The Daily Grind

After all the talk earlier in the week about far away and exotic Los Angeles, today is a harsh reminder of the more usual day-to-day life of a Council Leader. The day doesn't start well.

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Not a new treatment for swine flu but a representation of the desire to have a direct link between Manchester and the West Coast of the United States (you can't bike or walk it ), one of the objectives of a co-operation agreement being signed here today between the City of Los Angeles and the City of Manchester.

Read more: LAX to MAN

Tour of Britain

6.50am. Piccadilly Station. Here to meet Sadiq Khan, Minister of State for Transport, who is the bearer of good news for Manchester and the North West. Not before time, government is going to invest £100m in electrifying the Manchester-Liverpool railway line so that at last the world's oldest passenger railway route joins the twentieth century (and I do know we're now in the 21st).

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Money for Nothing Part 2

Today is our four weekly Executive meeting. Lots of major items on the agenda; agreeing to invest in the new National BMX Centre at Sportcity, an important progress report on how we safeguard our most vulnerable children, support for a campaign for a national high speed rail network, a consultation to see if we can get some Collyhurst residents into better houses faster, and many more, all detailed elsewhere on the Council's web site.

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Manchester meets the Men from the Ministry

Three men and two women actually as I go to the Treasury with seven colleagues (from Wigan, Oldham, Bury and AGMA's economic commission and all male) in a tri-party delegation for the first meeting with Ministers to discuss the proposed pilot statutory city-region.

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Beneath the Make-up

Coming to the end of a phenomenally successful Manchester International Festival. With all the red carpet premieres, some aspects of the Festival, including an extensive Education programme, have remained relatively hidden from view.

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Building Jerusalem

The title of Tristram Hunt's excellent book on the rise of the Victorian City, a story that has many lessons for us still today, not least the need, even in the current climate, to have confidence and ambition.

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Sharp Talent Pipe Online

A fantastic couple of hours this morning helping judge a competition to design a billboard sign for the Sharp Project on Oldham Road. The Project itself is a developing base for digital media and the brief was for something not only eye-catching, but that would tell the Sharp Project story.

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Taking a Risk

A big risk actually - mentioning the airport. Again! Can't help it as today is a meeting of the Airport Shareholders Committee followed by the MAG AGM which as I chair it, I did feel obliged to go.

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Pump up the Parish

The City Council's Constitution and Nomination Committee this morning – No, don't log off yet as, for the first time ever, it was actually quite interesting.

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