Most of the day has been spent in budget preparations in anticipation of what is expected to be another miserable budget settlement from government due to be announced just before Christmas.
A day of workshops was topped by an interesting hour with the Welsh transport minister, and tailed by taking part in a panel at a Voluntary Sector North West conference here in Manchester, at Kings House, a venue I've never previously been to. More contrast later in the evening when Friends of Crumpsall Park hold their AGM.
I'm going to turn back to yesterday though and the Executive Committee. There were a number of important reports but I want to mention just two. One concerned looked after children and contained proposals for how we can improve outcomes for children in the care of the local authority, and there is little doubt that the outcomes could be better. The proposals will also save money, and this is now the continuous nightmare of how we maintain and if possible improve outcomes, improve life chances for vulnerable people, with ever decreasing resources. The second item proposed the creation of an education and skills partnership bringing together schools, colleges, universities, employers, other providers to work together to make sure our young people get the best start possible. The partnership will be supported by a schools alliance, where schools, hopefully all schools, will come together to work together to raise standards. This is exciting stuff, and a self-improving school system will play a major part in ensuring a bright future for our young people. Almost immediately after the Executive Committee, I go with Executive Member for Childrens Services, Afzal Khan, to see education in action. We visit Newall Green Primary School and after a discussion with the Head, Deputies, and Chair of Governors we join a school assembly given by the children, based on a number of workshops they had taken part in as part of learning about the world, understanding the world, and making their own contribution to making the world a better place. The children had fantastic energy and enthusiasm and was the sort of event that should give us all hope for the future.