Manchester City Council

Welcome to Manchester

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Ambition and Adaptation

At Economy Scrutiny committee this morning where the most substantive item was the draft Manchester Strategy 2005-2015, currently out to consultation. Although committee members were largely positive about the draft there were a lot of questions covering, amongst other things targets and metrics, housing strategy, business involvement, resilience to an ever changing economic climate, the impact of cuts, leadership and inclusivity, and the level of ambition.

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The Quiet Month?

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Mancunian Way and Pomona

Have taken rather a longer break from the blog than I originally intended but that at least means there is no shortage of things to write about. Will talk today about two current issues, one the very large hole in the road that suddenly appeared on the Mancunian Way, the other a misunderstanding about devolution in relation to Pomona Island.

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Wuhan Too

One of the down sides of short stay long haul flights is the absence of sleep. I'm writing this at 10.30pm Thursday UK time, but 6.30am Friday Chinese time, having been up since around 5 and thought it might be useful to fill in some of the detail of how I'm physically spending my time here. As an aside to that, the Manchester delegation is fifty two strong, largely from the business sector, higher education , and the arts world, and they all have their own programme of meetings whilst they are in Wuhan. It's not a coach tour!

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Connecting Lines

Writing this in Paris Charles de Gaulle airport where I have a four hour wait before getting a flight to Wuhan. Before anyone gets over-excited about jaunts to China at the taxpayers expense, this is very much a working trip and by Saturday teatime I'll be, I hope, safely back in Manchester.

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Unity is Strength

I know it's the budget but not going to give my predictions not least because much of it has already been given to the press anyway. Instead will return to a recurrent theme of northern transport, something I do expect to be referred to tomorrow ( that's an expectation not a prediction ).

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Invisibility

This year's tortuous budget setting process came to an end today when the 2014/5 revenue budget was agreed at today's budget Council. I won't go into detail here as all the papers are available on the Council's website and insomniacs can even watch the debatein full online as it unfolded. I was first elected to the Council in the mid-1980s so was there when we were ratecapped in 1988 and later when we had to deal with enormous cuts arising from the imposition of the Poll Tax and the nationalisation of business rates.

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GM decides for GM

I've been a bit dilatory with blogging of late. As a one-finger typist I'm always tempted to put it off but last week's events, particularly around health, have motivated me to pull my finger out, if only to correct a lot of the miscommunication especially from a normally reliable BBC. Firstly the Health devolution proposals shouldn't have been that much of a surprise. Last year's " DevoManc " contained with in it that the Combined Authority and the Clinical Commissioning Groups ( CCGs ) would work on a business plan for integrating health and social care.

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A Night on the Town

Did have one of those on Monday taking advantage of one of the many January sale restaurant offers around and fortunately thousands of others are doing likewise - all year round. Following yesterday's Executive Committee meeting we had our monthly look at the Manchester economy. We had a particular look at three things, youth unemployment initiatives, low carbon development, delivery and investment in Greater Manchester, and the Visitor Economy.

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