Viewing Figures

Greater Manchester Combined Authority held its monthly meeting this morning, the first to be lived streamed, hopefully the beginning of a new era of CA openness. One of the first items on the agenda was an item on communications. The CA now has a very small comms team and apart from live streaming a whole range of other things are under way to allow citizens to see what is being said and done on their behalf, and this includes a digital presence both on the web and in social media.

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The Less Bad News

I will touch on yesterday's spending review, but unfortunately laws on council publicity preclude me from giving a full and frank opinion here. I spent a big chunk of yesterday on arts related matters, meeting early on with Sally Macdonald, Director of the Museum of Science and Industry, for a catch-up on developments there. There will be an amazing new temporary exhibition space in the underused 1848 warehouse coming soon, but that's just a small part of the progress the museum has been making under the stewardship of the Science Museum Group.

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Peace and Solidarity

We had a very different Council meeting yesterday, which for those interested is still available to watch online on the City Council's website. Not surprisingly the appalling and tragic events in Paris dominated the early proceedings. However, the Council sought not only to express our solidarity with Paris and the victims of terrorism wherever they are in the world, but also to reaffirm our commitment to being a city of peace and to celebrate the diversity that makes Manchester such a wonderful place.

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Investment and Infrastructure

First meeting this morning was the Greater Manchester Investment Board, chaired by Kieran Quinn, Leader of Tameside, who leads for the Combined Authority on investment. The CA and the Local Enterprise Partnership between them control a number of funds that together make up the Greater Manchester Investment Fund with the money coming from the European Union, Central Government, Councils, the private sector, and recycled loans i.e interest and repaid capital. Some of the funds invest in businesses, in a range of anything from £500 for startups to several million for larger growing companies. Other funds invest in development and this year has seen a new £300m housing fund. Most of these are recyclable funds and the intention is for them to be invested several times over the next decade saving and creating jobs all along the way.

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A Different Perspective - Addendum

Just got the train back from Copenhagen to Malmo arriving just before 1am. More people sleeping in Malmo station than we have on the streets of Manchester and many of them families with children. Should children be sleeping on stations at one o clock in the morning?

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A Different Perspective

I'm spending bonfire night in Malmo and Copenhagen so will not be disturbed by loud bangs late into the night. For lovers of Scandanavian crime dramas, I will be crossing " the Bridge " twice tonight and again in the morning. I'm here for the Eurocities AGM which is split over three days between the two cities and as neither is in the euro zone am having to very careful not to confuse my Swedish and Danish Krone.

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Mind the Gap

Want to use this post to draw as many people's attention as possible to a report on tomorrow's Executive Committee agenda talking about the Council's budget for 2016/17 and subsequent years.

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