I can remember when, for a period of time, the City Council had this somewhat vacuous phrase as its strapline, selected I believe (not by me!) precisely because of its lack of content.
However, get rid of " it " and replace with for example " CO2 emissions reduction " and suddenly we do have something with real meaning. Ignored all that advice about not travelling unless you have to and went down to London yesterday, to Portcullis House to be precise, that obscenely over budget office block where many of our MPs have their offices. I went for an all-party, MPs and Council Leaders event supporting Friends of the Earth's campaign to get local carbon budgets into the upcoming energy bill. Paul Goggins, MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, was one of the meetings sponsors. The principal is quite simple. 80% of emissions are generated locally. If government is going to meet its national target on emission reduction every locality in the country needs to have its own target and to be doing everything it can to meet it. It's no good Greater Manchester (and Bristol and West Sussex , the other two Councils highlighted at the meeting) doing their bit if nobody else does. We need a device to make it happen everywhere and local carbon budgets are one of achieving that which is why Manchester is supporting the FoE campaign.
Stayed in London overnight to participate this morning in an LGA conference on Housing and Localism. The question was a simple one - will the new localism deliver the step change needed in new homes, empty homes being brought back into use, and poor quality housing being brought up to scratch. The answer was equally simple - no! Manchester needs new homes of every type for its existing and growing population. Social housing, other affordable housing, student housing, housing for middle income families, executive housing. We need to replace or refurbish much of our oldest stock. We need to re-design many of the estates we built in the sixties, seventies and even early eighties. We need the amenities, schools, parks, libraries, health centres, to support healthy communities. Yes, all of this needs to be locally driven but it also needs major investment.