Manchester City Council

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome

The blog is back in business today with three special welcomes.

First, welcome to our new Lord Mayor Councillor Mavis Smitheman, who will be Manchester's first citizen for the next 12 months. Mavis was welcomed to her post by all 96 city councillors at today's annual council meeting and handed the chains of office by her predecessor Councillor Glynn Evans, who has done an excellent job for the last year. Glynn now returns to his role as councillor in Brooklands while Mavis - or Lord Mayor as we shall now call her - looks forward to an exciting year of pomp and circumstance at Manchester's major events as well as her desire to promote the role of older people in our communities.

Welcome too to the thousands of football fans flooding into the city for tonight's UEFA match between Glasgow's Rangers FC and FC Zenit St Petersburg. We've made warm, friendly and tolerant plans not just for the 48,000 football fans in the magnificent City of Manchester stadium, but also for around 100,000 Rangers fans who don't have tickets but are still travelling south by car, train, coach and plane to be near their club at their most important match for more than 30 years. We welcome everyone who wants to celebrate in a friendly and enthusiastic way, and we are urging people to drink and eat sensibly, and to make sure they have good travel arrangements. We're ready too for a big clean up overnight on Wednesday and on Thursday.

Last but no means least, welcome back to the blog readers and writers who have left comments while we've been out of action during election time. This blog is a first step towards a more voluble web presence and I think it's right and proper that everyone who lives, works and is interested in Manchester can read about what I do, and leave comments if they want. We're constantly moving forward with our web developments and we're happy to consider improvements. So let us hear more of your comments. While we've been away, I have been re-elected as a city councillor for the next four years and as Leader for the next year, and I've also started training for Sunday's Great Manchester 10K run. More on that tomorrow.

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

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