Manchester City Council

New Ideas

First blog of 2012 so Happy New Year! 2011 was a pretty grim year and there is nothing to suggest that 2012 will be any easier, but Manchester (and its Council) came out of 2011 in far better shape than anyone might have expected and that's the task for the coming year - to do our best to ensure that Manchester and its people thrive, whatever is thrown at us. Of course, building a thriving city does need some long-term thinking and some innovative thinking.

This morning I'm at the Manchester Innovation Group, now a working group of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership ( LEP ) providing input on policy and initiatives to stimulate growth in the knowledge economy and improve Greater Manchester's capacity for innovation. Two very different presentations this morning. One, under the working title Lab:Manchester, talked about how we can join up, extend and add value to the varied work that is already taking place in a number of sectors trialling new ideas, new methodologies, new products. The approach centred around multi-network innovation and what it described as deploying to learn. The other was concerned with developing social innovation and social enterprise. Some interesting stats in this. In comparison to "mainstream"  SMEs, social enterprises account for three times the proportion of start-ups, employ more people relative to turnover, are more likely to work in economically deprived areas, and in 2010 58% of them grew in comparison to 28% of other SMEs. Social Innovation is also something that could help find solutions to some of our most deep-seated societal problems, and create jobs at the same time. Two very different approaches but both with something to offer to Manchester's future.

There are 4 responses to “ New Ideas”

  1. Bob Cratchet Says:

    Most of us were back in work on 3 Jan, you appear to have had an extra week off

  2. @MaryRPerkins Says:

    I wish you and the council all the best for 2012 and hope that it won't be as grim as you fear :-) I just wondered how the council will be taking forward the government's Well-being agenda in the coming year - there is much that could be done to increase happiness in Manchester. Thanks, Mary.

  3. Anon. Says:

    I am reminded of your interview with Manchester Confidential from a couple of years ago.
    “Interviewer: Do you think people depend too much on the Council, even the business leaders and seek your approval rather than just going about things themselves: we've experienced this in the on-going campaign we've got trying to improve Castlefield?
    Sir Richard Leese: Absolutely. There is a dependency culture and there is an assumption that you don't have to do anything for yourself anymore right across the city in all sectors. When I was looking at our neighbourhood strategy, the definition of a healthy neighbourhood was defined by the effectiveness of the council and other public sector services, and I said that's wrong a good neighbourhood is defined by the lack of need of all those services. We want neighbourhoods to be more independent, we want business to be independent” .......
    Of course the Council has an important strategic economic role but beyond this we need to create a culture where "Big Town Hall" occupies a less dominating role in the city. I'm trying hard to hold back the Big Society message but I'm not sure the cultural changes have yet been made that will create the opportunity for social innovation to breakthrough, particularly in such areas as adult social care and mental health where cost led corporate procurement and in-house protectionism will defeat all but the most determined entrepreneur.

  4. Doogie Says:

    I would be interested to know your views on the recently published statistics suggesting that Manchester has the third highest level of child poverty in the country. Despite some excellant initiatives to regenerate the city and wider conurbation, the local authority area that the City covers remains mired in poverty. I am aware that these are difficult and complicated issues with historical problems. Though I would welcome your views on this issue.



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

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