Today is Executive Committee where items for consideration include redevelopment prospects for various parts of the City Centre including the complete replacement of the awful Ramada block on Deansgate. As I've said before, it's even more important in the current economic climate to maintain momentum, and the Ramada proposal is also a reminder of just how long it can take to bring major projects to fruition as the redevelopment of this corner of the City Centre is one of the outstanding parts of the 1996 post-bomb masterplan.
One of my less demanding roles is to chair the Greater Manchester Disaster Relief Trust, a legacy of the Piccadilly Woolworths fire and still dispensing grants today. This afternoon I go to the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service HQ in Swinton to present a £7,000 cheque on behalf of the Trust to the Greater Manchester Childrens Burns Foundation. I'm also busy on David Ottewell's blog correcting stuff about the congestion charge. I'm staggered given the mountains of publicity that people are still getting the facts wrong, and even more staggered when it's a member of parliament getting the facts wrong. Below is what I hope will be a simple guide to what is proposed.
Starting in 2013 at the earliest
Week-ends and Bank Holidays. Nobody is charged at all.
Monday to Friday, vehicles travelling TOWARDS Manchester City Centre that CROSS one or both of two charging rings between the hours of 7am and 9.30am only pay a charge.
Monday to Friday, vehicles travelling AWAY from Manchester City Centre that CROSS one or both of two charging rings between the hours of 4pm and 6.30pm only pay a charge.
There is no charge for driving round the charging rings. There is no charge for driving between the charging rings. There is no charge at any other times.
And some vehicles e.g. disabled drivers don't pay ever.