A New England

The question of devolution has dominated my week as well as attracting a large amount of media attention, largely because of the publication of the final report of the Royal Society of Arts ( RSA ) City Growth Commission chaired by eminent Jim O'Neill. The report is underpinned by the macroeconomic argument for why our fifteen largest metropolitan areas, those with a population of over 500,000 people, should have far greater control over our ( economic ) future.

Read more: A New England


Devolution - power coming from Whitehall back to Town Halls, power moving from national to local - is very much on the agenda. A few weeks ago respected think-tank ResPublica publish a report recommending that all of the public expenditure in Greater Manchester should be decided upon in GM, DevoMax, DevoManc. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority ( CA ) and its ten constituent Councils are currently discussing how we might need to change our governance and management arrangements to deal with very much greater powers and resources.

Read more: DevoManc


Full Council day today and something that's not happened for at least 25 years as I was on the losing side of a vote, but more of that later. The meeting opened as is now standard practice with two presentations, the first on valuing older people and Manchester's role as a UN designated age-friendly city. This was followed by a presentation on this year's State of the City report, as usual a mixture of good and not so good news, but really important in helping us develop and implement strategies for improving the city.

Read more: Prohibition


Not an exercise in rose-tinted spectacles but a brief canter through some of what I did yesterday. Firstly, our second live-streamed Council Executive with some very substantial items on the agenda, the most significant being action following the inspection of our children's services, but also London Road Fire Station and the condition of the Town Hall. For absence of doubt, we are not going to consider selling or moth-balling the Town Hall, but are looking at the investment required to get it through another 140 years.

Read more: Yesterday