Full council today, our eight-weekly meeting of all 96 elected members when we meet to review the work of our committees and to debate any motions put forward.
The meeting opens with a fantastic video on Manchester City of Sport 2008 - six world-class sporting events happening in the city over the next 12 months. Full Council meetings tend to be more theatre than working meetings but not the sort of theatre anybody would buy a ticket for. I'm asked questions about Capital of Culture (which we support) and about London 2012. Motions for debate include one on Crime and anti-social behaviour, one on New Year Celebrations and one on Nuclear Energy. Councillor Paul Murphy, Moston Councillor and Chair of Greater Manchester Police Authority, probably won the day's 'oscar' by announcing that next year's police budget will allow for over 100 extra police officers ring-fenced for neighbourhood policing.
And the Council is doing its bit to make Manchester safer and to tackle anti-social behaviour. Recently we've been running Respect weeks across the city, where local communities join up with us at the council, as well as police and other agencies, to play their part in making life better for everyone around. Now we want to pioneer new approaches to drug and alcohol-related crimes and especially to gang, gun and knife crime. We are working with the Home Office to do this and sharing information and plans with other big cities in the UK.
Tonight I'd love to be going to the Halle's 150th anniversary concert - they were the original modern orchestra, and 150 years on are a huge part of Manchester's world-renowned attractions, and indeed are probably (certainly) the finest orchestra in the UK today. But sadly I have to give my apologies because other duties call - I have to travel to London this evening for a meeting first thing in the morning with the Prime Minister and Hazel Blears - more on that tomorrow.