Manchester City Council

Changes

Not surprisingly, since coming back into the office last week most of my time has been spent on the final stages of preparing the Council's budget in the light of a very poor but not unexpected provisional grant settlement from government. That work is still far from complete and I will be returning to this subject either later this week or early next. In the meantime I want to talk about this morning's meeting of the Manchester Partnership Board.

As always there are a number of substantial items on the agenda including the city's quarterly performance report which given the overall economic climate is mixed reading but probably a bit better than could be expected. The Bishop of Manchester gives a verbal update on the work of the Greater Manchester Poverty Commission which he has been chairing and is due to report its findings next Tuesday. The Bishop represents faith communities on the board as chair of the Greater Manchester Multi-Faith Group. This is Bishop Nigel's last board meeting as he is now retiring and he will be a tough act to follow, and not just as a partnership board member. It's also Evelyn Asante-Mensah's last meeting. Evelyn, as Chair of Manchester PCT, represents the Health sector on the board, but the PCT is being abolished from the end of March leaving us with no obvious route for a replacement who can represent Health city-wide. Similarly we have lost Councillor Paul Murphy as a member. Paul represented the Police Authority, also abolished. This is particularly relevant because another item on the agenda is a refresh of the Manchester Community Strategy. The current strategy, now going into its last three years, is really about how all of us can contribute to making Manchester a better place. Partnership is at the heart of how we deliver that strategy but as a result of changes forced upon us, we are going to have to re-cast how we bring partners together to work together in pursuit of those shared objectives.

I better mention at least one other item on the agenda, another refresh, in this case of Manchester A Certain Future, our stakeholder climate change strategy. The update has considerably more on adaptation than the original but continues to challenge us all to address one of the most fundamental issues facing the world today.

There are 7 responses to “Changes”

  1. Marc Hudson Says:

    Welcome back,

    at the end of the blog post you write

    “The update has considerably more on adaptation than the original but continues to challenge us all to address one of the most fundamental issues facing the world today.”

    Well, I'd like to refer you to the papers for the first meeting Low Carbon Hub meeting (6th December 2012), which I believe that you chaired.
    In the main paper for that meeting “FUTURE WAYS OF WORKING AND BUSINESS PLAN REVIEW” there is a pretty blunt assessment by the officers of the Greater Manchester Environment Team (paragraph 4.2, on page 5)

    “It should also be noted that a significant proportion of deliverables for which no resources were identified at the beginning of the year, have also been progressed. The key exceptions are that we have not progressed the roll out of the MCC carbon literacy project across GM, we have not substantially followed up the actions from the Ecocities launch....” (emphasis added)

    Soooo, big shiny launch of the Ecocities project last May (a conference that was, it should be noted, supposed to be held in six months earlier). A few people get to give speeches and deliver powerpoints, followed by some light networking. But then ... “we have not substantially followed up the actions...”

    Could you please tell us what your response to this report was on the 6th December when it was tabled, and also what precisely will be different “going forward” (as they so frequently say in the adminosphere.) A cynic might be forgiven, you see, for thinking that the main function of the climateriat in Manchester is not actions, but rather the writing of reports that can then be “refreshed” a couple of years down the line.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Marc Hudson
    mcmonthly@gmail.com

    P.S. And yes, I am aware that MACF is a Manchester thing and Ecocities is ostensibly a Greater Manchester thing.

  2. Arnold Corns Says:

    Changes indeed. Well these certainly are not Golden Years for Manchester, it's no game with the Scary Monsters (and super creeps) of the coalition government making life for residents and staff alike.

    Some of the staff have been Heroes throughout all of this, even though it must feel like going Up the hill backwards at times.

    But let's not get too Low, Manchester has bounced back from worse, sometimes Under Pressure we come up with innovative ways of doing things.

  3. Hummingbird Says:

    And with that Arnold, Let's Dance

  4. i love jack russels Says:

    and fingers crossed for an early bath for david (man who sold the world) cameron at the next election, before all our countrys' assets are turned to ashes to ashes

  5. Jean Genie Says:

    Well I'm glad we've got such an experienced bunch of Councillors leading us as this is no time for Absolute Beginners.

    We will have suffered Five Years of Coalition policies, and as the posh Boys Keep Swinging their axe it's the normal folk whose finances are slipping into the Quicksand.

  6. Starman Says:

    Some people have too much Time on their hands, maybe they should take VS and look for A New Career In A New Town

  7. Marc Hudson Says:

    Let's dance! Sir Richard has replied, in an email, to the first question posted here. You can read it via this link http://manchesterclimatemonthly.net/2013/01/21/newsflash-sirrichardleese-answers-questions-on-manchester-climate-adaptation/