Manchester City Council

Being Representative

An interesting piece in the Local Government Chronicle a couple of weeks ago, at least I thought it was interesting, about the average age of Councillors in England. Essentially as a group we've been getting older. In 2004 the average age was 57.8, in 2010 it was 59.7, and its now 60.2. The South-West has the oldest Councillors, average age 62.3, London the youngest at 56.5. Councillors are also 67% male and 96% white which means that by and large councillors really do conform to the stereotype of old men in suits. How does Manchester do in comparison?

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Guest Blog by Cllr Rosa Battle

Public art divides opinion. It creates debate and gets people talking. This is part of the reason why it's so important we have good public art in vibrant and growing cities like Manchester.

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Northern (Power) House(s)

The Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech in Manchester yesterday got headline coverage around the idea of a virtual supercity of the North.

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Immigration

Post Commonwealth Games, twelve years ago now, as the Council was reviewing what we needed to do to maximise benefit from a magnificent games, we spent a bit of time analysing the Manchester brand. Now this was not some advertising or PR activity, but an attempt to understand what Manchester is, and what distinguishes it from other places.

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A Healthy Challenge

Took part this morning in the Commuter Challenge. Five of us leaving from the car park of Crumpsall Green Methodist Church at 8am to see who would arrive at Albert Square first. There was me on my bike, Pavel on his goods bike ( carries up to 180kg ), Helen on the bus, Charlotte on the tram, and Rob travelling by car. Not surprisingly, the bikes arrived first, making the journey in fourteen minutes, twenty three minutes ahead of the next arrival.

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The People's Choice

I said I would say something about this year's local election results which led to a Council Chamber where all ninety six councillors were elected under the Labour Party's banner, though one now sits as an independent.

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Thank You Northwards

Will say something about elections later in the week, but want to start with another good news story from a visit I made last week.

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Back after a Break

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Cities - the Future

Going to go back to the beginning of the week which saw me on the 7.15 from Piccadilly down to Euston for the first meeting of the LGAs new City Regions Board, the first time the national body for local government will have had as part of its structures something looking specifically at our major urban areas.

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Stuck in the Slow Lane

A couple of transport things. Spent a bit of time today looking at proposed improvements for cyclists on the City Centre to Prestwich cycle path. Actually we were mainly looking at the bottom of Cheetham Hill Road which I know intimately as it is my cycle route to and from the Town Hall. In many respects the improvements are not aimed at confident, regular commuter cyclists like me but at giving confidence to new cyclists or those returning to the bike after a long absence that the bike might be the answer for them - healthier, often quicker and definitely cheaper than other modes of transport ( except perhaps running ). The proposals will make a number of junctions on this busy route safer but there will also be some improvements that will benefit all road users.

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