Manchester City Council

Money

The Council is about half way through a public consultation on it's 2016/7 budget. I'm not proposing to go through it in detail - all of that is available elsewhere - but did want to comment on a couple of aspects of the draft budget. The first is Council Tax.

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What's in a Name

Started off yesterday morning meeting the committee of Cheetham Hill Traders Association, a really good group of people intent on improving Cheetham Hill District Centre, the shopping centre located around the junction of Crescent Road, Cheetham Hill Road and Bury Old Road. The district centre lies partially in Crumpsall Ward, partially in Cheetham Ward, and partially in Salford. For a range of reasons the future is looking reasonably bright but there are still some challenging issues to address, including the marketing and promotion of the area.

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Happy New Year

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The School " Run "

Will be taking a short break from tomorrow teatime so this will probably be the last blog of 2015. Tomorrow, Executive Members will be meeting to work on the Council's 2016/7 budget now that we have our provisional grant settlement issued last week. Our aim is to publish a one year draft budget in the middle of January which will give four weeks of consultation before the Executive agrees on its budget recommendations to the Council.

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Healthy and not quite so healthy Manchester

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The Blank Mind

I said I would say a bit more about last week's Wigan Deal training session. The Wigan Deal is an approach Wigan Council have been developing over the last couple of years, recognising that if they are to survive the cuts, they need a very different approach, in this case to Adult Care service delivery. So far, not only are they managing the cuts, they are also getting increased staff and service satisfaction through an Asset Based Approach.

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Jobs

Looking forward to a half day doing the Wigan Deal training this morning which I might report on next week. In the meantime I thought I would mention a couple of other noteworthy items from the last couple of days.

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Big Changes

Spent most of today in budget meetings. Although the comprehensive spending review has now been published we are still no clearer about what our budget position will be for the next financial year but Executive Members are spending a lot of time getting under the skin of the budgets we are individually and collectively responsible for so that we are ready to act early in the New Year, assuming we have a provisional settlement by then.

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North Declares U.D.I

Not really, sadly, but the North is making great progress in ensuring that more decisions about the North are made in the North both through devolution deals and the work on the Northern Powerhouse. Yesterday I was speaking at an Insider conference in Bury where over a hundred senior business representaives came together to discuss what we need to do to create a northern powerhouse with, not surprisingly, a big emphasis on transport.

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Viewing Figures

Greater Manchester Combined Authority held its monthly meeting this morning, the first to be lived streamed, hopefully the beginning of a new era of CA openness. One of the first items on the agenda was an item on communications. The CA now has a very small comms team and apart from live streaming a whole range of other things are under way to allow citizens to see what is being said and done on their behalf, and this includes a digital presence both on the web and in social media.

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