Although the City Council doesn't shut down in what this year at least is referred to optimistically as the summer recess, it is certainly a lot quieter around the Town Hall during August.
( The Council of course doesn't ever shut down with some staff, for example care staff, even working on Christmas and New Years Day, and operatives permanently on call in case of emergency ). The only formal meetings in August tend to be the Planning Committee and Licensing panels, but once the bank holiday is out of the way everything starts winding back up again and the full committee cycle restarts with Overview and Scrutiny Committees meeting next week. Another exception to no meetings in August is AGMA and the Combined Authority, to which we can now add the shadow Police and Crime Panel. The Greater Manchester " family " of meetings take place on the last Friday of every month ( except December when for obvious reasons the meeting tends to be a little earlier in the month ), moving month by month around the conurbation, settling today at Sale Town Hall, for me just a short tram ride from St Peters Square. AGMA used to take a morning, but is now stretching into almost a full day of meetings, but that is in part the price we have to pay for the greater level of devolution we have at the city-region level.
Earlier in the week I had the City Council's own Executive agenda-setting meeting. That takes place two weeks before the meeting of the Executive with the agenda and papers due to be published next Tuesday, eight days before the meeting itself. I understand that Whitehall have sent us yet another set of rules about how we should organise our meetings. You would think they would have enough on trying to sort out the government's own problems, without devoting hours to find ways to make local government more bureaucratic. So much for localism!