Manchester City Council

Song and Dance

Town Hall at 8.30am for the Overview and Scrutiny Co-ordinating Committee which amongst other things agreed the principle that all meetings of subgroups of Scrutiny Committees should be in public. There will of course be exceptions to this.

All Council committees will occasionally go in to private session if they are discussing for example commercially sensitive matters or identifiable individuals but such occasions should be rare. Then it's the Regional Housing Group meeting in Manchester and my last meeting as Chair of the Group. Agenda items include the long-term, the action plan for the recently agreed revised Regional Housing Strategy, and the short-term, responding to the credit crunch.

The big item of the day is the Arts Council's publication of an independent report into the proposal for the Royal Opera House Manchester. The report is both fulsome in its support for the concept, it " has the potential to transform the artistic life of the North West " and become " the most significant artistic development in this country for a generation ", and realistic about the issues that need to be addressed to deliver this ambitious project. We now move to the next stage of planning and I am sure this is absolutely the right time for a project that would not only firmly establish Manchester as a global city of music, adding real value to existing top class facilities, the Bridgewater Hall, the Lowry, the Royal Northern College of Music, Chethams, and top class performers like the Hallé and the BBC Phil (not exhaustive lists!) but would also bring enormous economic benefits, not least around five hundred fte jobs.

There are 4 responses to “Song and Dance”

  1. Ken Harper Says:

    Can't work out why the Leader should attend Scrutiny Overview. The purpose of Scrutiny is to hold the Executive to account and to champion issues of concern to people. Scrutiny committees should set their own work programmes and conduct reviews and select committee type enquiries. My observations of the Scrutiny process in Manchester are that it is ill defined and executive member dominated. Oh and when was the last call-in?

  2. Councillor Simon Ashley Says:


    The last two opposition call ins were the decisions not to subsidise the keeping open of Post Offices in the city, in November, and the decision to put up heating charges by 31% in December.

  3. Cllr. Jim Battle Says:

    Simon will be aware that a number of Local Authorities - including Rochdale - have examined the possibility of taking over the running of local Post Offices. They have all had to reject the idea due to the prohibative costs and the lack of co-operation from the Post Office.

  4. Peter Copping Says:

    Will Manchester follow Camden's example and have web casts of key scrutinies. They might also take the lead in having extended scutinies on really key issues to take evidence and views.



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

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