Keeping Promises

Before I get into blogging about anything else, I have promised more details on this for two days now so here goes. On Sunday I am taking part for the first time in our Great Manchester Run, which is now probably the country's most prestigious 10K event. I'm a regular cyclist and have been training, am aiming to beat 50 minutes but think it's too risky to make that a firm promise. I'm raising funds for St Anne's Hospice in Cheadle, John Eastwood Hospice Trust and Christie's Appeal and anyone who wants to incentivise me or sponsor me can leave a message below, thanks.

So that's one promise kept.

But now for some promises to United fans. I want you to have a great night on Wednesday when your team meets Chelsea in Moscow in the finals of the UEFA Champions League. It takes a bit for me to say this as a City season ticket holder but on behalf of the City Council, I promise that I do want you to win.

My colleagues and I have also made a promise to residents, businesses and city centre users that we will provide a great place to live, work and invest. And it's because of that promise that we can't agree to big screens in Manchester's open spaces to screen the match on Wednesday night.

Everyone in our city centre knows it's a busy, vibrant place, sometimes noisy, sometimes smelly and always exciting. We had bad experiences with big screens and football in Exchange Square during the World Cup in 2006.  And that heady mix of football, alcohol and open spaces again fostered problems during the UEFA Cup Final on Wednesday.

But behind the scenes, I promise we are doing everything we can to find a solution to the thousands of ManU fans who want to watch the match with fellow supporters. It's not going to be screened in the city's open spaces but I am convinced there are venues that could show it in proper controlled conditions.

Talks are going on as I blog, and I promise news will come soon of an opportunity to be part of the ManU experience on Wednesday night. How fantastic if Old Trafford stepped up to the mark and opened their stadium to the supporters who so richly deserve to be part of Wednesday's celebrations.

I promise the pressure is on.

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