Manchester City Council

Keeping the Wheels Turning

Attend the meeting of the Greater Manchester Business Leader Council this morning. The agenda includes items that will be very familiar to readers of this blog like whole place community budgets and the Greater Manchester Strategy refresh but also items I haven't commented on before. One, the Town Centre strategy has been underway for a while. The question is very straightforward, how can we ensure our eight biggest town centres, Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, Ashton, Stockport, Altrincham and Wigan continue to thrive and meet local community needs in a very hostile retail environment. There are a number of suggestions but they all hang around the notion of distinctiveness. Not being a clone High Street is obviously part of that but each centre needs it's own characteristics that will make people want to visit them.

Another item is completely new to me, the development of a Greater Manchester freight strategy. This concerns getting goods to and from our industrial businesses but also how we service our retail and leisure centres in a cost effective way that minimises congestion and costly delays. We are also a hub for international freight and again we need to make the onward shipping of freight as efficient as possible with the minimum disruption. They're not looking to reinvent the wheel and part of the work involves looking at best practice from elsewhere. This work is in its early stages and although hardly likely to make front page news will be an important part of making Manchester both sustainable and competitive. And then it's back to the budget.

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There are 2 responses to “Keeping the Wheels Turning ”

  1. franky Says:

    Weekend shoppers come all over from Greater Manchester, while shops in othe GM towns are closing. You are right to say that GM towns need their own identity to attract manchester shoppers!

  2. Mr. A. Gibson Says:

    Freight Loading etc. should be concentrated at the formaer Carrington Power station that has now been closed. Access is by the (old) railway line visible at West Irlam. You will see teh overhaed railway bridge on the A57 Irlam By Pass. It's also known as "Port Salford". The (old) railwasy linie should be electrified for about 4 miles to link wiht the Chat Moss LIne (M-Cr to Liverpool) that is being electrified by 2014. It poinsts west to the WCML so it will keep freight out of Manchester. It may even be worth while for the Council to pay about £12 Million to have this line electrified. BY keeping freigth traffic out of Piccadilly, it will improve passenger services coming into mancehster.

 

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

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