Manchester City Council

Equality and Culture

Yesterday's diary went regeneration, equality, culture, waste, culture, higher education, culture interspersed on a regular basis with housing and inevitably the Transport Innovation Fund.

I get regular requests from students for interviews to help with their research work and I always try to make time for them. The 'equality' bit of yesterday was a meeting with two students from Aarhus in Denmark who are doing a comparative study of women in politics in seven European Cities. When their work is complete it will be fascinating to see how Manchester compares. Over the last few years we have increased the number of women Councillors in the city (and the number of younger Councillors) but from a very low base. Clearly first and foremost Councillors need to be able to do the job we are elected to do but equally clearly women are just as capable of doing that job as men and the composition of the Council ought to reflect that.

The Culture aspects of the day included a discussion on the city's theatre strategy in the light of a recent audit commission report, a meeting to look at options to continue the restoration of Heaton Hall, and a first 'official' meeting with the new Director of  MoSI , Steve Davies, who is maintaining the vision of further developing the Castlefield site through Revolution MoSI.

I'm talking mainly about yesterday as the main feature of today is a trip to Wigan, which is fine, but for a meeting of the Regional Leaders' Forum which is less than fine as it must be a front runner in the competition for most boring meeting. Unfortunately it is increasingly important not least because its role in advising government on key areas of expenditure for the North West including housing, transport, and the Regional Development Agency has been significantly strengthened.

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

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