Manchester City Council

Ring and Ride

Referring to the bell I ought to have on my bicycle of course, but the bike is left at home today. Instead a pleasant trip into the City Centre on the 88 bus wondering what happened to the chauffeur driven car the Manchester Evening News is featuring today.

The quietness of August is definitely over although as the MEN demonstrates the media silly season is still in full swing. First up is the Big Wheel or more precisely the ( even) Bigger Wheel we hope to have in place before Christmas this year. Then a very exciting meeting looking at the proposed structure of the Regeneration, Economic Development and Policy section of the Chief Executive's department. As well as area based regeneration teams, this also includes Manchester Adult Education Service and Resource Procurement, all vital to the task of leading the city out of recession, and although this sort of internal review work isn't particularly interesting it is important to get right and to be able to change as circumstances change. Later in the day I have my regular meeting reviewing the state of Manchester's economy. It remains the case that we are weathering the downturn reasonably well, business confidence is growing, but there is still much to be done to support individuals, families, and businesses that are suffering as a consequence of the downturn. As well as maintaining momentum on the Helping Hands campaign ( there's a link to it on the City Council Home page ), we need to be building optimism for the future and do more in terms of skill and market development, particularly with small companies. The political groupings on the City Council all have regular meetings to discuss policy issues and tonight the one I belong to is discussing Housing, Transport and Community Cohesion. Before that a bit of fun in the rain to promote Manchester's bid to be part of an England World Cup bid. It was great to have support from Sir Alex Ferguson and Mark Hughes but we could do with your help too so please have a look at and pledge your support.

Make a comment

There are 6 responses to “Ring and Ride”

  1. Citizen Stuart Says:

    So are you saying that the Manchester Evening News story about you being after a chauffeur driven car is not true? In which case you would surely have a case for defamation of character. Or do you just mean that you don't have the car yet? In which case, I'd like to know why it is you can't drive yourself?

  2. Kev Says:

    We get enough football in this town!

  3. Richard Leese Says:

    In addition to the Lord Mayor's car, the City Council used to have a second car and driver used when required by members and senior officers ( Once upon a time but not that long ago the Council had a car pool ). The second car was scrapped a number of years ago and replaced with a contract for a car and driver to be supplied when required, this saving the Council money.The MEN article referred to the re-tendering of this existing contract. The service is not for my or anybody elses exclusive use. Indeed the last time I used it, with the Chief Executive, was in July. Other users include the Deputy Lord Mayor and VIP visitors, for example the senior Councilmember from Los Angeles here to sign our co-operation agreement with that city.It is never used simply to go to and from the Town Hall but for official engagements when its use makes sense.

  4. Richard Browning Says:

    Please say that this new wheel isn't going to be in Exchange square. I still find it a bit outrageous that this (award winning) public square has been disrupted in this way for so many years (for private gain). On an average day the wheel gets hardly any customers but still thousands walk through and past it.

  5. Dave Says:

    Would it not be interesting to find the figure for the use of Taxi trips over the year for all Council Staff.

    Masybe a saving could me made by re-starting the council run vehicle pool.

  6. Ian M Says:

    How about utilising the Whizz Go cars as part of a car pool? They seem pretty handy.



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

Recent posts