Manchester City Council

Berlin

Although I don't finish for Christmas until Thursday this is likely to be the last blog of the year so I do want to wish everybody Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Having said that, it will be a very sombre post as we reflect on yesterday's tragic events in Berlin. Our first reaction is always our sympathy for the victims, and for the families and friends of the deceased. We see ourselves in their city and our hearts go out to the whole of the city of Berlin. And we think about who is responsible for this indiscriminate slaughter and why?

I have no doubt that this barbaric and senseless act of terrorism will be associated in the eyes of many, in my view totally wrongly, with immigration, with refugees, with asylum seekers. Late in 2015 I attended the Eurocities AGM held in Malmö and Copenhagen which included a fascinating session on refugees. In September that year Berlin had received 6,000 refugees a week, more than the UK was planning to take in five years. As we have seen across Europe, acts of terrorist violence are as likely if not more likely to be committed by members of the indigenous population as they are by immigrants, and I hope right-wing populist politics do not deter Germany from showing the same compassion in the future to those fleeing the horrors of war and starvation as they have in the past. Wish we matched them.

Closer to home, but still on a sombre theme, work in the Town Hall is dominated by putting together our 2017-20 budget. Having received the provisional financial settlement last week, the Executive is now in the middle of preparing a draft budget for consultation and scrutiny in the new year. We are still on schedule to publish our draft proposals on January 3rd, hopefully at the same time demonstrating that we have been listening to the consultation that has already taken place. If you haven't taken part in the budget consultation yet, there is still plenty of time before the Executive makes its final recommendations in February, and Council makes its budget decisions in March.

There is one response to “Berlin”

  1. Fairfax Says:

    Richard you state that across Europe, acts of terrorist violence are as likely if not more likely to be committed by members of the indigenous population as they are by immigrants.

    Could you please let me know where you get you statistical facts from, as that is not my understanding

 

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

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