Manchester City Council

Food for Free

Highspot of the day will I hope be a leisurely lunch with my son and daughter dining al fresco and enjoying the fantastic Manchester sunshine. Better still they're paying, son feeling particularly guilty about failing to deliver a father's day card although why he feels more guilty this rather than any other year I don't know.

Work to be done first though and a meeting with six of the Trustees of the Lowry Centre including Chair Rod Aldridge and Salford Councillors Dave Lancaster and Bill Hinds to discuss our exciting proposals to develop the Royal Opera House Manchester as a unique producing and training centre for opera and ballet. It's a long meeting and not surprisingly the Lowry do have concerns about the effect of the proposal on them. It is though worth bearing in mind that the Manchester/ROH proposal doesn't increase the number of seats that need to be sold in the city-region and would bring an entirely new and different artistic product. It is a productive meeting with agreement at the end about how to work together as the idea develops. Very disappointed then to find that the Chair of the Lowry has issued a press statement whilst the meeting is actually taking place, which in content is very much at odds with both the content and tone of our discussions.

Should have been in London speaking at a conference but got a colleague to kindly substitute so I could have the Lowry meeting. That also means I don't miss our Council Executive but I am late so Deputy Leader Val Stevens takes the Chair. A session with our newish Director of Communications on how we do more for less and then off to lunch. Would like to enjoy my offspring's all afternoon but sadly I have to return to the office to meet the North Manchester regeneration boss Julie Connor about a number of issues - even with the recession there are some things we are keeping going, and then its off to a Crumpsall and Blackley Village Branch Labour Party meeting which is party politics so can't talk about it here.

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There are 2 responses to “Food for Free”

  1. Dave Says:

    I hope you had a good meal. Just wondering what you thought about the Lowry trying to stop Manchester hosting the second home for the Opera House and Royal Ballet. It would be such a plus not only for Manchester but also for surrounding areas if this was to occour. I would hate to see this chance being lost to another city. It seems such a short sited approuch. I do hope that you maybe able to change there minds as support from other sites would help this project move forward.

  2. Richard Leese Says:

    We have been consulting with all the thetres and arts companies that have an interest in this venture and the only negativity sadly is from the Lowry. However we don't intend to fall out with them and will continue to try and work with them to find a mutually agreeable way forward particularly as the Salford Councillors involved with the Lowry, Dave Lancaster and Bill Hinds, do see the bigger picture and have been very committed to working together.



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

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