Manchester City Council

New Thinking

Strolling from the Town Hall to MMU at 7.30am and it's still quiet enough to think. Do the walk any later in the day especially in University term time and the pedestrian flows are so great that concentrating on staying on the pavement becomes a fulltime activity. Fortunately, one of the outcomes of the Greater Manchester transport package should be wider pavements down here and an altogether better environment for walkers.

I'm off to a M:KC board meeting where the major item is a draft Innovation Prospectus. For any city in the modern economy surviving and thriving doesn't happen by accident and as we come out of the recession the most successful cities will be the ones with the best ideas and the capacity to implement them - not just economic ideas but innovation in environmental and social fields is equally important. The Innovation Prospectus is essentially about how we develop an innovation culture in the city-region to underpin our future development.

Later I meet with Sue Murphy, the Executive Member for Employment and Skills, to discuss My Place, a project that is concerned with creating high quality facilities for young people in the city. It is a truism that young people are our future, and it won't be much of a future unless we invest in them. Then it's Deputy Leader Val Stevens and a discussion on International Policy, an area on which she leads. Manchester needs to be an international city, and we can't do that by spending all our time sat in the back garden. We and our partners should visit other places in the world but we need to be clear why we are doing it and what the potential benefit is to Manchester. More on that tomorrow, but before getting back up to Crumpsall for Enver Road Residents' Association, I meet Andy Walsh of FC United. We've been supporting the club in its search for a new ground and are hopefully making progress. When the club first presented to the Council (myself, the Chief Executive, the then Executive Member for Arts and Leisure, the then Chief Executive of New East Manchester) it was to a panel of four blues, but to demonstrate our complete lack of any bias and that we always put Manchester first, we've still been helping them

There are 2 responses to “New Thinking”

  1. H8Glazer#17 Says:

    The work of you the Leader and the City Council in general is much appreciated. FC fans cannot wait to move to our own ground inside the boundaries of the City of Manchester.

    We are an all inclusive club committed to providing affordable football to all of the community.

    With both City and United slowly pricing local fans ourt of watching football, FC United is teh antidote to the corporatism of the Premiership

  2. Tim McMahon Says:

    Just to pick up on your opening comment:

    Having access to space and quietness in order to think has an important role to play in enhancing our well-being. Access to this type of space within the city centre is almost imposable. Some might say that this is an inevitable outcome of a thriving and successful city, teeming with culture, learning, leisure and business. I'd like to offer a different perspective.

    Since road works began on the Oxford Street section of the ORC, many commuters (myself included) are alighting on Whitworth Street and walking the remaining distance to work.

    With the re-routing of all none-public vehicles the streets are largely traffic free. What strikes me most is the quietness. You can even hear people talking to each other. Whitworth Street on the day a Magic Bus broke down at the junction of Palace Theatre was transformed into a silent boulevard. People were walking down the middle of the road, cyclists were merrily going about their business without fear of vehicular incursion. Even the air was different. Admittedly the sun was shining which always lifts the spirits, but it did seem that people were excited by the chance to spill into the streets. Some were even stood still in the middle of the road smiling.

    With the somewhat claustrophobic nature removed, the streets looked bigger and the city appeared grander. Without constantly having to check for speeding vehicles one feels at ease and can appreciate the fine architecture and design all around.

    SNAG and EN4M are advocates of extensive pedestrianisation of the city centre. It equates to a real and physical increase to the pubic realm. More space to breath and think. More well-being.



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

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