Today's post isn't about tomorrow's election but thought a timely reminder wouldn't go amiss. There is a Police Commissioner election across Greater Manchester. It's important. Whoever gets elected will set policing policy in Manchester for the next four years so please vote.
There is a parliamentary by-election in Manchester Central. MPs make our laws so it's important to vote. There is a Council by-election in Ardwick. The Council will soon be setting its budget which impacts on the lives of everybody in the city, so vote!
A busy day. I start at Downtown Manchester's Smart City business conference. I'm doing the opening speech where my thesis centres around the notion that Manchester's future won't depend on scale as in global terms we will be a small to medium sized city, but rather will depend on being smart. The two smartest things we can do are first of all invest in our people, but secondly become as autonomous as possible, having greater control over our own destiny.
The most important meeting of the day is the shadow Health and Well-Being Board. It may for the time being only be a shadow but we have a very significant presentation on Health and Social Care which makes the case incredibly powerfully that if we can provide fully integrated primary and community care we can reduce hospital admissions, reduce the length of hospital stays, and improve discharge arrangements. This is win-win, not only saving large amounts of money but more importantly improving life and life-chances for patients.
An artistic interlude, meeting first with the Director of MoSI on whose Advisory Board I sit, and then a first meeting with the Acting Principal of the Royal Northern College of Music. One of the world's leading Conservatoires, RNCM celebrates its fortieth anniversary over the next six months with a fantastic series of forty free concerts in venues all over the city. We discuss that but more widely how RNCM can maximise its contribution to the life of the city.
By contrast, immediately after that I meet with the Executive Member for Finance, the City Treasurer, and the Head of Council Tax Benefits to discuss amendments to the governments plans to scrap the current national scheme for Council tax benefits. The outcome of that discussion will be seen in a report to next week's Executive Committee.