Manchester City Council

Minus and Plus

Potential job losses at the City Council arising from the next round of government cuts have attracted a lot of news coverage over the last few days, including quite a bit of national coverage. Of course, in some respects, this is not news. When the council received a two year grant settlement after the comprehensive spending review in 2010, indicative figures then from government suggested that we would have to cut between £55m and £80m in 2013/14 and 2014/15, and that on top of the £170m per year we have already had to cut. Since then in-year " hidden " cuts, for example to Early Intervention Grant, alongside exemplifications from governments Communities and Local Government department suggest we are more likely to be at the £80m end of that range. We won't actually know the settlement for another couple of weeks - a lovely Christmas present for those who depend on our services and those who provide them. Last week's announcement about voluntary early retirement and voluntary severance is part of planning ahead so that we can minimise uncertainty, anxiety and disruption when the bad news does arrive.

Part of our long-term budget plan is to continue to invest in growing the economy and creating jobs. Notwithstanding the budget pressures we are under, if we stop investing in the future, then we increase the risk of the sort of cycle of decline we saw in the late seventies and eighties, something we are still paying for now in the form of institutionalised worklessness. We are constantly making the case to government for greater control over the support measures for economic growth at the local level. For those who doubt that local authorities can do anything to stimulate growth, just have a look at the Sharp Project. Conceived just four years ago it has been so successful that tomorrow we will be agreeing a proposal to develop a third campus, this one in West Gorton, with the prospect of almost five hundred new jobs based there.

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There are 12 responses to “Minus and Plus”

  1. Arthur Sleep Says:

    And yet you can find £3m for an unwanted and unnecessary piece of tat that will blight Library Walk? How many jobs has the Alicia Keys concert created?

  2. franky Says:

    This government is not the nasty tories, they are the most evil government I have ever known: millionaires stealing money from the poor.

  3. Richard Venes Says:

    I trust the salaries of the Chief Executive and other senior bureaucrats will be reduced in recognition of the smaller size of the organisation they are managing as a result of these cuts.

  4. Camille Says:

    Re: Arthur Sleep

    Believe it or not, council's don't just get one pot of funding that can be used to pay for everything.

    They also get funding for specific projects, and the transformation of central library and the town hall extension which so offends you was actually planned long before the current shambles of a government took charge.

    I welcome the news that the Sharp project is generating so many jobs, we shouldn't lose sight of our ambitions just because the government is trying to impose perpetual austerity on us.

  5. marcus Says:

    Sir Richard, why are there no proposals to reduce the number of Councillors.

  6. overheated Says:

    Maybe the leader may wish to consider other ways of saving money. For example how much of the council's money is wasted on electric fan heating. Staff have the heaters on regularly some times 3 or 4 to an office they are wasting vast amounts of money and energy if this behaviour is inherent through all of the offices in the town hall and all other council buildings. Maybe these items should be confiscated i'm sure that this would make a big impact on the usage of electricity across the council. and reduce the waste of resources on many levels.

  7. Goffman Says:

    Re: overheated

    I like it
    - remove the heaters, let the staff freeze, and achieve budget savings through the reduced headcount!

    Eric Pickles would be proud of that!

  8. nodrog56 Says:

    Make the most of the heating at work while you can. There'll be plenty of time to sit around with the heating off when we retire.

  9. In it together Says:

    VS is a bribe so people give up their jobs, with the thinly veiled threat that if you dont jump you'll get less when you are pushed. What new jobs are these people expected to get?

    Will Howard Bernstein be giving up his job or even part of his vast salary?

    Richard when is your leaving Do?

  10. Halifax Says:

    In response to franky - The Government isn't actually stealing any money of the poor, what they are intending to do, is give them less of other people's money.

  11. people awake Says:

    remember its people you are not serving and not protecting, when you cut back. People follow leaders not cuts.

  12. Mr. A. Gibson Says:

    Even on a reduced size of organisation, Mancehster will still need an increase from 96 to 108 councillors. This is because we get 20 per cent less than our share of Councillors as it is. There are 645 Councollors in Greater Mancehster. By share of GM population off 2011 Census at 19% we should actually have 120 councillors. So a 10% reduction on what we should have will give 108 councillors. The extra 12 shouildbe elected Pan-Mancehster by the Top -Up system.



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

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