Manchester City Council

Executive and Council, the last for this year

Today is the last full Council Meeting of the current municipal year, but, unusually, it was preceded by a special meeting of the Council Executive. Most sensitive item on the agenda is the future of Manchester Care, a Council created organisation which provides residential and home care for elderly people. The biggest priority is of course to look after the interests of service users and we agree a new partnership arrangement for the future, which should do just that.

Most exciting item is the proposal for a new digital media and animation centre in East Manchester, which will keep Manchester at the forefront of digital media globally and potentially create hundreds of jobs.

Members of the public come along for the Academies items, not to object to the educational proposals, but to raise concerns about the possible sites for the new North Manchester Academies. This is a problem to test the wisdom of Solomon and we agree to go out to a second public consultation to invite the public to work with us to pick the best site.

Today the most interesting thing about Council is the people who come to watch. The Lord Mayor's guests are a range of carers from different parts of the city, and we have a group of young people from Moss Side. Not sure what any of them made of the generally somewhat muted proceedings where the big issues are post offices and climate change.

Tonight is the opening of the World Track Cycling Championships, one of the major events of Manchester 2008 year of Sport, and this is the last you will see of this blog until May 2nd. Hope you don't miss it too much!

There are 10 responses to “Executive and Council, the last for this year”

  1. Jay Din Says:

    I have read all of your recent posts, but, have been disappointed at the total lack of response to any of them.

    I was unaware that the Council Leader had his own Blog until I visited the main authority site. What [exactly] has MCC done to promote their Leaders Blog?

    I can't believe that the Leader of one of the most important cities in the country can be satisfied with continuing to post his own meditations on the site, but, without much [apparent] feedback from the great Mancunian public!? It gives the distinct impression that MCC is talking into a vacuum ... or, talking to itself - which, is pretty much the same thing as far as I'm concerned!

    So for your next post [after May 2nd] ... can we have a fresh approach to this Blog? I have a suggestion or two of my own, but, you have to get back to me about it, [using this forum]. Come on Richard, [Sir!] ... let us get some life into this Blog!!

  2. Alan Says:

    I agree with Jay Din that it’s a shame about the apparent lack of interest in this blog. I’d be a bit miffed if it was my blog.

    Some ideas to get more people reading:
    - Make it a bit more prominent on the home page. A link is there, but it’s not shouting out.
    - Get other sites to link to it. Manchester has a buzzing blogging community, so ask sites like The Manchizzle ( to add it. Maybe they could even do a story on why the Leader is doing a blog in the first place? That could be interesting.
    - Include the full text of each post in the RSS feed. Just having the summary of the story is a pain.
    - More pictures, please! What about video? Costs virtually nothing to host video these days.

  3. lee Says:

    Just because people aren't commenting doesn't mean they aren't reading. Besides blogging is helpful for the blogger not particularly helpful for the audience. Why hype it up? Eventually those people with an interest in it will will link to it.

  4. Janine Watson Says:

    Thanks for the feedback. It's important to have a Leader's blog so that the people who live, work and are interested in Manchester know what the Leader is doing on behalf of the Council and the city. The blog also gives people, if they wish, the opportunity to make comments, as you yourselves have done.
    There are of course several other ways to interact with the Leader - many people still prefer more traditional systems such as letters, phone calls and meetings, many of which are publicised on the blog. But it's time now to explore the web as a means of communication and this blog is a step in that direction. Our statistics show it is being read by hundreds of people, and they are very welcome to post comments if they wish.
    We take on board your suggestions and will look into them.

    Janine Watson
    Head of Press, Manchester City Council

  5. Jay Says:

    @Janine Watson

    I appreciate that people have their own preferences about the manner in which they wish to communicate with MCC ... and this must be maintained. However, if MCC has gone to the trouble of having a blog for the leader of the authority, some thought should be given to promoting it so that comes to peoples attention. Otherwise, ones just left with the impression that the authority only has a blog because 'its the thing to do, nowadays'!?!

