That's all very well Dave and I think you've quoted me a few time there. OF course, we'd all tear down the school, train station, swimming pool etc and put something in that is better if we had the money. We possibly should demolish most of the housing in Marple and replace it with smaller flats for single dwellers / couples & smaller families with larger ones for larger families which are efficient to heat, better for the environment etc.
I perhaps should change my 24 year old car which I love, turns heads and full of character & is reliable and does 40 mpg for a Toyota Prius despite the fact I wouldn't like it much and really, it's not a priority for me to do so.
The fact is, there is a limited amount of money. The incompetent last government spent it all and times are a little harder than 5 years ago. For that reason, we need to prioritise:
The train may be a little old but for most of us, we spend 20 minutes on it, it is pretty reliable and does the job. I'd agree that I wouldn't want to spend 3 hours on a long journey but nobody has to. My suggestion of a cost neutral solution which involves closing Rose Hill, selling off the land for housing, giving a local bus co. the licence to run a shuttle to & from Marple station is poo-poo'd. If it were possible, I'd agree with running trams out to Marple on the same line and making Marple Station a Tram / Train / Bus terminus but there will be a cost to that which will need central govt funding - in a good Keynesian way, now is perhaps the time to spend that money but the outcome will be making a rather affluent area of Gtr Manchester even more desirable - I'd argue that perhaps we should be helping say Wythenshawe first.
The swimming pool isn't great but it does the job. Am I going to get any more exercise in a modern pool? The answer is no unless it were 50m which may help me as a strong swimmer but more likely to be daunting for most. The gym is an OK gym and a 3 minute train journey takes us to Rommily which has a pool & better gym.
The school may well have an old 1930's façade but inside it's just like most educational establishments. The windows have been uprated and the cost of heating it cannot be too far out of line with others. Again, we'd have to offset the cost of demolition (both in £ & environmental) over and above the perceived improvements.
My big question for you Dave is who is going to pay for it all? I don't like pigeon-holing people politically but there does seem to be a typical lefty attitude that everyone else should pay and it's take take take for those who demand action but prepared to do very little in return. OK, you can say Asda will pay but guess what, it's the small business that pays the price as well as those employed by the small businesses. It's not you who'll pay the price. I'm sure you're not selfish by nature but the unintended consequence is that someone else will end up paying the price not you which, like it or not, is inherently selfish.