Green Roofs and Growth Generation

Greater Manchester Combined Authority and AGMA Executive met today at Leigh Sports Village but not a very exciting agenda, the only item of note being a proposal to try and fit photo-voltaic panels to around 7,500 roofs across the city-region under a rent a roof scheme. It has to be done before next March to benefit from the current feed-in tariff, and households lucky enough to be part of the scheme will benefit from a reduction in their electricity bill. More interesting was yesterday's meeting of the informal economy group I convene every month.

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Not Cricket

A distinctly miserable Council Executive Committee meeting yesterday. There were a large number of very positive items on what was a very full agenda, but they were far outweighed by three reports on cuts to adult social care.

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Still Pumping

Met John Monks and Katy Archer this morning. John, a Manchester lad, will be well known to those of you with a Trade Union background and has more recently become a working peer, but he was here today in his capacity as Chair of the Trustees of the People's History Museum. Katy is the current Director and gave an update on progress at the museum since it reopened after major refurbishment and the addition of a striking extension to its Pump House home.

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Three Steps Forward

The quarterly meeting of the Manchester Partnership Board took place yesterday bringing together representatives from policing, health, transport, faith groups, and the Council along with a number of independent board members to oversee the work of partners to deliver the Manchester community Strategy.

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Down and Up

The Local Enterprise Partnership Board ( LEP ) met this morning. These are the partnerships we have been encouraged to set up by government to replace the Regional Development Agency, though unlike the RDA they have no formal powers and no money.

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Healthier, Wealthier

Meet the new Leader of Newcastle City Council this morning who is in the Town Hall to chair a conference on Tobacco Control. Although we have made a lot of progress over the last few years particularly with the smoking ban in public buildings, smoking related illnesses are still the biggest killer in Manchester. 32% of the population are still smoking, rising to 42% in our poorest neighbourhoods. There is an enormous problem with children in particular being victims of passive smoking and it's a financial issue as well as a health one with families that can't afford it spending up to £70 a week on cigarettes. So tobacco control is both a public health and an anti-poverty priority for the Council and today's conference is an opportunity to share ideas and best practice from around the country.

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It's only a game

Only got as far as 10am yesterday in my last post so will resume from there. If anybody doubted the importance of football, even those of you who have absolutely no interest in it, my next meeting was with a journalist from Le Monde who was doing an article on the rivalry between Manchesters City and United and the impact that having two such prominent clubs has on the city.

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New Lamps for Old

Some might argue that we've just had the pantomime season in Manchester but this post has really nothing to do with Aladdin. It does concern a fascinating meeting of the Council's Design Review Board yesterday - well I thought so anyway - looking at the cost and benefits of the award winning refurbishment and redevelopment work done in the Bowes Street area of Moss Side. There is a bit more number crunching to do on the environmental benefits and costs in relation to the original plan which was to demolish and rebuild, but it looks to be a remarkable story.

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The Case for Manchester

The last few days have been dominated by the presence of the Conservative Party Conference taking place at Manchester Central.

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