Manchester City Council

A New Leaf

I have been rebuked separately by two of my colleagues for not keeping up with the blog, the first in the belief that it is an important avenue of communication, the second to be able to track what I'm doing. I do have a good reason in that I have been very busy but I am turning over a new leaf and will strive to get back to posting twice a week minimum.

Done a lot of evidence giving this week - on Monday to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee meeting in Manchester as part of an inquiry into financial devolution, and then on Tuesday, again in Manchester, to the Royal Society of Arts City Growth Commission. Both of these are consistent with something I have probably been spending more time on than any other single thing, which is building the evidence and case-making both with the government and the opposition for radical devolution and decentralisation of economic development and public service delivery. The evidence does show that locally determined place-based programmes have more chance of accelerating economic growth and dealing with the most pressing and expensive social issues we face than one-size-fits-all, input driven national programmes. These arguments are now being to gain traction and there is an increasing prospect of the sort of change we need but regrettably probably not until after next year's general election.

The Council's Executive met this morning to consider its 2014/15 budget recommendations to Council. As this was largely reaffirming the second year of the two year budget agreed last March it wasn't a very exciting event but there were two significant changes. Firstly, an impact of the government scrapping Council Tax benefit is that a lot of people on very low income now have to pay a portion of their Council Tax and that portion goes up to 15% this year. This will make life very difficult for lots of families already reeling from the impact of other cuts and so the Council is establishing a hardship fund to help the worst effected through hard times. Secondly, the Council which was the first to establish its own minimum wage, the Manchester Minimum wage, has long aspired to raise the level to that of the National Living Wage, and from April this year we will be doing that.

There is one response to “ A New Leaf ”

  1. franky Says:

    Are you expecting Milliband to devolve competences to Manchester, and funds to carry out these competences. What we really need is a written constitution with citizens rights, so that national politicians cannot impoverish the poor or weaken Trade Unions!

 

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

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