If yesterday was about growing the economy of the city and bringing in more knowledge based jobs, today is back to the bread and butter of running the Council.
We are in the final stages of preparing next year's budget and departmental business plans and budget proposals are being put to the test by committees of Councillors. This morning it is the Economy, Employment and Skills Overview and Scrutiny Committee and one of the areas they are scrutinising is the Regeneration Division which is one of my specific responsibilities. Councillors testing that we are doing the right things and that we are getting good value for money is a key part of the democratic process and I'm delighted to say that on this occasion at least we were given a clean bill of health . Tomorrow I have to defend the Executive Division [actually a very small part of the Chief Executive's department but it does include the Chief Executive] at the Resources and Governance O & S Committee and hopefully will get the same result. Although the budget won't be completed until the beginning of March, one promise I am prepared to make now is that for the ninth consecutive year Manchester's Council Tax increase will be no more than the rate of inflation ensuring that we continue to have one of the lowest Council Tax rates in the country.