It would be impossible to ignore the rather large jamboree taking place at Manchester Central this week so I'm not going to try. Whatever one thinks of the politics, having the Conservative conference here this week is good publicity for Manchester and generates a major contribution to parts of our economy including some parts hit by the recession.
The Council takes seriously its role in welcoming visitors to the city and that's why we held a reception for delegates on Sunday evening. I talked to lots of people who had never been to the city before or had not been for many years and it is important that they all go away with a positive view of us. Not surprisingly, I've been well away from the politics. I did do one fringe last night, the launch of the Urban Hub with shadow Communities Secretary Caroline Spelman, and whilst I was happy to play the polite host, it was the ( Conservative ) Leader of Birmingham who gave her a really hard time on the issue of Executive Mayors.
Talking of Mayors, following our consultation on the new governance arrangements we are being forced to adopt, the Council's Constitutional and Nomination Committee votes unanimously this morning to recommend the Leader and Cabinet model to tomorrow's Council meeting, the option overwhelmingly supported in the consultation. The committee also has a slightly more contentious debate about how we enhance community engagement at the neighbourhood level and this time on a majority vote agrees to use strengthened ward co-ordination in Northenden as an eighteen month pilot aimed at improving residents ability to participate in the local decisions that affect them, with other parts of the city being able to take on any successful elements arising from the pilot.
A long day including my monthly Labour Group meeting this evening, exiled from the Town Hall because all the rooms have been booked for the party conference, but earlier in the day our monthly look at the state of the Manchester economy. Don't want to appear over optimistic but the city does appear to have survived in relatively good shape and we are seeing if not green shoots a little bit of germination that suggests that we will see improvements soon, but that they are going to be pretty slow, at least to start with.