Manchester City Council

Future Scientists

Last Friday of the month means a day of Greater Manchester meetings. Meetings rotate around the ten districts and today is at Salford Civic Centre in Swinton. I start at 9am with Labour Leaders, the main purpose of which and an important one being that we don't all fall out with each other. This is followed by four public and live-streamed meetings, the first being the Health and Social Care Strategic Partnership Board, followed in turn by the Combined Authority, the joint AGMA Executive/CA ( an oddity that will disappear next year - both bodies have exactly the same membership ), and then the CA's Resources Committee.

Don't propose to go through the agenda but will mention the draft for consultation of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and the start of a consultative conversation around the refreshing of the Greater Manchester Strategy (GMS). The former has already generated a chunk of press coverage and clearly has some controversial elements but in many respects is less important than the GMS. The GMS is where our ambition and vision for Greater Manchester will be set out along with what we need to do to achieve it. The spatial framework is ultimately no more than a land allocation plan in service to the GMS.

No Policing Panel this month so we move then to an informal Leaders meeting, again important as in any partnership there is a need to be able to have regular strategic discussions in a way that builds mutual trust and confidence.

Earlier in the week we marked the end of Manchester's very successful year, apart from the referendum, as European City of Science. As well as the 3,500 delegates for the European Science Open Forum, the year saw over three hundred events ranging from high-level academic events to fun events ( with serious undertones ) for families. The event to mark the end took place in the middle of Manchester's tenth science festival which if I was listening right is now the biggest science festival in the UK.

Being half term week I was looking around for something to do with my granddaughter and was overwhelmed just how much was on offer through the science festival. Couldn't help contrast this with my own childhood when generally there was nothing on of this sort at all. Ended up opting for the Museum of Science and Industry which was heaving with children of all ages. The enthusiasm the staff and volunteers generated should help ensure that we have the scientists, technologists and engineers we will need for a healthy future.

There is one response to “Future Scientists”

  1. Anon Says:

    The GMSF may be subservient to th GMS but the detailed masterplans and placemaking that will follow on from the GMSF is arguably as important as the GMS itself. In fact it's integral to it.

    People, their health and their life chances are profoundly influenced by their environment and is an area of increasing interest not just in the field of the built environment but in health, education and skills.

    Unfortunately place making, design quality and planning is an area that Manchester has traditionally always fallen down preferring to prioritise commercial needs and the free market over social, community and cultural needs. You only have to spend time in other cities both at home and abroad to see the sometimes profound differences in the way Manchester is planned, managed and maintained. We do not always compare very well.

    To deliver the GMS we need a relentless focus on delivering quality of life so the people who live here feel happy, feel they can thrive and maximise their skills. The current administration have done a good job of bringing the local economy back into better health over the last thirty years but we really need a more holistic and human centred approach for the next thirty, one that is less in thrall to property developers but tempered with a bit of balance towards the needs of the citizens of this great city.

 

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

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