpurhey, based on the establishment of sustainable communities. The focus on: strengthening existing, diverse communities; plans for educational improvements which are poor in the area which include a 6th form college in Harpurhey; improvements to health various prevention strategies targeted at the younger generation (the document suggests that Harpurhey residents are 86% more likely to die of cancer than others in Manchester); culture, which looks to promote sports and arts in the area; an approach to crime which seems to focus largely on visibility (PCSOs) and prevention strategies which target known offenders etc.; their employment strategy mentions direct links to jobs, not just job opportunities and training which they say includes the creation of an intermediate labour market (ILM) on various construction projects to link training to opportunities; creating stability within the housing market in which negative equity and dilapidated pre-1919 stock is identified as a problem and where they state the importance of creating stability in the market to attract private sector investment (again Harpurhey and Lightbowne are identified as particularly problematic areas due to high levels of void property and a large private rented sector in which ‘unscrupulous landlords’ often fail to care for their properties; transport and the regeneration of unused/derelict open spaces are also seen as important as is the improvement of retail as the area’s shops are seen to have declined and given way to a series of discount stores and takeaways. Like the Northern gateway plans, the fundamental concept seems to be the improvement of the area, its sense of community (where it is seen to have broken down), diversity and a ‘sense of place’. This comes alongside ideas of making the area attractive for private sector investment in terms of housing and business.
Harpurhey appears to owe much of its existence to the industrial revolution and in particular a family of industrialists called Andrew that produced a type of dye called ‘Turkey Red’. They moved their business into the area in 1812. Andrew owned land in the area which he rented to other dye factory owners. There was also a print-works there, set up by Andrew’s brother, and the rest of space was reportedly taken up quickly with worker housing. Much of this housing was demolished in-line with post-WW2 regeneration plans and high-rise housing was erected which has also now been demolished. It has consistently been labelled as one of the most deprived areas in the UK following the flight of industry in the 60s and 70s (some estimates say that 56% of children there are living in poverty). The area has the largest supermarket in North Manchester (ASDA) which I guess to be a core employer as well. There is talk about the 6th form college at the Harpurhey baths and the regeneration of the ponds left by the mills into green spaces.
Harpurhey Neighbourhood Project
A long-standing community project which offers IT support and advice for local people. This is on Carisbrooke Road
Get Ready for Work- North City Library
This is a work club right on the corner of Moston Lane and Rochdale road. It runs on Wednesday between 1 and 3 and is coordinated by Mark O’Pray.
Manchester youth Zone
Just above the crossing between Factory lane/Moston Lane and Rochdale Road. This offers various activities for youth.
Harpurhey Community Church
This is a volunteer community organisation which aims to enhance the area with through street art and gardens etc.
North Manchester Fitness
This fitness group runs fitness sessions (largely for white over 50s by the looks of it).
Two main companies operate in the area which are Northwards and Adactus. In my own previous research I was interested in the way these organisations were often playing a pastoral role in the communities where there were operational. Their interest in this seemed to be the maintenance of communities so that rent payments would be maintained, either through work or, more likely, by supporting people to the degree that they could avoid benefit sanction.