Manchester City Council

Happy New Year

This is my first day back in the office so can I say Happy New Year to you all, and I hope 2008 sees you happy and healthy. Being happier and healthier as an important objective of the Manchester partnership for Manchester residents, and we'll be looking at ways this year where we can work with people to improve their well-being.

I did manage to avoid any formal council meetings during my break but I kept in constant touch with colleagues via my BlackBerry and mobile about some of the major [and not so major] events that took place both in the city and elsewhere when they had an impact on the city most notably the appalling murder of Benazir Bhutto.

Now I'm back in the Town Hall with hundreds of outstanding emails to deal with (once the junk mail has been removed), lots of letters, reports, invitations and other bits of paper and lots of meeting requests filling up my diary. First off is planning the agenda for the January meeting of our main decision making committee, the Executive. I've already reported on the need for urgent action in Clayton, where we had such disappointing news in December, and officers are drawing up a plan for action to help residents which we'll consider at the Executive on the 16th.

I have a meeting about the plans to improve our public transport and tackle congestion; then an hour with Councillor colleagues catching up on the latest events and talking about how we deliver on political priorities and then I have another meeting about one of those priorities - recycling. We want Manchester to hugely improve the amount of waste that's recycled and next month we will start a massive attempt to involve Manchester people in telling us how we can recycle more. Everyone supports recycling but still, not everyone does it. We need to find out why people don't participate and how we can get them on board.

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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