Manchester City Council

Two Ends of the Stick

Going to return to transport next week but for now I want to relate two events I attended yesterday which demonstrate the breadth of the agenda we need to pursue as a city.

Early in the evening it was over to the Art Gallery for the launch and preview of a fantastic exhibition of the work of celebrated artist Anish Kapoor. It's a show that will enhance the reputation of the city, bring loads of visitors in, and will give thought provoking pleasure to thousands. If we want Manchester to be a place where we want businesses to locate and create jobs, and to be a place where people want to work, we need to have the quality of life that a rich cultural offering brings. High profile stuff in our galleries and museums, art including public art, is not unnecessary frippery, it is part of the bread and butter of being a successful city.

After that it was a bit of a rush to get down to the wonderful new Health Academy in Wythenshawe for the third annual Wythenshawe Real Lives event hosted by Wythenshawe lad Jimmy Wagg. Real Lives is about real Wythenshawe people contributing to a better Wythenshawe and working to dispel unfair, negative portrayals of the area. The heart of the programme is the Wythenshawe Ambassadors, people being recognised for what they do in the community and people who are a living representation of what a great place it is. There are a lot of community heroes here but pride of place last night rightly went to a group of young people from every part of Wythenshawe who are really getting stuck in to building bright futures for themselves whilst at the same time working across the generations to help build a better life for others. This is not a new soundbite like the Big Society. This is real.

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There are 22 responses to “Two Ends of the Stick”

  1. Andy K Says:

    I can't wait to see the Anish Kapoor exhibition, such an amazing artist ... If anyone else pops along please do stick a few quid in the donations jar and keep the gallery from needing to charge one day ... if that happened it would be a very very bad day.

  2. TuTu Says:

    Well, if the little there is of playprovison for children and young people is taken away from the Wythenshawe population - such as the much loved and needed The Addy Centre, there will not be such a bright future for the young. This service is paramount and it is utter madness to take this away from them. Stop cutting real services for real people - this centre is a lifeline for so many. The long term consequenses will not be a positive experience for Wythenshawe. The demo tomorrow will have a delegation from there - hope you listen Richard to their plea.It will be heart-felt.

  3. Steven Says:

    How much are you paying him? I don't know ANYBODY that would be interested in this.

  4. Skint Eastwood Says:

    I am looking forward to the idea of the Big Society (I am aware of it, I am one of the lucky 50% who actually knows what it is {Metro today}) I think the idea of devolving power to the people and a better community approach is a good plan for the future. I am also looking forward to paying less council tax (if the council is no longer supplying/funding these organisations and services I don’t think there’s any need for me to pay the council for them). I am also looking forward to reduced taxes (as the government devolves power to the people there’s no need for all the councillors, politicians and ministers that currently oversee these departments). I’m obviously been sarcastic to highlight a point – in essence as far as I can see the government and councils are asking the community to do the work we pay them to do, but still get paid. It’s a shame I can’t find someone to come and do my job for nothing and still get paid for doing it. LOL, however I am in favour of a better community approach to our problems and devolving more power to the people. More people should be taking an active interest in local political matters, there’s no special training or required qualifications to be a political force. All you need is to speak softly and carry a big stick.

  5. Skint Eastwood Says:

    I’m all in favour and agree with the latest blog, culture and art are important to the city as a whole, however it shouldn’t be about bringing in business, the art galleries and other cultural and historical buildings in Manchester should not be labelled as “business magnets” or “business assets” they’re supposed to be there for the PEOPLE of Manchester and it’s visitors, in my opinion they are not there as adverts for big business’. Treating them as such is devaluing the cultural and historical importance of these institutions. Given the latest problems with Royal Mail and some theft from our postman (Levenshulme) I take it my invite to the opening of the gallery was lost somewhere on it’s way to me. I’d hate to think that the opening of these galleries are only attended by the Mancunion elite and wealthy. Or is art just for the rich few who can appreciate it?

  6. Richard Leese Says:

    @TuTu. Following the representations made by the Adventure Playgrounds the Council will be providing sufficient funding so that all of them can stay open including the Addy.
    @Steven. See Andy K above
    @Skint Eastwood. To be fair to me I did talk about quality of life and thousands of people getting enjoyment

  7. takethepowerback Says:

    @skint eastwood
    "It’s a shame I can’t find someone to come and do my job for nothing and still get paid for doing it." Start your own recruitment consultancy mate. That's all they do. Just a bunch of pimps, getting people to turn tricks for them for £iss-take per hour, with hardly any benefits while they take the biggest cut.

    @ steven
    I don't know ANYBODY that would be interested in this.

    Oh dear. May I suggest you get some new friends.

  8. Madam Guillotine Says:

    hear hear, I agree Skint. I too am looking forward to more coffers in my pocket when council tax gets reduced. Seems very reasonable me to, less services should equal less taxes and the need for less councillors and politicians in general.

