Manchester City Council

Make up Your Own Mind

I came across these slides yesterday that had been prepared for the English Core Cities Group. I think they speak for themselves.

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There are 23 responses to “Make up Your Own Mind”

  1. Aaron H Says:

    Depressing. At least the tories are admitting now that it is purely ideological, as they want to see the state shrunk.

    However, what they haven't done, and what needs to be done, is to show the difference between state dependency and state need. Areas hit hardest NEED the services because they have needier populations.

    Tory propaganda rattling on about the profligacy of local authorities is really starting to grate - put some tighter fiscal measures in place rather than politicising the issue, and depriving people of their right to services.

  2. Lizzy Says:

    So... has CamronCleggOsborne seen this? Is it fair? No. So what do we do then Mr Leese? Role over and let them stamp all over us - or fight back? Please show us the way!

  3. M18 Says:

    Superb stuff.
    It makes it so much easier to see the imbalance in this format.
    David Cameron's recent performances including yesterdays have been shocking in terms of the information that he chooses to omit.

  4. bicolouredpythonrocksnake Says:

    Well, yes and no. You're implying that spending money fixes - or at the very least alleviates - social problems, yet many of Manchester's appear to be intractable. The poor are still poor, children still do appallingly badly at school, and so on. I'm not suggesting that we should simply give up - and I have no time at all for the odious Grant Shapps, who appears to enjoy attacking Manchester - but it can't simply be a case of throwing money at things because if it was we'd have had more to show for that by now. While I agree that funding should reflect the level of deprivation, the days when we could spend money without properly accounting for it are gone.

  5. Jim Says:

    Is there another slide that shows how much each authority gets in total from Cen Gov. So for instance Mcr £300m, Surrey £400m. Did the Council use the CPI or RPI to negotiate (when we got them) inflationary salary increases? Do you have the figures for CPI to add to the first graph?

    Interesting info. I'm not sure the figures do talk for themselves, it would helpful to have your insight and opinion on what the data means.

  6. jill woodward Says:

    Useful information. Today I went down my street with Mancheser Everybody I met signed it. Within 25 minutes I had the first page signed. Why not put on the website before they stop you having one.

  7. Aaron H Says:

    The odious Mr Shapps was educated at Manchester Polytechnic - does he have some kind of axe to grind with the city, because he seems to really love sticking the knife in!

  8. Daz H Says:

    No one disputes the tories unfair cuts and they're disproportionate effect on Manchester. However its a disgrace that Manchester's Labour council has targeted them at the most essential frontline services whilst at the same time wasting money on vanity projects (£165 million on the town hall renovation?) and pointless indulgences (£150,000 on sculptures at First Street?) when what the people of Manchester want are quality local services. It's all very well having an attractive city centre but most of Manchester's council taxpayers don't live in it.

    If you really want the people of Manchester to stand with you in your opposition to the tory cuts, get out of the city centre and into communities like Levenshulme, cancel the vanity projects, and keep the children's centres, swimming pools and sports centres open. Then we might just believe that this council stands for everyone in Manchester and not just a wealthy elite who reside in the city centre.

  9. CSB Says:

    Daz H

    The "weathly elite"?The flats in town are largely made up of small boxes that cost the same as a rental in Levenshulme. The city centre is the driving force for the success (i.e. jobs, growth) for the whole of Greater Manchester so investment in it helps everyone. Renovating and developing the city's most important building should be a priority. It's a lot of money but you've got to carry on doing these things. It doesn't make sense to have a swimming pool in every single neighbourhood - Councillors should be trying to have fewer but better facilities - you can't just keep things because they have been there a while.

    Also Richard Leese's ward is in Crumpsall (I think) - hardly belonging to the city centre elite

  10. CSB Says:

    My main point here though is that these graphs are all good and well if the Government was committed to targeting money to the poor but they aren't. This is a Tory government and they simply don't give a hoot about the less well off. They are committed to helping the middle classes so the graphs simply make sense to me. It's not a talking point

  11. Manchester Man Says:

    The first graph shows that Mcr has been losing income, relative to other councils for 10 years, that is under Labour and the Coalition. Why have M/cr people been disadvantaged in this way?

  12. lightflicker Says:

    "Renovating and developing the city's most important building should be a priority. It's a lot of money but you've got to carry on doing these things."

    Yes, because at the minute all services are on hold until council staff have a shiny new building to operate out of.

    ..."you can't just keep things because they have been there a while."

    Well scrap the town hall then seeing as staff have been relocated.

    By the time the renovation is complete we'll have no staff left to put in it.

  13. Richard Leese Says:

    @ Manchester Man. You've misunderstood the first graph. What it shows is that Manchester has increased its Council Tax by less than RPI over that period of time and by significantly less than the national average.

  14. i love jack russels Says:

    Cllr Leese is right to publish these as the most frustrating thing at the moment is that the coalition government are being disingenous - well, I say that, but I mean lying - in their interpretation of how much has been cut and from which (labour and deprived) authorities. Whether you're tory and applauding the asset stripping and vandalism of public services or not, nobody should condone the mis-representation of their actions that this government seems to excel at. Cameron's answer at a Manchester MPs question yesterday at PMQs was such a distortion that I'm surprised his nose didn't grow, and I personally think this misrepresentation is an abuse of power. I would like to see a lot more challenging of government 'facts' - both at a national level by labour MPs and at a local level by Cllrs, and I think Cllr Leese should publicise more of this sort of stuff. Incidentally, for those who are applauding the destruction, you may think differently when one day you need a public service - whether it be services for your children, for elderly parents, for future health problems that the NHS won't be there for. You may think you don't use them or need them, but life has a way of springing surprises.

