Manchester City Council

To London and beyond

A morning on the Manchester Conference and then progress on academies before taking the train to London to join Wigan Council leader Peter Smith for a discussion with Hazel Blears at the Department for Communities and Local Government Offices on the subject of Manchester’s Multi Area Agreement, a plan to improve the economic performance of the city region and standards for everyone who lives here. We've put together 12 key proposals to build skills of local people, raise employment levels and improve our economy, and we're ready to start negotiations with Government. Regular readers are probably fed up of seeing this but the ten councils in the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities are in a unique position nationally to make effective progress because of the high levels of co-operation in our conurbation to work together to improve the city region.

It's tempting to use the opportunity to open further talks with Hazel Blears about the 3,000 jobs we want for East Manchester, but today's visit has been arranged to represent AGMA as a whole; we are pursuing the East Manchester situation along a number of routes however and the promised ministerial working group has its first meeting next week, so watch the blog for more news soon.

Whilst I dash between Manchester and London, there's virtually an exodus of Manchester property experts, investors, architects, developers plus the Council's Chief Executive to spend the week at MIPIM (Marche International des Professionels d'Immobilier) the world' s largest property fair based in Cannes. This is an intense week of business negotiations, networking and deals being struck, and Manchester makes sure it's fully represented. Our colleagues at Marketing Manchester organise the city's delegation, which includes people from 50 key companies. The Manchester stand has one of the best locations in the Exhibition Centre and there is a massive series of events on the stand and elsewhere in the town designed to showcase Manchester and lure business to the city. I'll be joining them late Wednesday evening after The Council's Executive has met, returning to Manchester on Friday.

It's tough trying to convince people that it's hard work being at these international exhibitions and even tougher to portray a couple of days in the South of France even in early March as hard work, but this is serious stuff that has a major impact on jobs in the city. MIPIM is the biggest property fair in the world and if Manchester's renaissance is to continue it can only be as a city of international significance, and that means making our mark on the international stage. As a council we usually have three or four key individuals - normally our Chief Executive and one of his deputies as well as our city centre expert  - as part of the Manchester team and the Council does need to be there, to show potential investors that Manchester means business.

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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