Executive Members Group (EMG) is first this morning. The first hour is Councillors only and the major item of discussion is how the Council should respond to the cuts that are now just around the corner.
We are framing our response around three priority areas, Jobs (creating them and getting Manchester people into them), Education and Skills, and Housing (ensuring an adequate supply and range). At 10.00 a.m. senior officers join us and we have a wide ranging discussion about volunteering and particularly about how we support and recognise the thousands of Mancunions (hope I've spelt it correctly this time Val) who help make their own neighbourhoods better, running 'Friends of' groups, scouts and guides, football teams, residents associations, charity quizzes and a whole host of other things.
At lunchtime EMG's economy sub-group meets. The priority over the past eighteen months has been responding to the recession. Going forward the major emphasis will be on how we grow Manchester's economy sustainably and create the jobs referred to above. After that I meet staff from our very successful Building Schools for the Future/Academies team to look at the designs for the new Creative and Media Academy, which when completed will mean every high school in Manchester will have been either rebuilt or refurbished (or a combination of those) to provide a first class learning environment for our young people, helping them acquire the skills, knowledge, and attitude required to contribute to and benefit from an economically thriving city.