The Queen and the Civil Justice Centre

Iconic but functional. Stunning design, a pleasure to work in and good value for (a lot of) money. Manchester’s new Civil Justice Centre is fabulous, and the Queen was all smiles as she performed the official opening.

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Away and Art

To Central Salford, where, as recently reported, I am a newly appointed board member of the urban regeneration company. We have an away day, although not very far away - we meet in Salford Quays - to discuss housing issues. We don't just talk about it - after a detailed presentation by Salford's housing department it's on a bus to see work underway in Langworthy, Higher Broughton and Lower Broughton and key sites for improvement around Pendleton and Ordsall.

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Jobs for East Manchester

A sunny day weather-wise but gloom in East Manchester! Today Culture Secretary Andy Burnham tells parliament that he is putting the block on the regional casino - the prize that we won after a Government competition and that is due to bring us over three thousand jobs in East Manchester. This has been rumoured in the press for months but now it's official. My job, the job of the Council, is to do all we can to look after the interests of our citizens and so now we are scrutinising his announcement in detail and reviewing our options.

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How Do You Recycle?

Today I'm at Longley Lane waste disposal facility in Northenden to launch a major public consultation on what we need to do to improve recycling across the city. It's good for the planet but also help keeps Council Tax down, because the less rubbish goes to landfill; the less we have to pay in landfill taxes.

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Building for the Future

It's the board meeting of CityCo, our city centre management company that is an independent not-for-profit organisation working on behalf of its members who are principally businesses, public sector bodies and other stakeholders operating in Manchester City Centre. CityCo has a growing membership, which contributes to planning and delivering long-term objectives for the improvement of the city centre, and they have strong established relationships with those who directly influence the shape and fabric of the city.

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Making Manchester Greater

A lunch time meeting today with an all-party group of leaders and chief executives and legal advisers, a sub-group set up by AGMA, the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, to look at a brand new constitution to govern the way the ten greater Manchester local authorities work together to improve the economy of the city region.

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Cities in Liverpool

By train to Liverpool this morning, to meet up with the leaders of the other English Core Cities; Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield, and a chance to experience why we need major investment in our inter-city rail links. The service ran on time but in the 21st century we should have high-speed rail links between all our major cities.

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Barnardo's for breakfast

I'm the keynote speaker this morning at a business and professional networking breakfast in Manchester for Barnardo's, one of Britain's best known charities. Their mythical reputation is that they run homes for orphans but actually they stopped that 30 years ago - nowadays they strive to give a brighter future to the most disadvantaged of youngsters including, in partnership with the city council, many in Manchester. Put simply, they want children to belong, and they do all sorts of work with families including fostering, adoption and coping with domestic violence or disability.... read more

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The Executive

It's the February meeting of our Executive, which consists of me, the two deputy leaders and the seven executive members. There are also fifteen councillors on the Executive Advisory Committee, who have a standing invitation to attend, receive all the papers, and can contribute fully to the discussion, and the combined membership of both committees reflects the political composition of the Council. Most of our decisions don't need approval by the overall City Council but they are subject to review by our overview and scrutiny committees.

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Reduce, re-use, recycle

Everyone agrees that recycling is a good thing and around 90% of Mancunians say that they want to recycle more. So why don't we?

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