Democracy at Work

Because this is the Council's website even as Leader of the Council I'm not allowed to discuss the biggest local matter of the moment, Greater Manchester's Transport Innovation proposals and the referendum currently underway. It's a matter that the City Council has a very clear view of, with support on a cross-party basis, but I'm now not allowed to explain why we came to that view, so I will have to refer you to the various Council minutes available on this site, or for a more up-to-date assessment tune into Channel M at 6pm this evening where I am allowed to talk about TIF.

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Creative NOISE

8.00 a.m. and a meeting at Government Office North West which I'm attending as Chair of the Regional Housing Group. The meeting is chaired by Deborah McLaughlin, currently Director of Housing in Manchester, but here acting as Regional Director of the Homes and Communities Agency, a role she formally takes up on December 1st, and the purpose is to see what we can do in the field of housing to address our current economic woes.

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A Time for Reflection

It has been a busy and in many ways a productive week, but what ever it is I think I've been doing this week for the benefit of Manchester, it is put into perspective by the horrific murder of two young children in our midst.

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Balance of Power

First up this morning is a meeting with Edward Pysden, newly appointed interim Chair of the Board of Manchester Airport Group. Manchester Airport, whatever ones views on the very real environmental issues around aviation, is a key element in the economy not only of the city but the whole of the North of England. High fuel prices and the credit crunch are having an impact on airlines like every other retail business, but I am confident that Manchester Airport (alongside other airports in MAG) is sufficiently robust and well-run to weather the economic storm.

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Hope !!!

Bonfire night and the American electorate has just made a massive bonfire of one of its biggest historical prejudices by electing its first African-American President and I want to add my congratulations to Barack Obama on his amazing achievement.

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Hope ?

Some big things in Manchester last week not least the finalisation of the Transport Innovation Proposals that will be the subject of a referendum beginning later this month. This is a package. We can't cherry pick. It's either £3billion pounds of investment in public transport, investment on an unprecedented scale, partly funded by a peak-time, Monday to Friday, one-way only congestion charge... or nothing. And nothing means nothing for a long time. On Friday last I was regularly asked what is plan B. There is no plan B, but those urging you to vote No don't even have a plan A.

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