  15. Julia Says:

    These charts beg the question: why do Liverpool seem to be implementing their cuts in a smoother more sensible fashion? Cutting half of senior management posts, closing a couple of children's centres rather than screwing up the lot of them, consulting with the public BEFORE final decisions on closures are made, agreeing a budget with cross-party support? Seems they have been able to act like adults even though they are the worst affected.

  16. REDSTEVE57 Says:

    Richard it’s a pity that the slides have taken so long to appear on your blog as they clearly show that Labour held councils are being disproportionately targeted to make cuts. I hope the electorate can be made aware of them before we go to the polls in May.
    Having watched the Tory puppet (or should that be Muppet) Vince Cable on Question Time last night I felt I was watching a re-run of the late seventies, early eighties when he announced that the way to encourage small businesses to be created was to decimate the employment rights of their workers, e.g. increasing the threshold to 2 years before a worker can take a case to an Employment Tribunal. This would be a massive step backwards as what he and the rest of the Tories want is tantamount to enslaving people to work for 2 years with no right to be treated equally, claim unfair dismissal, discrimination etc. What next? Stopping paternity leave, attacking maternity pay, the repeal of the National Minimum Wage? Who knows where they will stop and Grant Shapps will probably blame the last Government and the fact that Sir Howard is paid £220k per year.
    In a 21st century society why is it that the Tory party wants to return to 19th century values? Could it be that they just don’t care about the poor and the needy, the vulnerable and the disaffected?
    Think when you place your X to vote in the local elections because what is needed is a clear message to the ConDem allegiance, and particularly the Lib Dems, is that you are an unelected Government and you, the Lib Dems, have broken all your pledges in relation to Higher Education Fees and are propping up a bunch of multi millionaire, upper class snobs that have no idea how tough life is at the sharp end of society. Or could it be the Lib Dems have now sampled the sweet taste of power and are now becoming so drunk on it they just don’t care anyway!! Is it the promise of that hugely over paid seat on the board of directors or is it the prospects of sleeping on the comfortable red leather benches in the House of Lords that will sugar the pill of their inevitable downfall?
    The local elections in May will give an indication to the Lib Dems of what their supporters from the general election now think of them.

    Roll on May!!!!

  17. Anon Says:


    Thats the best blog I have read for a while and I just hope that people read / understand and agree with what you have said

  18. i love jack russels Says:

    Here are some figures I'd like to contribute, hoping that they align up ok on the blog. This shows how the councils with the most 'children in need' (meaning in care, under child protection procedures, receiving social care expertise because of a problem) fared in the cuts compared with those council who have the least children in need.

    Children in need (CIN) average scores — top rankings

    Local authority CIN average Rev. spending power reduction

    Windsor and Maidenhead
    3 1.06%
    West Berkshire
    Bracknell Forest
    North Yorkshire
    10 2.05%

    Children in need average scores — bottom rankings

    Local authority CIN average Rev. spending power reduction
    145 8.9%
    Tower Hamlets
    149 8.9%
    Sources: Local Government Finance Settlement (2010), Child wellbeing index - DCLG (2009)

  19. CB Says:


    The budget PROPOSALS at the moment are at proposal stage. They have been inviting feedback since they were announced last week. The DECISIONS are made at the full Council meeting on 9th March.

    JUST like Liverpool Council are doing

  20. Aaron H Says:

    I agree with what you have said historically, but not on this.

    I know plenty of small businesses who have a nightmare with problem employees constantly banging on about their employment rights.

    One troublesome individual can collapse a business in the current laws. You don't have to look any further than MCC to see just how difficult it is to get rid of underperforming individuals, through a potent mixture of excessive legislation and a terrified personnel department!

  21. lancashirelass Says:

    Hello Richard,
    I see that the first chart shows the council tax band D has raised a small amount over this period. the cynic in me wonders how much the other bands have increased. Also why is that band H people have properties worth 8 times more than Band A but only pay 3 times the amount. I look forward to your response.

  22. nath Says:

    "lancashirelass Says:
    Hello Richard,
    I see that the first chart shows the council tax band D has raised a small amount over this period. the cynic in me wonders how much the other bands have increased. Also why is that band H people have properties worth 8 times more than Band A but only pay 3 times the amount. I look forward to your response."

    lancashirelass the bandings were set when council tax came in and are meant to be rejigged every few years but they never have been, both the previous govenment and this one know that if council tax rates were re-assessed then there would be uproar as they would almost all go up, the current unfair system will not be changed as it would destroy the sitting government. the poor difference in terms of A - H rates could be looked at but even so without a major change to the whole system it wouldn't make a great deal of difference.

  23. AJ Says:

    Joining the debate a little late here (new to the Leader's Blog).

    Can someone tell me how much MCC collects in Council Tax and other income, how much does MCC give to Central Govt, and how much we (MCC) get back?

    Can Manchester afford to become a "Republic"?
    Viva la revolution, and roll on May elections.



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

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