It's the February meeting of our Executive, which consists of me, the two deputy leaders and the seven executive members. There are also fifteen councillors on the Executive Advisory Committee, who have a standing invitation to attend, receive all the papers, and can contribute fully to the discussion, and the combined membership of both committees reflects the political composition of the Council. Most of our decisions don't need approval by the overall City Council but they are subject to review by our overview and scrutiny committees.
Today we look at detailed proposals for next year's budget - they and any alternative proposals now go to public examination by our Resources and Governance Overview and Scrutiny Committee before going to full Council early in March for final ratification.
I'm delighted at the independent evaluation of the inaugural Manchester International Festival which was worth £29 million to the city's economy (makes the Council's £2m contribution look very good value for money) and attracted an extra 200,000 visitors to the city. Roll on 2009, and 2011. One of the most marvellous things about Manchester's major events is the spirit of volunteering that we have encouraged. This started off in the Commonwealth Games and we still have the same tremendous spirit shown...in MIF nearly 300 people gave invaluable time to ensuring the Festival's success.
The budget might be important but pales into insignificance compared to the issue of Global Warming. Today we looked at how we can do our bit in Manchester to tackle this. Everyone has something to contribute and we've now agreed 17 principles for our Manchester climate change strategy aimed at reducing the city's Carbon Dioxide emissions by at least a million tonnes per year. This is not wishful thinking but backed by practical measures and a £1million in the Council's budget for 2008/9.