A Winter's Tale

Lots of complaints that I haven't been blogging about gritting, which is a subject, unusually, on many people’s minds at the moment. We have, even for the time of year, had a bout of exceptional weather. Prolonged snow and prolonged sub-zero temperatures have caused lots of disruption and have made travel hazardous everywhere. This hasn't just happened to Manchester but is widespread across the UK and Europe and in the USA it's even worse.

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Happy Families

Starting with yesterday, a pleasant thirty minutes at lunchtime at the GMITA (Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority) Christmas bash, and as you would expect at any event under the auspices of Councillor Keith Whitmore, the food (at MOSI) was good too.

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Seal the Deal

Listening to presentations at Copenhagen University outlining recent research in twenty cities around the world looking at the impact of and risks associated with global warming.

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No Escape

The world loves initials and government especially loves initials, preferably ones that can approximate to a word sound. This morning it's a short walk to C.U.B.E. (Centre for Understanding the Built Environment) for a meeting of the JEC, pronounced ‘Jeck’ of course, the Joint Economic Commission for the North West. I'm sure I've mentioned it before but in case I haven't the JEC brings together GONW, the NWDA, 4NW (I represent them at it), LSC, JC+, NWBLT, NWTUC, Phil Woolas our Regional Minister, and so on to look at the impact of the recession on the North West, its people and its businesses and at what we can do to come out of it economically stronger and more sustainable.

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Green Scrooge

A lot of evening events at the moment - that time of the year. Had to do a staunch defence of Christmas at the Climate Change event on Tuesday with one audience member complaining about the Christmas lights in Albert Square. I made it clear that the lights are staying and to meet our 41% target on emissions we'll just have to make compensating savings elsewhere. Might also be worth noting that a couple of years ago we switched to low energy Christmas lights so environmentally they're not so bad.

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A Certain Future

The name of Manchester's Climate Change Action Plan, which was unveiled at a Friends of the Earth organised event last night at Manchester Central. ‘Star’ guest was Ed Miliband in his last public engagement before he goes to the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen later this week.

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Road to Recovery

As ever trying to catch up so I'm yet again a day behind. Yesterday started with Climate Change, and I'm not talking about getting soaked on the ride into the Town Hall, and finished with City Council Human Resource (i.e. People) issues.

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Peace and Goodwill

Poor excuse I know but been really busy over the last week so been a bit thin on the blogging. Back end of last week was Eurocities AGM and the very successful launch of the Green Digital Charter, a Europe wide initiative that Manchester has been leading on, aimed both at increasing the sustainability of very power hungry I.T. itself, and of making more effective use of I.T. to help build more sustainable communities (in every sense of the word).

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