Probably make a good pub quiz question as to who coined the campaign slogan " The economy, Stupid " although if it was being done now it might be the other way round - the stupid economy.
This morning is the regular meeting looking at the state of the Manchester economy and what we can do about it. One key theme coming out is that although a recession brings all sorts of trials and tribulations, it is also a time of opportunity and we should be looking for the Manchester entrepreneurs that are going to lead the city's economic growth over the next decade. This is not having our heads in the sand. If you look back to the last economic downturn in the early nineties, that's when a lot of the businesses in the city that we now take for granted got under way, and the same can happen now. That said, a lot of people are suffering as a result of the recession and as a Council we have to everything we can to help people through it.
Which takes me neatly to my third engagement of the day, to URBIS, where there is a celebration of 119 people, all formerly long-term unemployed, now as a result of a local employment plan, about to start work at the new Tesco's in Cheetham Hill. I'm particularly pleased with this as the store is located in my ward of Crumpsall, and 25 of the 119 are Crumpsall residents. The recruitment scheme started way back in August and is a partnership including Tesco, the City Council's North Manchester regeneration team, the Manchester College, and Work Solutions. Most of the new employees are very local to the store, which fits with a building which is the greenest Tesco have ever built, with a 70% reduction in Carbon Dioxide emissions compared to the previous standard store. The 119 come from all age groups and include many people previously on incapacity benefit. It shows that even when times are tough we can continue getting Manchester working.