Local Democracy

It's very rare to make changes to the Council's Executive Committee in between Council Annual General Meetings, but Jim Battle leaving the Council to take on the role of Deputy Police Commissioner and Afzal Khan standing down from the Executive to concentrate on Europe, has led to three changes this autumn: Bernard Priest moving to become Deputy Leader, Sheila Newman re-joining the Executive as Executive Member for Children's Services, and Kate Chappell coming in as Executive Member for the Environment.

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Where in the World

Last week Manchester Airport Group announced that DHL had signed up as the first tenant in Airport City, the first of what I expect to be many such announcements. The key to this of course is international trade. The Greater Manchester Strategy (GMS) has identified internationalisation, increased trade with other countries, and increased investment from them, as a key priority. The evidence that underpins the GMS shows that companies that trade internationally are in general more productive and more profitable than those that don't, and that GM is underperforming in this area. We can't increase international trade for Manchester unless we promote the city internationally and build relationships with other places. We can't do that everywhere so we have to focus and one of the places we are focussing on is China. That's why last week the Lord Mayor was in our friendship city Wuhan, and Deputy Leader Bernard Priest was in Beijing.

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No successful cities, no successful nations

The English Core Cities held their 9th Summit yesterday. The first in Sheffield in 1999 started the debate around city-regions which culminated in the establishment of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority in 2011, now due to be followed by similar bodies in the Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, and Newcastle city-regions next year. Since then summits have been held in each of the core cities not just for the sake of it but only when we have serious questions to ask, serious things to say.

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Making Tracks

Spent a lot of time on trains this week and when I haven't been on trains have spent a lot of time talking about them.

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