Manchester City Council

Business as Usual

Not quite of course. I made a small contribution over the weekend starting on Friday night with a couple of pints in a pub not far from the Town Hall. On Saturday I went to the cinema (The Salt of Life - for those who are interested) and was pleasantly surprised to find the cinema almost full, though less pleasant to have to sit on the front row as a consequence. Maybe there's just a bigger market for inconsequential Italian comedies than I thought, even at 2pm in the afternoon.

Sunday I came in for Sunday lunch and decided to head for the Northern Quarter. The first place I tried was already full although with people on a different body clock to me as they all seemed to be still having breakfast. I was surprised at the second place I tried to be asked if I had a booking as, and this was around 1.15pm, it was almost empty. However, by the time we left an hour or so later, it too was pretty busy. Not representative I know but still positive signs that the city centre was still full of life and recovering quickly.

Not something we are going to take for granted though or assume it will just happen. Obviously the number one priority is ensuring safety and security including continuing to catch, prosecute and convict those guilty of last Tuesday's criminal behaviour. There are some businesses for whom getting back to normal will be a bit more difficult, putting not only the businesses but the people they employ's jobs at risk, and helping them also has to be a priority. But there will be at least a short term impact on most retail and leisure businesses in the city centre and in the current economic climate we need to make sure that doesn't turn in to long term impact. Meetings are already taking place to put together an " action plan " to aid a rapid recovery. The " We love Manchester " campaign is of course already up and running, and I expect us to be announcing over the next couple of days, further action the Council and its partners will be taking to ensure it really is business as usual as soon as possible.

The 'I Love Manchester' campaign can be found on Facebook.

There are 5 responses to “Business as Usual”

  1. Proud Says:

    Proud of many of Mcr citizens in this time and the hard working cleaning up teams/support staff. We must remember though that the perpetrators were Mcr residents (maybe not wholly) and the causes, potential solutions must be looked at and this should never happen again

  2. Nowt New, Then... Says:

    Was there a real 'cause'? Wasn't this 'riot' just blatant opportunistic thuggery, greed and theft? There will always be individuals intent on causing misery in the peaceful communities they live in, without real justifiable reason. Everyone, every single human being, carries 'negative baggage', and s*d excuses by the so called 'experts' (social workers and psychologists) for the simply inexcusible, appalling behaviour we witnessed on our TV screens. CC residents must have been terrified. Who cannot be grateful to, and proud of those Manchester Councillors, MCC staff, students, other CC employees and MCC residents who poured into the city the morning after the 'riot' to clean things up. Simply blooming fantastic! Thank you!!!

    Manchester CC has as it's top priority getting on top of "anti-social behaviour" (ASB). Manchester isn't perfect, it never can be perfect, but if the Council and Police et al as partners are determined enough to crack down on ASB aggressively, it CAN create a great City and communities where people can live, work and visit in peace and safety. Having said that, Manchester Council is hugely strapped for cash, moreso than ever. Let's not forget that. The Police are moaning about their cuts, but they are just a small fraction of the ASB equation. MOST ASB is dealt with by Council officers and Housing Association staff, FACT! Support the Council, please, and EVERYONE contribute positively to it's ambitions to create peaceful neighbourhoods for everyone. LOVE MANCHESTER!!!

  3. REDSTEVE57 Says:

    Nowt New Then

    I agree 100% with the majority of your comments but one. You say that Manchester “can be a great City”, Manchester is already a great City.

    What we need to do is crack down on the pockets of the City that are embroiled in gang culture, gun crime and anti social behaviour as a norm. Unfortunately to enforce and concentrate on the mindless thugs and thieves takes increased investment in time and effort and, therefore, resources that would put already stretched budgets of the City Council and the Police under enormous pressure.

    Clearly our City is still vulnerable to this mindless violence as no further resources are available and indeed are to be cut even further next year and in the future.

    Surely if we can find money to fund the fight in Libya then some of those funds must be diverted to ensure that the decent, law abiding citizens of this country are protected from attack from within.

    Well done to the Mancunians and supporters of our great City for turning out and restoring our streets to normality.

  4. Nowt New, Then... Says:


    No, I regretted my posting too, in the sense that I agree, Mcr IS already great, but can be better for the reasons you give. After I posted there was, coincidentally, an 'incident' on my normally quiet and peaceful street in the dark early hours of this morning. Another brain dead thug decided to visit us and help himself to wiper arms from vehicles, and even garden lighting... is that much different from the looting we witnessed if scaled up? A couple neighbours spotted him and gave chase, caught up with him, and gave him a thorough noisy verbal lashing which seemed to frighten the idiot to death. In the process a few of my neighbours were frightened to death too! Anyway, this sort of ASB is the kind of thing which p*sses good citizens off. Bet you a tenner the guy lives pretty local, is in subsidised or even paid for accomodation and claiming benefits. What to do? There are few police on duty at these times and cash cuts won't make rapid response and enforcement any better, and it's not good now truth be told.

    Could it soon be down to good neighbours patrolling their own streets on rota, and not expecting the Council and Police to do everything and fund from dwindling public coffers? Could 'voluntary street management' schemes benefit local community cohesion, sense of local ownership and pride, and improve neighbour familiarity and friendship in the process? Should those of us still young enough and fit enough be more active in looking after our own streets, and our more vulnerable neighbours? Should citizens be asked to take some active responsibility to deter ASB and crime in their areas, in liason with and positive support from the local Authorities? Could this be an extension to the "Love Manchester" initiatives already under way? I love my street, and if I knew how to help in it's management I would. If neighbours are actively engaged at 'their street' level across the City, what can we achieve? How can we use these 'social media' for neighbours to have ongoing conversations about what is going on in their streets in real time which Council Neighbourhood Officers and Community Police can monitor? Can we turn around a situation where neighbours are frightened of local gangs and thugs in the other direction?

    If parents for example KNOW that THEY will be brought to account for why their kids are out late at night causing neighbourhood problems, and kids/gang members know that their families WILL suffer as a consequence of their ASB actions when identified, will this deter some local thuggery? Can the Council/Police help private landlords evict tenants causing trouble in their streets, or require them to do so and give supporting evidence to courts? I think that there is much to think about, talk about and act upon. I genuinely do feel very sorry for Councillors and Council enforcement staff bombarded with reports of ASB when cash is already cut to the bone. How to do more with less? How to encourage voluntary street management? Instead of asking the Council to act, how could Councillors encourage neighbours to take some responsibility at their local meetings, assuming they have any? In my area, there are no local neighbourhood engagement meetings at all. I have no idea what is going on in my neighbourhood, or how I can help. Anyway, sorry, this isn't a rant. Just chucking out ideas. LOVE MANCHESTER!!!

  5. Lucy Smith Says:

    I love Manchester! I think there's lots of stuff to do like places to shop, eat and entertainment.I love going to the Arndale centre and think it's great the city centre has department stores such as Selfridges and Harvey Nics (for tourism)
    I can't believe some of the damage left by the riots, the cost of repair will be ridiculous. I'm thinking about funding some volunteer work in the city centre. Haven't got enough funds at the moment but maybe if I match tomorrow nights' Euro Millions Results then I could put more money into funding will check my results after the draw and let you know if I'm lucky and can start funding some projects



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

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