Manchester City Council

Mince Pies ( but no Sherry! )

My periodic visit to St Helen's Town Hall this morning for a meeting of the Regional Leaders' Board which I currently chair. Marie Rimmer, the Leader, and Carole Hudson, the Chief Executive, of St Helen's always give us a warm welcome, and today is no exception with mince pies to go with the pre-meeting tea and coffee. If regions are dead you wouldn't have known it from today's agenda, with a number of significant items on the agenda. The first dealt with Atlantic Gateway. This is an umbrella term for a number of major economic development projects in the Ship Canal corridor. Today we consider the business plan and delivery plan for the next period, and get a very positive introduction from Geoff Muirhead, Atlantic Gateway chair, who makes it clear that they are going to focus on a small number of priorities where they can make a real difference, Northern ( formerly Manchester ) Hub and Port Salford being the ones with most relevance to Manchester.

We move from that to the current European programme which provides over £600m through the European Regional Development Fund alone to support economic growth across the North West. It is now by far the biggest pot of regeneration money available to the region and it is crucial we not only spend it wisely but that we also spend it all. The current programme ends in 2013 and we also discuss the prospects for the next 2014-2020 period, and how we can influence it. Other items include HS2, the management of NWDA assets transferred to the Homes and Communities Agency, peer improvement in North West local authorities, and how we maintain a North West research and intelligence function to support case-making, both in policy and funding terms. In January we have to decide whether or not we want to continue with the Regional Leaders Board. Given the scale and importance of the agenda it would be strange if we didn't.

There are 3 responses to “ Mince Pies ( but no Sherry! )”

  1. franky Says:

    After Cameron's performance you'll have to work hard to get EU help. Perhaps an apology would help!

  2. Hummingbird Says:

    Franky, as long as we continue to make our large financial contribution into the EU, I don't think we will have too many problems!

  3. i love jack russels Says:

    Worth remembering also that as cameron heroically makes the veto to save bankers from paying 'unfair' transaction taxes (while also heroically saving himself from unhappy tory backbenchers), that there is an estimated 3 million jobs in britain reliant on the european trade and other agreements.



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

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