Manchester City Council

One North to Another

At the BBC for 6.15 yesterday morning for the first of a number of media spots highlighting the publication of One North, a strategic transport investment plan for the North. The Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield city-regions have been working on this for around six months. It's multi-modal - rail, road, air, sea, and digital. Freight, often an afterthought, is in there from the beginning. It's aim is to build on HS2 and improve connectivity between the major economic and population centres of the North - cities, ports and airports.

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Ghost Train

Don't go to many book launches, indeed don't get invited to many book launches, but was delighted to trot down to the Anthony Burgess Foundation last night for the launch of the latest book from Crumpsall's biggest publisher, Hic Dragones ( here be dragons? ). They specialise in " dark " tales and the new book, Hauntings, edited by Crumpsall resident Hannah Kate, is a collection of twenty one ghostly tales with contributors from all over the world. The readings at the launch certainly wetted my appetite ( although a glass of wine probably helped too ) and will be top of my reading list when I take a break from the office later this month. Run by Hannah and her partner Rob, great to see another example of culture flourishing in North Manchester, and you can get your own copy of the new publication by logging on to hic-dragones.co.uk .

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Gaza and Manchester

This is the text of a statement I made at today's meeting of the City Council;

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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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