In London yesterday for the first meeting of the Funding the Frontline Task Force which I've been asked to co-chair by Secretary of State for Communities and Local government, John Denham. An interesting group of people including the only person who is a Chief Executive of both a local authority and an NHS Primary Care Trust, and the only person who is Chief Executive of two local authorities of different political persuasion.
One of the things we will be looking at is flexibility and you don't get more flexible than that. The assumption behind the Task Force of course is that over the next few years Councils, like most bits of the public sector, will have less to spend The objective is to make sure that in a tougher climate we can protect, indeed enhance, the services that are most important to the people we represent and serve. We are due to report by the end of February so the bulk of the work will be to identify the many innovative things that are already being done and make that knowledge widely available.
Manchester Partnership Board met this morning bright and early kicking off with a discussion about progress on arrangements for the Manchester City Region. Other items included progress on the Climate Change Action plan, and then some really exciting reports on the Comprehensive Area Assessment ( CAA ) and the annual update of the local area agreement ( laa ). Later I go to Salford, to a factory. More than a factory really. They're called Pilkington Tiles and they both design and manufacture tiles and their customers include Manchester City Council's Building Schools for the Future programme. It's a world-class business and an international business but it is great to see things ( with apologies to Salford ) still being made in Manchester and being used in Manchester.