Manchester City Council

Manchester meets the Men from the Ministry

Three men and two women actually as I go to the Treasury with seven colleagues (from Wigan, Oldham, Bury and AGMA's economic commission and all male) in a tri-party delegation for the first meeting with Ministers to discuss the proposed pilot statutory city-region.

Officials from Manchester and Whitehall have already had three formal meetings and the object of today is to sign off those things that have been agreed and try and find away forward on those things that we have proposed but haven't yet got agreement to. The meeting is chaired by Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne, who shows a real willingness indeed enthusiasm to make progress. There are four areas for discussion, on the siting of government research establishments, on 16-19 Education budgets, on licensing of private landlords, and on housing stock transfers, and with the help of Liam, John Denham, and Rosie Winterton, we manage to make progress on all four although there is still more work to be done before we can declare ourselves wholly satisfied. Having said that, all four Council Leaders present are pleasantly surprised at just how much progress we do make.

Back to Manchester and I call in to the MIF volunteers end of Festival party. This will probably be the last mention I will make of MIF until we get the formal evaluation report in September but it is a fact that the Festival couldn't have happened and wouldn't have been such a success without the three hundred and twenty volunteers who were the welcoming face of Manchester over the last two and a half weeks so it was an enormous pleasure on behalf of the city to be able to say thank you to them in person.

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There are 3 responses to “Manchester meets the Men from the Ministry”

  1. ABU Says:

    What sort of figures are there to demonstrate that this truely is an 'International' festival? I think MIF is great and I, as well as many friends, attended some of the great events over the two weeks. I have just never ever met one person at a MIF event that is from outside Manchester or the NW and wonder whether this truely is an 'international' event or an event for Manchunians described as international?

  2. Matt Says:

    ABU, although you make a good point, on the other side of the fence you have many people protesting that this event excludes Mancunians. On the Culture Show a couple of nights ago they was a comment from a woman who had come all the way from Philadelphia to watch Rufus's opera.

    Realistically though this festival is in it's infancy as is Manchester's ambitious aim to become a City of international significance. The festival will help the City to grow and likewise the growth of the City will help the festival to grow. There's plenty of time.

    One day it will be truly international in the sense that you refer to but it is international already in the way that these brand new shows and exhibits come from around the world and will continue to travel off around the world now that the festival has finished. just look at the international success of Monkey: Journey to the West. 18 months or so on the road in countless cities around the world and it premiered in Manchester!

  3. Richard Leese Says:

    We will be having a full evaluation report in September which I fully expect to show that the festival was international in at least three aspects; the audience, the artists, and the media coverage.



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

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