Manchester City Council

In your face

It would be impossible to ignore the rather large jamboree taking place at Manchester Central this week so I'm not going to try. Whatever one thinks of the politics, having the Conservative conference here this week is good publicity for Manchester and generates a major contribution to parts of our economy including some parts hit by the recession.

The Council takes seriously its role in welcoming visitors to the city and that's why we held a reception for delegates on Sunday evening. I talked to lots of people who had never been to the city before or had not been for many years and it is important that they all go away with a positive view of us. Not surprisingly, I've been well away from the politics. I did do one fringe last night, the launch of the Urban Hub with shadow Communities Secretary Caroline Spelman, and whilst I was happy to play the polite host, it was the ( Conservative ) Leader of Birmingham who gave her a really hard time on the issue of Executive Mayors.

Talking of Mayors, following our consultation on the new governance arrangements we are being forced to adopt, the Council's Constitutional and Nomination Committee votes unanimously this morning to recommend the Leader and Cabinet model to tomorrow's Council meeting, the option overwhelmingly supported in the consultation. The committee also has a slightly more contentious debate about how we enhance community engagement at the neighbourhood level and this time on a majority vote agrees to use strengthened ward co-ordination in Northenden as an eighteen month pilot aimed at improving residents ability to participate in the local decisions that affect them, with other parts of the city being able to take on any successful elements arising from the pilot.

A long day including my monthly Labour Group meeting this evening, exiled from the Town Hall because all the rooms have been booked for the party conference, but earlier in the day our monthly look at the state of the Manchester economy. Don't want to appear over optimistic but the city does appear to have survived in relatively good shape and we are seeing if not green shoots a little bit of germination that suggests that we will see improvements soon, but that they are going to be pretty slow, at least to start with.

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There are 14 responses to “ In your face”

  1. Richard Venes Says:

    I disagree with the 'value' of major political conferences in Manchester. I find it profoundly depressing to see the huge police presence round the conference venue and the over the top road/pavement blocks. It's an image that could come out of '1984'. I'm sure the police will be pleased at the enormous amount of overtime they are getting - maybe this is the economic boost the Leader is referring to! Hopefully Manchester council tax payers are not having to fund it.

  2. bicolouredpythonrocksnake Says:

    What's slightly strange about the whole thing is that, unless you've got a conference pass (£120 a pop) there's a vague feeling of missing out on something. It's a bit odd watching Boris and George and the rest on the internet at night when you've walked past Manchester Central during the day. To be fair to them, they've held a number of open events at the town hall and elsewhere, exhibiting what looks like a rather more sincere attempt to interact with people than Labour's risible 'Big Conversation'. Good on you, Richard, for hosting one of them.

    The conference has briefly restored the situation that obtained during the roadworks whereby you can wander up the middle of Oxford Street enjoying a slightly different view of the library, which is rather nice, and there's a small transgressive pleasure to be had from accepting leaflets and watching the demonstrations, which are rather more good-natured than they were when warmongering Labour was here. The Tories attract a completely different kind of lunatic. On the whole, I think it's rather refreshing to have the Conservatives here, even if some of them do seem a little alien with their stripy shirts and designer glasses.

  3. Dave Says:

    Value please these same people compared Moss side to Baltimore, and only think live exists in the home counties.
    I for one can't see why my Council Tax that goes to the Local Police budget is spent on large amounts of overtime to protect these people. Are the tories paying towards the cost?
    I do hope after seeing the amount of fences blocks and police around the midland Hotel that there isn't any crimes in other areas of Manchester.

  4. Dave Says:

    'sincere attempt to interact with people'
    These same people you are so pround to have in this City were on their feet on Monday clapping and shouting when the tories went back to picking on the least able in our society. Taking £25 a week from people who already have to pass a medical to get the benifit they are entitled too.
    On the same day our Boris told us to stop picking on Bankers I am sure that if the bankers had acted like bankers 92 Billion of taxpayers money could have been saved from the debt mountain we have now.
    So no I'm not pleased that they are here some people have short memories.

  5. TBar for PM Says:

    Come on TBar, comment on this. It's causing quite a bit of a storm here and perhaps you could write about toucans or something (in ghetto speak obviosly)

  6. Jim Mogg Says:

    Dave, you're not quite "in the room" are you?

  7. Nicola Headlam Says:

    You were an excellent host to a mixture of some rather unwelcome visitors - I will not forget in a hurry your gracious response at the Localis fringe yesterday when asked to comment on why there are no tories on the council "when there seems to be so much innovation and creativity here" (!)

  8. Jim Mogg Says:

    Why are they unwelcome? If we want to be an international city isn't it right to welcome visitors? It's good to have Manchester as a backdrop for a positive news story. The city is a buzz. Whatever your political views it is a bit shortsighted to say their not welcome. Prejudiced even.

  9. dave Says:

    'Why are they unwelcome' have you got the time then.

    Cutting taxs for the rich raising NI for all increasing VAT and taxs for low earners and picking on those most unable to stand it in our society. This is the same Party who had to close the young tories cause they had more BNP suporters than the BNP had. So please don't think its nasty to say they arn't welcome in a multi cultural manchester. I remember still being told to get on a bike to look for work coming from a person who spends more on a meal out than most people get paid for a weeks graft. But don't worry I don't think New Labour are any better.

  10. Jim Mogg Says:

    Dave - sounds to me like tough love. I actually believe in self reliance and responsibility. Although I'm sure some people deserve support there is evidence that some people massively play the system - would you include them in your statement, because these are exactly the people who vote to have more of my hard earned money distributed back to them by Labour. You make an assertion that only the very rich people benefit from a change of government but the reality is that most people are hungry for equality for all. I heavily subsidise other people's lifestyles whom I often see smoking or drinking it away - how do you think that makes me feel, where are my human rights in all of this, why must I contibute to someone elses Sky and flat screen Tv's when I can't afford my own. Regards the bit about the Tory Youth: I'm sure you're quite right but do you have evidence of this now? If not then why aren't you saying well done for closing it down. Surely this issue being resolved is a matter of celebration? Not a tory by the way.

  11. dave Says:

    Playing the system is it Jim how many people playing the system would it take to overhaul the £78 billion pounds we gave to the banks. BTW Jim while we are at it I remember the ads no ifs no buts benifitt fraud is a crime, what happens if you force the country to nationalize two banks, surely thats a crime or maybe not in the market economy world we life in until of course they want our money.

  12. Jim Mogg Says:

    You're right about the banks. I agree, they should have been allowed to fail and allow all the chaos that would have created. Do you ask yourself at any point how they gained the confidence to pull off what they did? Discussing two different topics in the same context is fun but not really all that useful. Also you fail to mention the people who don't fall into the category of bankers and benefits parasites fuelling their McDonalds tinted hunger. I really am depressed at the dystopia that this world is in. You get nothing for being a normal person trying to get on with your life in peace and quiet.

  13. George Michael Bluth Says:

    A dystopia is a vision of a dysfunctional and grim society, not an actual one. The world is not 'in a dystopia'. Sorry to be a pedant but these things can really alter the context of a point. I believe that in any society, provisions have to be made for the most vulnerable members of said society. I do agree that the whole benefits system needs to be looked at though as it can be a source of annoyance. The last time I was out of work (a good 10 years back now), I was told that I could not claim JSA as my partner earns too much money. This is wonderful for my partner but not so great for me.

  14. Jim Mogg Says:

    Take your point completely, was a bit wound up when I wrote that and it came out as a blurt.



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

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