Manchester City Council

All Change

A mixed day starting with a CityCo Board meeting where the major item was a presentation on how the City Council is going to manage public realm in the city centre in the future and ending with a reception at the Band on the Wall where one of our partner organisations, Mace, are celebrating twenty years of being in the city.

In between I meet the secretary of one of Crumpsall's thriving resident associations, respond to a survey on community cohesion in Manchester, and have a discussion about the future of government offices in the regions. Lunchtime is spent at First Street, our new temporary office whilst the Town Hall extension and Central Library are refurbished. No lunch I'm afraid but a meeting of the cross-party steering group overseeing this mammoth project. It's not just a building project but a complete redesign for how the Council works for its residents and First Street is very much a test bed for these new ideas.

From a resident's point of view, the heart of the operation is the Customer Services Centre on the ground floor, which aims to offer a one-stop service for enquiries and problems. Not surprisingly for a new way of working in a new location there have been teething problems, indeed there still are some, but waiting times have vastly reduced from those experienced at the Town Hall extension, and the service is provided in a vastly improved environment.

There is of course a big building job as well and there will be several days in July when residents will be able to view and comment on plans for the Town Hall Extension and Central Library, and a few days later view and comment on the competition short-list for the refurbishment of St.Peter's Square and the Peace Gardens. The objectives are simple, ensure these buildings and squares, an immensely important part of our heritage, can be enjoyed by future generations, and that we, the Council, deliver top class and cost-effective services from them.

There are 5 responses to “All Change”

  1. Jimbo Says:

    Having now seen the new working environment at First Street, I would comment that it lacks soul or passion. "Meeting pods" have replaced "Meeting rooms", there are "think pods" (well at least I think that's their name. There's no sense that you belong at your desk but that you plug into the machine. Not been to the customer bit so won't comment. I'd suggest that one of the improvements you could make with the working environment in the future would be to make it less sterile and a bit more community led. Interesting to see how workers view it.

  2. Ian (Captain_Bob) Says:

    As a MCC employee One First Street is a vast improvement on the old Offices in the Town Hall Exetension. The inadequently retro- fitted office space from the 1930s wasn't exactly soul inspiring. Freezing in winter, boiling in summer. In constrast, One First Street is modern and more enjoyable place to work.

    Also as the departments are all together there's a more collective feel than the corridor and office divisions that made up the Town Hall Exentension.

  3. Stephanie Says:

    Actually First Street is cold, really cold. It totally lacks ANY feeling! Must be why it was chosen....

  4. David Says:

    The only issues I have with First Street, is that open plan can be a bit noisy, and at times I've felt like I'm a unit of resource rather than a person. But other than that, I think it's way better than what we had before.

  5. Dave Says:

    You should think yourself lucky you have air con were in a tin roofed building with no air con it has been a tad hot recently.

 

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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