A very busy week so far and not had a lot of time so, probably upsetting further bcprs who already thinks this is becoming a bit cryptic, I'm going to do yesterday's entry today and today's entry tomorrow.
When I first started doing this blog our Head of Press made me stick to strict rules about use of tenses, how numbers were presented etc,etc but she's now gone to Stockport so stylistically I can now do what I like including if I feel so moved using past tenses. Lunchtime yesterday I had a very important meeting about the colour of the litter bins in Market Street which were to have been black, are now going to be silver, to match the proposed city centre recycling bins we should be starting to install next year, as long as we can ensure that they can be kept clean on the outside ( At least four different tenses in one sentence ).
Fascinating though it was, not the most important or most interesting meeting of the day. That prize goes to the Manchester Partnership Board which had it's quarterly meeting 8 - 10am yesterday. Earlier in the year when discussing the State of the City report we had observed that the performance indicator for the extent to which our citizens felt that they could influence decisions affecting their local neighbourhood had gone down and we asked for more work to be done to understand this. A report on that came back yesterday with some surprising conclusions. Apparently performance on this indicator had gone down across the country, but even so Manchester outperforms the rest of Greater Manchester and all the other Core Cities, indeed every Metropolitan Council. Good news? Not necessarily. The full report is available to anybody who is interested but just one little sample. The further research showed that unemployed people and people who didn't own their own home felt far more able to influence decisions, and conversely people in employment and owner occupiers were the least interested in influencing decisions. Conclusion, the best way to improve performance on this indicator is to make the city poorer? Not exactly a route we want to go down. The conclusions we did come to were that we wanted to do was build stronger feelings of belonging to a neighbourhood community through greater cohesion,engagement and communication.