Manchester City Council

Three out of four

Today there are three things to report - and a fourth to come, I promise.

Firstly, there is a meeting of the affordable housing group which meets regularly to produce a housing strategy and actions for Manchester to try and tackle the problem of property prices and rent levels preventing people on lower pay or who are unable to work from getting suitable housing.Firstly, there is a meeting of the affordable housing group which meets regularly to produce a housing strategy and actions for Manchester to try and tackle the problem of property prices and rent levels preventing people on lower pay or who are unable to work from getting suitable housing.

Secondly, I have a meeting to discuss Crumpsall Green neighbourhood renewal programme. There are always more projects than money available, so it's a question of phasing what happens when and in what order. There are some very successful examples already in Crumpsall which will make a real impact on the area, and we want to do more.

Thirdly, it is the initial meeting of the new ministerial group to look at getting jobs into East Manchester. I travel to London for these high-level discussions, chaired by Hazel Blears and with three other members of the Cabinet in attendance. I'm pleased to say that everyone is able to agree the objective is about creating jobs in the same order that the regional casino would have created. We've always wanted at least 3,000 jobs and one of the most important achievements of today is that we are able to all sign up to that. Over the next 12 months of the working group, we need to turn this objective into reality. There are already a fair number of good proposals on the table that will help us achieve this and a good first meeting clearly identified how these, and any others that arise, will be taken forward. Jobs are key but we also need more skills development and better community facilities and these too are on the agenda.

Fourth, I want to update you on Saturday's successful conference but that will have to wait for space in another day's another blog. And I haven't even had the opportunity to mention today's wonderful spectacle of the UEFA Cup arriving at Manchester Town Halland starting its tour in the run-up to the final at the wonderful City of Manchester stadium on May 14.  The handover was graced by some of Europe's top footballers but sadly I didn't get to see them or join the fun as I was on the train to London for the ministerial working group.

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

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