  9. heather from eastenders Says:

    I agree with skint eastwood.

  10. Manchester Man Says:

    Given a choice would the people of Manchester want the City Council to put,
    - child care,
    - the public art galleries
    into the hands of a charitable, or private company?

  11. nato Says:

    @Manchester Man
    Child care to private companies please, I have no kids and like museums and art galleries so keep them free.*

    I went to the exhibition at the weekend and it is fantastic.

    *I'm joking before everyone bites my head off, they should both be provided by the state in my opinion but if we have to chose then my beloved galleries will have to go :-(

  12. Bill Says:

    Manchester Man Says:
    Yes but which costs the most

  13. Skint Eastwood Says:

    There’s a lot of talk on here regarding the transition of public services to private and charitable organisations. Although one blogger says that Barnardo’s and Oxfam are hardly mega rich evil corporate monsters, they might however consider they are unelected. Living in Manchester I would like to see the public services run by Manchester council, after all that is what we pay them to do and that is why we have and elect a council. I would also like this opportunity to remind the council IT IS NOT A BUSINESS and it shouldn’t be treated as such, it’s a shame some people seem to think that the council is a business and should only be concerned with profit and loss, economic sustainability and commerce. The council is there for the people, it’s main functions should be TO SERVE THE PEOPLE it should not be concerned with any of this business related jargon and “business models”, this is why it’s in a mess now. It was treated like a business and lost millions during the recession like all businesses did. Ironically it’s now trying to use the “business model” to get it out of it’s own mess. Good luck with that. Be sure to let me know how it goes.

  14. Skint Eastwood Says:

    I have also noted with disgust that the National Blood Service is to be (or by the time I write this already has been) privatised, are they selling our blood now? After you’ve FREELY donated your blood now, can we be sure where it’s going? To the private patient first? How much are they selling it for? Will we get a share of the profit, as it is (y)our blood? Or will a business decide for us? After all, we all know that private sector businesses all have our best interests at heart (or what it pumps).

  15. Skint Eastwood Says:

    Manchester man
    How about we just put the kids in the museums and art galleries, guerrilla education and childcare for the same cost.

  16. TuTu Says:

    May I suggest that the elected members wote NO to the budget tomorrow. You will not go to prison, loose your house etc. All that will happen is that you will have to vote in an emergency budget in 21 days. That is after the 26 March. I would love to see that Manchester stand up against the cuts made by ConDem. I so agree withe Skint E. - public services are not business, and should not be run on a business model. We are living in a society together! We look after each other - that is what a civilisaton is after all. Not letting fat cats get fatter and the rest to fight for the scraps

  17. Realist Says:

    @ Skint Eastwood
    Where does it state that the Council should employ anyone to deliver services.
    I couldn't care less who emptied my bins, educated my kids, brought me meals on wheels, looked after my 3 years old when I am at work and cut the grass verge in front of my house as long as they did it excellently.
    We need to move on from right and left wing, public and private sector.
    Why does this matter to anyone?

  18. Skint Eastwood Says:

    @ Realist
    “Where does it state that the Council should employ anyone to deliver services”.
    According to the Collins Precise, Council:
    n. 1. assembly of people meeting for discussion, consultation, etc.
    n. 2. a body of people elected or appointed to serve in an administrative, legislative or advisory capacity.
    People should care who delivers the services or it will very rapidly decline. Minimum wage will be the benchmark for all the people who do your mowing, cleaning and childcare, the only thing minimum wage encourages is minimum effort towards the job. Minimum wage is LESS than £200 a week, per annum it is LESS than £11,000. So if you think you will still get an “excellent” service from people who are paid this wage, let me know. As an example, people who serve you at fast food chains are on minimum wage, think of that person delivering your services, mowing your lawn and looking after you kids instead of who does it now.

  19. The eye Says:

    Skint Eastwood...Your becoming a little tiresome. Please get on with your tasks before your pc is taken away from you :)

  20. Skint Eastwood Says:

    My Pc rights were taken away from me three months into the course when I was “banned” from using the e-mail for drawing pictures of Che Guevara and the Welsh flag. If you think that photocopying all day is an important “task” why not ask all the people who do yours if they feel important. I also like the way you refer to it as a task as opposed to a job or work. LOL Heaven forbid I should actually “work” towards something worthwhile! I’ll just perform your menial and mundane tasks. That’s all I’m worth apparently, lol. :)

  21. The eye Says:

    Skint - you have misunderstood my post.....(we) are very much like yourself :).....We understand how those people speak and think....Please keep up your good work.

  22. Skint Eastwood Says:

    @ the eye
    Sorry! Lol, I was busy riding my high horse to notice the smiley face! Of course the work I do is important, it’s just not seen as important, which is the real shame.



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