Started writing this yesterday morning. Then it was to have been a return to the theme of why even in these difficult times the Council continues to invest in arts, culture and events. This was motivated by a short speech to a NESTA and Arts Council sponsored conference on art and digital and then a later conversation with Harriet Harman wearing her shadow DCMS hat sandwiched around attendance at the Council's Economy Scrutiny Committee.
The answer to the question is of course jobs - jobs in the arts, making Manchester a more attractive place to work, live and invest, and developing creativity in our population. This sort of investment can often bring controversy but it's not the only area of economic development that can arouse the ire of the Tax Payers Alliance and other ill-informed critics.
Yesterday afternoon was the monthly meeting of the LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership). All the interesting stuff was in the private part of the meeting though with the exception of one item on creating a new textile industry, I'm not really sure why it was private. Certainly wouldn't have passed City Council tests to be treated as confidential.
One item was about world-class science in Manchester and there is a fair bit, all with potential for business and job creation. Another, and this is where controversy might come in, was around internationalisation. How do we increase the number of Manchester companies trading internationally, how do we build on a very good track record of inward investment and how do we support foreign owned companies to grow in the city.
In a global economy all of this is vital to a successful future for the city but delivering an international strategy is a bit difficult without actually visiting other countries. What an outrageous idea!