Manchester City Council

A Broken Promise

Last week I promised to return to accounts of boring meetings but I'm going to have to renege on that, as so far this week everything has been pretty interesting. Well I think so.

Yesterday included a meeting of AGMA (Association of Greater Manchester Authorities)'s TIF (Transport Innovation Fund) - where would we be without acronyms - subgroup. The group consists of the Chair and three vice-chairs of AGMA, Peter Smith from Wigan, Susan Williams from Trafford, Dave Goddard from Stockport, and myself and yesterday's meeting was our first with Sir Neil McIntosh, the returning officer for the TIF referendum where he outlined how he proposed to conduct the referendum, the information he proposed to send out with the ballot paper, and a first draft of THE QUESTION. He will now refine his proposals, which will become public no later than the next AGMA Executive meeting at the end of October. Later I crossed the river in to Salford for the launch of a study by OECD into innovation in the North of England.

This morning is a Manchester : Knowledge Capital board meeting looking at how we take forward the key areas of Manchester Science City and most importantly to me the Manchester Innovation Fund, something which I think will produce some exciting and tangible results over the next twelve months. Then it's down to Spinningfields where I'm doing a double act with Howard Bernstein at a conference organised by Property Week looking at the city's economic prospects in general and the impact of TIF in particular in protecting us from the worst of the global downturn. Next up is a meeting with the City's Creative Director although on the altogether more mundane subject of letter-headings - I don't suffer for lack of variety. The day will end work-wise at the Civil Justice Centre, my favourite new building in city centre Manchester and the winner of the Sustainability Prize at this year's RIBA  (in future if you don't recognise acronyms you're just going to have to look them up as there are far too many to spell them all out) awards when the Architects are launching a book about the building. Interesting? Or not?

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

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