A Night on the Town

Did have one of those on Monday taking advantage of one of the many January sale restaurant offers around and fortunately thousands of others are doing likewise - all year round. Following yesterday's Executive Committee meeting we had our monthly look at the Manchester economy. We had a particular look at three things, youth unemployment initiatives, low carbon development, delivery and investment in Greater Manchester, and the Visitor Economy.

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Good or Outstanding

The City's Strategic Education Partnership met yesterday. Included on the agenda was an excitingly titled report, School Improvement and Outcomes. At the heart of this is a good news story for which the city's schools should take the credit though they would be the first to recognise there is much more still to do. Notwithstanding the demographic challenges our schools face, 79.8% of them are now judged to be good or better against a national average of 77%. Of the twelve Ofsted inspections that have taken place since the start of the school year, eleven of the schools were judged to be good or better, that's over 90%.

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Lies and Statistics

The Council's Executive did as I previously announced publish a draft budget for 2015/6 yesterday. The two reports run to a hundred pages in total so I'm not going to attempt to summarise but there is a link at the bottom for those who want to read them. It is a draft budget and along with all the options published in November it is still very much subject to consultation and scrutiny but does give an update on current thinking in the light of changed circumstances since November.

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Resolutions and Predictions

Happy New Year and welcome to the first blog of 2015. You're probably heartily fed up of all the predictions and resolutions that have filled the pages and screens of virtually every media outlet over the last few weeks so I won't add to them here. What I might talk about are some of the considerable challenges Manchester faces over the next twelve months, a year when, from a local government perspective at least, the upcoming General Election creates even more uncertainty than usual.

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