Manchester City Council

Inter-city blues

Earlier this week I had the joy of a train journey to Newcastle for a Northern Way Steering Group. Not sure I've mentioned Northern Way before and it's not central to this entry but for the record it is a pan-northern alliance aiming at boosting the economic performance of the North of England majoring on Investment, Innovation, and Transport.

Newcastle is a lovely city but it really shouldn't take the best part of three hours to get there and you shouldn't have unlucky people without seat reservations having to stand for large chunks of the journey. So with that in mind it is with some trepidation that I am about to set off for Bristol on an even more tortuous cross-country rail journey. But first I have to be scrutinised by our Resources and Governance Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the subject of District Public Service Boards or perhaps more accurately not the District Public Service Boards as this is an obscure bit of our bureaucratic machinery I'm proposing to scrap.

It's a Core Cities (Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle) meeting in Bristol; a group that has served us very well in making the case for devolved approaches to economic policy. That won't get us a 21st century inter-city rail service, and by that I mean high-speed rail links between our major cities, which can only be centrally delivered by central government. A 21st century inter-city service would be almost as important to our city economy as the public transport improvements I hope we will be able to deliver through our Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) bid.

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There is one response to “Inter-city blues”

  1. Dominic Says:

    I am fascinated by the focus on economic development of the city in much of your blog. Having watched a TV programme about amazonian indians with no wealth and lots of community coherence I think we are missing the trick. Wealth of the city does not bring happiness to its people. The poor of Manchester are still as poor as ever but compared to the days of Mary Barton they are far less proud and an awful lot more depressed. The figures on drug use and depression are more and more worrying. Develop your transport, build bigger airports, pretend to be more sustainable and the poor will get poorer (relatively) and more and more depressed into an underclass. I have a wide experience of working with poor people at home and abroad and I can assure you nothing makes them more depressed than their leaders focussing on materialsism rather than social justice, community and love and respect within and between the different members of society.

 

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

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