Manchester City Council

With a Little Help

Spend an hour with John Thornhill this morning, the new Chief Executive of the Manchester College. Although John only took up post last week, I've already met him a couple of times in passing but this is the first proper sit down. Education and skills are one of Manchester's top priorities, if not the top priority, both for growing the economy but also for individuals to successfully participate in the economy. Manchester College is by some way our biggest provider of post-16 education and training and so are a vital partner in continuing to create the city we aspire to. It is a very positive meeting, and I'm sure we will be able to maintain the positive partnership we had with the college under his predecessor Peter Tavernor.

Later in the morning Rosa Battle, the Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, and I meet with Gorton MP Gerald Kaufman and a representative of the Friends of Platt Fields. There has of course been some controversy around Platt Fields this year following the Parklife event which took place in the middle of our horrendously wet summer. We discuss that, the overall approach to events in the park, the condition of the park and particularly the problems with drainage plus a few more things. The Council really welcomes the contribution of Friends groups and it's good to find out that there is a high level of correlation between the Friends aspirations for the park and those of the Council.

The Local Enterprise Partnership Board meets this afternoon. Apart from the regular report on the performance of the Manchester economy much of the agenda focusses on the Manchester family of companies ( New Economy - what a dreadful name!, Marketting Manchester, MIDAS, and Manchester Solutions ) that support different aspects of our economic growth agenda. All have suffered cuts, largely because of the demise of the North West Development Agency and we have to continually explore how we can make our significantly more limited resources go further. What isn't a sensible option would be to not invest in an economic future for the city-region. In this age of not entirely necessary austerity, Councils have some very tough decisions to make. However, as well as supporting the most needy in our communites, as well has doing preventative work to reduce the number of people falling into the most needy category, we must also continue to invest in a better future otherwise the problems we currently face will just grow. And grow.

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There are 8 responses to “With a Little Help”

  1. franky Says:

    I'm glad you said "not entirely necessary austerity" because it is just a ploy to shrink the state without concern for the ensuing economic mess!

  2. another point of view Says:

    I have concerns that the council website, funded by council tax payers is used as a propaganda tool for political bias. I assumed elected counsellors represented all the people of their constituency but the bit about "not entirely necessary austerity" goes a long way to explain how we got in this mess in the first place. For those with short memories it was due to the previous government spending money they could not afford and did not have, often for cheap political advantage, tax credits for example and massively subsidising labour supporting local councils. On a local government level we have appalling infrastructure through years of neglect (look at the roads and pavements beyond the city centre), money wasted on ill conceived ideas and cutbacks in essential services made purely for political rather than financial reasons. I am proud to live in Manchester but ashamed of the streets, the services and the blinkered approach of the council at the detriment of sustainable and substantial progress.

  3. Dave Says:

    another point of view Says:

    I take it then that it had nothing do with the 45 billion we had to give to one bank then.

  4. Dave Says:

    another point of view Says:

    Forgot to add the 35 billion for Llyods

  5. Val Stevens Says:

    2 valid comments posted but how sad that the contributors felt unable to identify themselves. I can understand it if they are employees but say so. Sir Richard is not anonymous.

  6. Halifax Says:


    Interesting that you say "not entirely necessary austerity"

    UK National Debt - how Britain owes over £1 trillion

    Every year the UK runs a large budget deficit. The Government spends more money than it can tax, so we plug the gap by selling bonds to investors at home and abroad. These bonds - known as gilts - have to be repaid in full, with interest.

    Added together, our unpaid loans make up the UK's national debt.
    Right now, that debt is growing violently. The Government forecasts it will soar to an eye-watering £1.5 trillion by 2016. To put that in perspective, the UK went bust in 1976 running a budget deficit of 6% of GDP. In 2012 that deficit is going to top 8.9%.

    Historically, our debt burden was heavier after World War II. But like any loan, if the money isn't invested wisely we end up borrowing even more. When the Government runs up huge debts and produces nothing to show for it, we're the ones that shoulder the burden. This year that burden will grow by £138 billion.

    The state has been wasting our money for decades. Weak politicians have bribed voters with endless amounts of borrowed cash. As a result, in 2012 the interest on the national debt will cost £44.8 billion a year. That's more than we spend on defence, and not much less than the entire education budget.

  7. Employee Says:

    Of course, employees cant disagree with the leader of the council!

    Manchester's problem is there are not enough Tory voters so the Government doesnt give a toss about Manchester as there are no votes to lose or gain

  8. Halifax Says:

    In response to Dave,

    We didn’t have to buy the banks, that was a choice made by the last Labour Government.

    There are many economists, who feel, the banks should have been left to fail. Yes it would have been painful, as the market corrected itself, but it would be over and done with by now.
    Instead we’re facing a lingering death, because eventually the market will correct itself. which is what is happening now.

 

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

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