Manchester City Council

Useful Evidence

Getting very noisy around the Town Hall at the moment as preparations are finalised for our visitors from Old Trafford so a good time to do the blog.

Was at Laria ( Local Area Research and Intelligence Association )'s Annual Conference this morning. The association supports local researchers in the public sector. Some would ask, can we afford local research in the public sector any more. My answer is that if anything we need it more than ever. As money gets tighter and tighter, it is ever more important to make sure we spend it in the most effective way possible and that requires evidence. I talked to the conference about three areas where in Greater Manchester we have used research in a way that has had a major impact on policy. One was our mini-Stern report which looked at the economic impact of climate change. The evidence from that suggested that failure to adapt to climate change could cost GM £21b by 2020, and that evidence underpins our Climate Change Strategy and delivery plan. The Manchester Independent Economic Review led to the Greater Manchester Strategy with its emphasis on Early Years, Skills, and attracting and retaining talent, alongside perhaps more traditional approaches to economic development. It supported our case for the Combined Authority and helped us deliver the first City Deal, a first slice of devolution of economic powers from government. Finally, the work through the Manchester Investment Fund on complex families and then subsequently other streams of research as part of the Whole Place Community Budget pilot have taken us to a position where we can develop perhaps the biggest transformation of public services ever seen - a move to place-based rather than service-based budgeting with the potential for both far better outcomes for service users and savings in expenditure. The City Council is determined to make sure we do what works and stop doing what doesn't. That requires research and intelligence.
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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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