Manchester City Council


A very quiet and relatively routine Council Executive meeting this morning. Most of the more interesting items - Eastlands, High Speed Rail, the consultation on the location in St. Peter's Square of the Cenotaph - have all been widely reported already, and the full agenda is available as always on the Council's web-site. Will comment on one late item not least because it's good news and we need all of that we can get.

Very late in the financial year there is in opportunity through Great Places Housing Association to draw down funding from the Homes and Community Agency for forty three new homes on the site of the former North Ridge High School on Palmerston Street which is I would guess is geographically on the Ancoats/Beswick border. Thirty three of the proposed homes are for social rent, the other ten for shared ownership/equity. Significant progress has to be made before the end of March, hence taking it as an urgent item this morning. The new homes are clearly good news but it also shows the importance of having plans and schemes in place that can be brought forward at the drop of a hat.

The Council's budget for the next year might now be fixed but there is far more work to do to deliver it. This afternoon Executive Members meet with senior officers to go through detailed delivery plans still in draft form at the moment, and the timetable of meetings we will need between now and November to stay on top of what will be a difficult and complex process. It is a process which of course has already begun, and this morning after Executive, our Personnel Committee meets to consider a number of major restructuring reports for Childrens Services, the Corporate Core, and Neighbourhood Services, all part of budget implimentation.

For a complete change, tonight I'm at City Tower with Michael Oglesby from Bruntwood, Nancy Rothwell and other colleagues from Manchester University, along with a few more interested parties to discuss the Ecocities project. Some timely and shocking reminders from around the world at the moment of the necessity of building a low-carbon future and at the same time dealing with the climate change impacts it's already too late to stop.

There are 14 responses to “Untitled”

  1. Dave Says:

    minitues of todays meeting feb 16th

    The Children’s Services budget report to the Executive on 16th February 2011 set out
    proposed reductions of £45.1m to be achieved £23.2m in 2011/12 and £21.9m in
    2012/13. Of this approximately £20m relate to savings from staff reductions,
    excluding any staff which transfer from the Council under TUPE arrangements
    Not privatising the centers are you not
    Mr Leese according to sheila newman not privatising I say its Lies pure Lies what is tupe if its not selling your workers off to the highest bidder

    I await you reply Mr Leese

  2. Mr X Says:

    I note with interest the following from the Council Tax resolution report: "it is not proposed to move to a Council wide compulsory redundancy scheme although targeted compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out. This is particularly the case in services where significant imbalances remain between future service requirements and the remaining staff levels."
    And I thought that was what M People was meant to deal with?

  3. Kevin Peel Says:

    Ecocities is indeed very important. Look forward to hearing an update in a future blog!


    On the idea of: "Great Places Housing Association", possibly being able to draw down some funding for "Social Housing", I would be very interested to hear, why thousands of homes are left in a derelict state or unlivable state for so long.

    For example in the Moston area, where Burgess Primary School, once sat, there is a large amount of space there that could be used for "Social Housing", though I would be happier if older housing which have been left in derelict be turned into being used.

  5. OldFella Says:

    Good point Mr X
    However, even from my armchair I can see that there are problems. First is that deployment with m people support (and no CR) assumes an equal number of staff looking for a new role to job vacancies. HOWEVER, those looking for a new role have also to be suitable in experience/capability to fill available vacancies. I don't know, I'm only guessing, that there may be (as a for example) a larger number of 'clerical/admin' staff left after the current volunteer cull than there are available suitable roles for them under the new structures.

    Is anyone in any doubt that, bottom line, the first duty of the Council is to provide a strong organisation, delivering excellent services, with capable staff. It's no less than council tax payers would expect, or deserve. The Council is not a charitable employer, and the Unions do not expect it to be. It isn't going to do the staff individuals concerned, the organisation, or end service users any good to hammer big square pegs into small round holes to avoid making compulsory redundancies. M people deployment has it's limitations. M people cannot magic wand 'pigs ears into silk purses'. And it shouldn't try to. Else everyone, the Council, capable staff, and service users alike will suffer enormously.

    MCC is attempting to save mega amounts of money through no fault of it's own. In doing so it is involuntarily losing many valued and valuable staff through voluntary redundancy, and trying to deploy the remainder of staff [as far as it can] into suitable roles [which may not be possible for everyone... CR?]. This is a MASSIVE challenge, almost unimaginable! Transformation of MCC services is a HUGE experiment, for that is what it is! Those leading and responsible for delivering Transformation successfully must be in an absolute nightmare! It's easy to criticize from the wings, but I'm in awe of Sir Richard Leese and what he has on his plate at this time.

  6. mcc employee- still !!!!!! Says:

    Despite the fact that my application for VS was received prior to the early consideration date of 11th Feb - i am still waiting for a response ? There seems to be no logic to who is being allowed to leave or who is staying. Some communication would be nice.Some centres are being left ridiculously short staffed and others haven't had a single member of staff who has been told they can go. Put people out of their misery !!!!

  7. Miffed Says:

    I have the feeling they are making it up as they go... and they are not that good at it either to put it mildly!

  8. Bicks Says:

    What timely and shocking reminders would that be then? Earthquakes and tsunamis are nothing to do with climate change and the fact theres supposedly too much CO2 in the air (which plants actually need to survive by the way). How can can you describe natural disasters as "timely"? Idiot.

  9. Hopespringseternal Says:

    The news that certain top level people are leaving, or have had their posts disestablished, must warm the hearts of those staff who had their posts taken away without regard for staffs feelings.

  10. Ste Says:

    I have been disestablished and have been told there might be a job for me but we don't know what it is or indeed how much it pays, this has left me somewhat low with a great loss of moral, I have been informed that any outcome of whet is happening to my role will not be known for at least two months which is leaving me quite a bit stressed to say the least.

    Being left hanging in mid air is not good and I am sure I am not the only one, I would suggest not telling me that my job is finished until the people at the top know what my options are !!

    I am still trying to provide a great service to the residents but it is hard when you have no idea of what is going to happen to you

  11. Aaron H Says:

    My sympathies with you Steve. I put in for VS the third week in January - still heard nothing, and my current post ends next week. Amount of corresponde from senior management - nothing.

    Trying to get an answer out of anyone regarding my application is like trying to get blood from a stone, and I know that I am far from the only one in this position.

    MCC had the opportunity to make VS look like a good PR opportunity for providing staff with a decent deal - they've blown it spectacularly.

    Keep up the good work Ste, and remember whilst you do the job in the first place.

  12. Coulrophobia Says:

    “Some timely and shocking reminders from around the world at the moment of the necessity of building a low-carbon future and at the same time dealing with the climate change impacts it's already too late to stop.”

    I know I am not a scientist, but, could someone, preferably Sir Richard or one of his assistants please explain to me how reducing carbon emissions will help to prevent earth quakes? Or tsunami ? I thought earth quakes are caused by shifting in the plates that make up the earths crust? I vaguely remember something called ‘mohorovic discontinuity’ from school but can’t be bothered googling it. Any tips Sir Rich?

  13. Mr X Says:

    I think he was referring to a low carbon future without nuclear power. As opposed to a low carbon future with nuclear power. How to bridge the gap if we give up nuclear power is a question for debate.

  14. Chief execs party ghost Says:

    If you have not had a reply regarding your VS can I suggest you send an email to personnel, your union rep and your line manager and that line managers manager. Pile it up. Make them act. Its the only way. Oh and make sure you tick the all the boxes on your email so you can see who has opened it and when. Step it up beacause nobody will help you. YOU can help you. Good luck and dont give in



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

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