Manchester City Council


Or Downtown Manchester to be precise. Started the day at RBS's Deansgate offices this morning, not to protest at their Chief Executive's bonus though I'm very firmly in the camp that nobody actually " earns " that much, but to speak at a business breakfast organised by Downtown Manchester to launch their business survey. Passed on breakfast again as I'd long since had my daily porridge and honey, but was happy to support an event and an organisation that has a slightly left field approach to engaging with business. Also, for absence of doubt, happy to support RBS as one of the biggest employers in the city.

Much of the rest of the day is taken up with the series of meetings ( Labour Leaders, Informal Leaders, GMCA, AGMA Executive ) that constitute the last Friday of the month roadshow formerly known simply as AGMA. Some big items on the agenda today - Transport for Greater Manchester's budget and consequent levy, the Waste Disposal Authority's levy, and the Fire and Police precepts. Not going to explain the difference between levies and precepts here but perhaps a friendly local government accountant might do that in a comment. We agreed the AGMA and Combined Authority budgets for next year at cash stand still, we received a report on the government's dispersal of asylum seekers contract for the region, and a confidential report on grants to Arts, Cultural, and other organisations which will now be reported back to the organisations concerned before being re-discussed with the outcomes made public in a couple of weeks.

There was a very good item on Youth Employment where John Merry, the Leader of Salford, has led the putting together of a really good scheme, combining local money and national money for an enhanced programme to tackle youth unemployment. John was not surprisingly a little pre-occupied with events yesterday in Salford, where their mayoral referendum returned a 3:2 yes vote on an appalling low turnout. Is it right that a place's system of local government should be changed with only 10% of the electorate voting in favour?

There are 5 responses to “ Downtown”

  1. Val Says:

    In the absence of friendly accountant as no financial person I understand the difference between precept and levy is one is compulsory and the other sort of isn't but only in the way RBS's Stephen Hester voluntarily handed his bonus back. Totally convinced RL will leap in to correct me.

  2. Val Stevens Says:

    Sorry that post needed punctuation.

  3. Friendly Local Government Accountant Says:

    Ok, as a friendlyish accountant trying to explain the difference between a levy and a precept ....

    Police and Fire and Rescue Authorities have powers which entitle them to set their own charge to council tax payers which is then included in the council tax bill. This is known as a precept. Hence Police and Fire and Rescue costs are shown separately on the council tax bill. There are other authorities which provide services across Greater Manchester such as Transport and Waste Disposal. They are not entitled to raise council tax so they charge local authorities for the cost of the services they provide. This charge to the local authority is known as a levy. A levy is included with the local authority budget and in the council tax bill is included within the local authority costs.

  4. Cllr M Eakins Says:

    I tip my hat to you Sir Richard for two reasons:

    1. For engaging in a local business initiative. We need all the economic growth we can lay our hands on.

    2. For being consistent. You opposed the Northenden Parish Council proposal because the consultation turnout was 'only' 11% (pretty high as consultations go), and you question the mandate for the Salford mayoral vote using the same argument. I may disagree with your argument, but at least it's a consistent one.

    Kind regards,


  5. Camille Says:

    As a Salford resident I was annoyed that the individual who campaigned for an elected mayor in Salford is not even a Salford resident - he is a businessman from Bury!

    I was annoyed even further when this man turned up on my doorstep and tried to get me and my wife to sign his petition claiming that Salford council tax was the most expensive in Greater Manchester and promising that an elected Mayor would halve our council tax bill.

    Utter nonsense of course, but they got away with it and Salford Council had to foot the bill for this referendum.

    Democracy eh?



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

Recent posts