Manchester City Council

A Taste of Honey

Originally a play telling the story of a young working class girl in 1950s Salford. If the play was updated to today, no doubt Universal Credit would appear somewhere in it.

Yesterday’s full Council meeting had a presentation from Council officers on the roll out of Universal Credit in Manchester, the expected impacts, based on the pilots in Oldham and Trafford, and what the Council is doing to mitigate those impacts. Of course government did announce amendments to the scheme in last week’s budget but we don’t yet know what impact that will have on a scheme that so far has increased both in work and out-of-work poverty as well as helping drive an increase in homelessness. A recording of the presentation is available online.
 
A bit more cheerful was the  opportunity for an endless supply of appalling jokes buzzin’ around the Town Hall’s Great Hall at the launch of Bee in the City. If you remember the CowParade a few years ago it’s essentially the same concept, but based on giant sculptures of worker bees, part of the city’s identity for 150 years, that have now become a powerful symbol of Manchester’s strength, resilience, and togetherness. Bee in the City will help us build greater cohesiveness and at the same time bring visitors to the city, give us lots of fun, and raise money for the WeLoveMcr Lord Mayor’s charity.
 
On Monday I had a full day in London, first at Core Cities Cabinet, then at a Core Cities roundtable looking at social cohesiveness, and finally at the packed house launch of the Northern Powerhouse All Party Parliamentary Group. I’ve regularly made the argument that building the Northern Powerhouse is a long-term job and that it will only happen with very substantial investment in infrastructure, investment that will span many parliaments and governments. To do that requires a lot of case-making, campaigning and a cross party approach. That our Northern parliamentarians are getting together on that basis is really good news.

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

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