One of the strengths of our current system of local government ( as compared say to the various Mayoral models ) is that the Leader of the Council is still a ward councillor and does everything a ward councillor does. So today's post is only back to basics in the sense I haven't blogged about local stuff for a bit. This afternoon it's Crumpsall Ward Co-ordination Group, the quarterly meeting between Crumpsall councillors, officers who manage council services in the neighbourhood, and the police to scrutinise progress against our ward plan.
A smaller group, the " Core " group meet roughly half way between Ward Co-ordination meetings as well. The meetings have moved around a bit, but the last few including today's have been at Abraham Moss, still the scene of lots of building work - finishing off work on the new High School building, getting ready for the new primary school. We normally have a themed discussion and today it is the work being done in North Manchester with complex families. The presentation is a useful description of the work being done across North Manchester to engage with over a thousand complex families, but at the next meeting we will want to follow up with a bit more information on what is happening on the ground in Crumpsall and Blackley Village. When we get on to the action plan we talk about problems with a landlord in Newlands Street, progress with housing in the Catherine Road area, the worsening problem of parking around the hospital, and finally the crime and anti-social behaviour report. Work at a neighbourhood level is the fundamental building block of what the Council does and attendance at Ward Co-ordination is a top priority for me as a Councillor.