Manchester City Council

The Thief of Time

Can't say that there's been overwhelming public demand but equally can't put it off any longer - the Leader's Blog returns.

I've been dog-minding for the past week which has convinced me, starting from the position of not wanting to have a dog, to never have a dog. Two hours out of my life everyday! I quite enjoy the early morning walk round, depending on how much time I've got, Heaton Park or as with this morning Crumpsall Park, but I would happily do it without the dog and without having to clean up after the dog (which of course I do). And magnificent though Heaton Park is, with a wide variety of paths, the variety does begin to run out after only a few days. The dog is also mad although in quite a nice way.

When I do eventually get to the office my first task is to speak at the opening of the Council's fifth LGBT consultation day, an important part of the Council's commitment both to equality and to involving residents in our decision-making. There's a good turn out and taking part is a real pleasure. This afternoon I go to a Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company board meeting, which, like the East Manchester URC New East Manchester, faces a real challenge in keeping the regeneration momentum going as a result of the recession and cuts in government funding.

One cut already being implemented is the grant to 4NW, the Regional Leaders' Board, which brings together all the local authorities across the North West to co-ordinate planning, transport, and economic development. The grant was given to carry out statutory functions required of it by legislation. The new government is scrapping those statutory responsibilities but if it doesn't continue funding long enough for 4NW to downsize the costs will fall on the local authorities themselves.

There is also a debate to be had about whether or not we should retain on a voluntary basis an organisation that allows local authorities to work together across the region. I'm strongly of the view that we should though it would need to be a very lean organisation. Tonight I'll be meeting with the North West Business Leadership Team to discuss with them what future, if any, there is for a regional approach bringing together not only local councils but also their social and economic partners.

Make a comment

There are 8 responses to “The Thief of Time”

  1. Lisa Says:

    I have just stumbled upon your blog and am finding some interesting reading. I am particularly interested in the forthcoming cuts and would like to know if there is any intension to set a new budget or publish the areas where cuts will be made.

  2. Richard Leese Says:

    We only got the first set of figures yesterday ( Thursday ) and so are still working through the implications. We won't be setting a new budget, but amendments to the existing one will be very public

  3. Dave Says:

    I am sorry to see you still believe in large governments. The keeping of unelected quangos at the taxpayers expense can no longer be justified. The Regional Leaders' Board is a fine example of a talking shop and one of 1500 quangos that the new government has promised to get rid off. Less government wheather local or central can only be a good thing for the hard up taxpayer..

  4. Alan Salter Says:

    Yes, but when you are weighed down with the cares of all those cuts, it is having to take the dog out which will keep you sane!

  5. Ian Says:

    True but a cats better you don't have to take them out.

  6. Janine, Didsbury Says:

    Glad to see the blog has returned, you could maybe compose it while walking the dog?

  7. dave Says:

    I too think its great that your back blogging its a good way for people to discuss important items.

  8. money maker Says:

    Good point, sometimes it good to discuss things especially government issues. This often happens when we are disagree to the policies that they made instantly. I believe you have all the authority to bring up issues likes this. One point here I agree that business leaders should always discuss things to all organizations including local councils and economic partners so that when problem arises they could suggest options and solutions. After all two heads are better than one.



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

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