  6. Iain Hair Says:

    UEFA Cup Final
    Given that up to 100,000 Rangers suppoerters will make their way to Manchester for the UEFA cup final would it not be an idea for Manchester council/ Police to re concider their press statement that fans should stay away. Like many thousands my brother is comming over from Canada for the match and we will be travelling to Manchester even without tickets - why not open up OLD Trafford ?

  7. Cllr. Pat Karney Says:

    "Manchester is looking forward to welcoming fans from Rangers FC and from FC Zenit St Petersburg for a day to remember on 14 May.

    "Our city is well used to friendly invasions of many thousands of visitors for major events like the UEFA Cup Final.

    "Fans zones with entertainment and access to food and drink throughout the day have always been part of our plans for this event.

    "In the light of Rangers qualifying for the final and the massive reported demand from fans for bigger and better provision, we've arranged for big outdoor screens for fans to watch the match.

    "Pubs and clubs across the city will also provide opportunities for many thousands of fans to enjoy the match and soak of the atmosphere of the big day.

    "I'm confident that Manchester will give a very warm welcome to fans from Rangers and from Zenit and that all fans will have a fabulous day."

    Detailed information about fan zones, travel and parking arrangements will be available through the Council's website within the next few days.

  8. bi-coloured python rock snake Says:

    What is infuriating about this blog is that the Leader writes as though he is the leader not just of the city council but of the city itself. I can't be the only one who resents the way he says "Manchester" this and "Manchester" that as though he somehow speaks for me and not just a few of the last remaining Labour councillors in the country and the various management consultants, property developers, casino moguls, etc, that have made fortunes (or not, thankfully, in the latter case) out of Labour policies.

    It would help if the blog encouraged people to respond. Generally, this is done by allowing anonymous posts (or at the very least pseudonymous posts with an email address) and publishing all posts automatically, with some means of reporting inappropriate content. Anything short of overt racism or libel should be fine and the removal of a post should be a very rare occurrence indeed. Instead, the site's terms of use require that 'you grant the Council a perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display any content (in whole or part) you upload, post or email and/or to incorporate such content in other works in any form, media technology now and developed'. In other words, anything you post, if it is published at all, may be edited in such a way as to completely misrepresent what you say.

    This is of a piece with Labour's approach to consultation generally. The Government has a YouTube site for which it has completely disabled the comments function. Manchester City Council's budget consultation attracted hardly any respondents, presumably because everyone knew that any responses would not make a jot of difference to the budget itself. At the Labour Party Conference, when the loathing for Tony Blair was such that half the town centre had to be fenced off to protect delegates from the people they supposedly represented, it seems that no one saw the irony of fastening signs advertising the risible "Big Conversation" to the railings.

    For a lively political blog that encourages and creates debate, one need look no further than Webcameron.

  9. Paul T Says:

    To Councillor Pat Karney: I work in Manchester city centre close to the Town Hall. The whole organisation is shambolic regarding the Rangers game. There appears a complete lack of stewarding and the streets this morning are a disgrace. You owe a duty to the many people who work here and who had to close business early because of the intimidation. I also find your comments about Tesco completely hypocritical in light of the Council choosing to park a Carlsberg tanker in Albert Square. Why also where the Albert memorial and fountains left unprotected???

  10. Mike Says:

    I am saddened to read that Manchester is to be denied the opportunity of watching the Champions League final because of events at the EUAFA cup final.
    The behaviour of a small minority of the thousands of Rangers fans who otherwise behaved admirably should not be used as an excuse by the City Council to deny the City the chance to celebrate one of its own football teams greatest moments.
    The failure of the screen at a critical time in the UEAFA event is certainly worth investigating and the resultant chaos should have been foreseen. I am amazed that there were not back-up systems in place for just such an eventuality.
    This knee-jerk reaction to the screening of the Champions League final is to be condemned and merely serves to point out that Manchester City Council find it easier to avoid or ban such events (like New Year celebrations) rather than take full responsibility for any lack of forethought in their planning. something that



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

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