First call and principle task this morning entails only a short journey down to Blackley Village to the Council's offices in Hexagon Tower. I'm there to meet officers from our Regeneration division and one of our key partners Barbara Forshaw, Vice-Principal of the Manchester College. Together we are interviewing to select a team to do a " refresh " of the North Manchester Statregic Regeneration Framework.
Around ten years ago the City Council adopted a " whole city " approach to regeneration, an approach designed to give us the ability to discuss with citizens in every part of the city what it is that the Council with its partners and with those communities themselves is doing to improve quality of life in their neighbourhood. Clearly some neighbourhoods will at various times require bigger inputs than others and no two neighbourhoods have the same needs or aspirations and we need a system of service planning that eflects that. We now have five Strategic Regeration Frameworks ( SRF ) which along with the City Centre Strategic Plan cover every part of the city. Each SRF covers a wide area and so are very much high-level plans but they are supported by a series of ward and local plans getting us down to neighbourhood level. The SRF is a working document. It sets out a clear vision for the area, a vision which comes out of discussion between the Council, other public, private, and voluntary sector partners, as well as most importantly the people who live and work in the area. The SRF sets out the major interventions needed and the general direction of travel. It supports the bids we make to Government, the EU, and other bodies for funding. It allows potential investors to have a clear understanding of our aspirations for any given area, and it is a tool for residents to influence what the Council is doing at that strategic level. The current SRF for North Manchester was published almost seven years ago, in 2003. Many of the targets set out in that document, though not all, have been wholly or partially achieved. But seven years is a long time, the world we operate in has changed very significantly and we need to move on, hence the need for a refresh. The vision will remain the same, for North Manchester to be a collection of high quality residential neighbourhoods. How we continue to pursue that vision over the next decade will be very different to what we did in the last and so this is an opportunity to think about, talk about and understand where next for North Manchester and what we need to do to get there.