Manchester City Council

All Change

Third meeting of the shadow Health and Well-Being Board this morning. Subject to legislation, it won't come in to formal existence until 2013, but both the Council and the various Health bodies represented see real value in using the board as a vehicle for better collaboration between services to improve the health of Manchester people. A lot of time is going in to agreeing purpose, vision, key priorities and it's essential that we do that to ensure that we really are all pulling in the same direction. Some people round the table are quite used to partnership working at a strategic level. For others it is a new experience.

A few basic nuts and bolts to deal with as well - regularity of meetings, who can attend, can members send alternates. Over the next few meetings we will move from the planning and preparation stage to the doing, starting by looking at the commissioning plans of the key partners for the next financial year, trying to match our emerging priorities with what is currently happening on the ground. It's difficult for different organisations with different professional backgrounds, different values, different accountability chains to work together effectively, but if we can pull it off the potential gain for the city's people is enormous.

Later I go to MMU to meet Vice-Chancellor John Brooks. We talk about progress on the Arts Faculty building and on the Birley Fields campus, but the main purpose is to have a look inside the new Business School and Student Services building due to open in September. Regular travellers along Cambridge Street or the Mancunian Way will have already noticed this striking new addition. Inside is, if anything, even more impressive and immense. It shows once again that high quality design and high environmental standards are not incompatible with tight budgets. MMU have been really setting the pace in this respect with the end result a building that they, their students and the city can be very proud of.

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

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