Derelict duty

Pillars of society: homelessness protesters pitch up in St Peter’s Square, Manchester.

How collective will pushed back a decade of council neglect by Liam Mullany.

Were you to listen to any media interview with leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, you might believe that Manchester’s housing has undergone a radical, utopian transformation since he arrived in the 1980s. Yet the city has an uncontrollable homelessness situation, severe housing shortages and ballooning house prices. Is the councillor grossly deluded? Or is he omitting part of the story? The disparity between what we are told and what we see has led myself, and many others in the city who were previously virgin to the world of campaigning, to try to find out.

I was a working musician and a paid-up member of Manchester’s music and party scene. At the same time, I couldn’t avoid noticing the growing number of people sleeping on the streets as I made my way to each gig.

Many of their faces became familiar and each was a regular reminder of a world outside music where things weren’t so great. Maybe living with the continuous uncertainty of musical freelance work made it

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