Manchester City Council

Dull today, bright tomorrow?

Walked in to town this morning, arriving at the Town Hall just as a smatter of gentle rain began to fall. The Council's Executive meets this morning. The most significant item on the agenda is the local development framework core strategy, the policy that is likely to guide planning in the city for the next ten to fifteen years. Not the item that will claim the most attention though as there are also items on on-street parking in the city centre and on valuing young people.

The former of these as just been subject to public consultation, not with a massive response. The vast majority of parking spaces within and close to the city centre are off-street i.e car parks, and they are unaffected by the proposals we were considering today. On-street parking is intended to be short-stay, with the closer you get to the heart of the city, the shorter the stay. Currently, in the evening and on Sundays, there are very few spaces available for short visits, with most being continuously occupied shortly after 6 in the evening, or from early in the morning on Sunday. That's not good for the city centre and changes agreed today should improve that situation.

The approach to services for young people, the youth offer, is in large part a response to the cuts in local government expenditure imposed by the government. The report points out that there will continue to be a number of universal services available across the city, from libraries and leisure, from school extended day, from the voluntary sector. The particular purpose of the report though is to agree a strategy for commissioning targetted support for those young people in greatest need. We can't afford to continue as we were, and so need to ensure limited resources are used where they will have the most impact, and to make sure young people furthest from the labour market, get the support they need, the advice and guidance, the education and training to become economically active and responsible members of society.

This afternoon I go to the Sharp Project in Newton Heath.. Should be going there by tram by now, but the opening of that stretch of line has been delayed by the same systems problems that have been affecting Media City and the Chorlton extensions, so it may be a few months before I can get the tram from St.Peter's Square to Central Park. Sharp is very much an example of where the future of the city lies, as a hub of creativity built around high skills and digital tecnology. Today is its official launch, but it has been operating for a while, and already has built links with local schools aimed at connecting our young people to these industries of the future.

There are 3 responses to “Dull today, bright tomorrow?”

  1. bernie Says:

    when will we learn what was decided in relation to the framework strategy

  2. Robin Says:

    I also attended the launch of the Sharp Project and was very impressed with the building and what it will offer the creative industry. Exciting times ahead!

  3. Seething Says:

    A comment on the lack of response to the consulation on young people - it may be because it was buried away and had to be sought out online, if you were not a parent or young person you could not respond unless you pretended you were one of those two groups. Young people have completed postcards to councillors submitted a petition and attended lobbies and demonstrations. No one is listening to them. I was interested to see the Leader says there will be a universal service for young people. Where do I find out where this universal service is? When I look on the council website all I see is 'no session'. There is no money to commission the universal service and there is very little money from any other source to support the volunatry sector, particularly those small community based groups. There is no way for young people to have their voice heard and as the second largest in the UK Manchester doesn't give young people the opportunity to take part in the UKYP.
    Of course Manchester has had to make some very tough choices with a very unfair budget settlement but you chose to abandon youth work and informal education for young people.



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

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