Manchester City Council

Money for Nothing Part 2

Today is our four weekly Executive meeting. Lots of major items on the agenda; agreeing to invest in the new National BMX Centre at Sportcity, an important progress report on how we safeguard our most vulnerable children, support for a campaign for a national high speed rail network, a consultation to see if we can get some Collyhurst residents into better houses faster, and many more, all detailed elsewhere on the Council's web site.

However, the item that has probably generated most interest is a reference from the last full Council meeting, ask the Executive " to help Manchester residents during the recession by considering whether an efficiency dividend of up to £50 per household can be paid back from our savings ". The Executive received a report on this from the City Treasurer which unequivocally recommended that we reject the proposal.  Again, the full report is available on the website but can I highlight three of the key reasons given.

Firstly it would be difficult and expensive to administer. It would cost at least £500,000 just to administer the scheme, effectively money down the drain. Secondly, the proposal is financially imprudent. At a cost of at least ten and a half million pounds, it would reduce the Council's general reserve, the Council's financial safety net, to less than half the amount recommended by the Treasurer and our external auditors. Thirdly, it is not targeted on Manchester people suffering as a result of the recession and would have minimal effect on those most affected. Indeed people who have lost their jobs might not benefit at all as any money paid to them may well be clawed back from unemployment benefits. It is also worth adding that if we had spent £10.5m on this we wouldn't be able to invest in other things like the BMX centre, developments which will bring long term benefit to the city.

Finally there is a report on the agenda setting out the extensive measures the City Council and its partners are taking to help Manchester through the recession. As far as I'm concerned if we do have money to spare, it should be invested in getting people back to work, not in one off hand outs. We did, by the way, accept the Treasurer's recommendation.

There are 4 responses to “Money for Nothing Part 2”

  1. bicolouredpythonrocksnake Says:

    Quite right too. For someone facing redundancy because of the recession, fifty pounds would have made no difference whatsoever, while I would have just gone to the pub with it :)

  2. Matt Says:

    Wow for once I agree with the Rocksnake! And for once he/she agrees with something Sir Richard says!

  3. William Nightingale Says:

    You mention getting better housing for the residents of collyhurst but i cant find it on the web could you please direct me to it thank you

  4. Richard Leese Says:

    To William Nightingale. Please follow this link and it will take you to the Executive Papers for this meeting.



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

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