Manchester City Council

And Now for the Hard Work

The Council is just about getting to the end of what has been the most difficult budget that certainly any current Councillors, and one or two go back over thirty years, can remember. You might think that Executive Members in particular would be breathing a collective sigh of relief as we get to the end of the decision making process but in reality the hard work for them and for Council officers has only begun. We now have to deliver the budget and the price of failure doesn't bear thinking about. If we don't deliver the budget financially then we end up having to make even bigger cuts to compensate. If we don't deliver the radical changes in service provision then thousands of Manchester residents, many already suffering under the government's deficit reduction programme, face an even harder time. We have to believe in a better future and for that we need to keep Manchester, the place, growing and developing.

Yesterday, Executive Members spent the morning with the Council's strategic management team working on what are probably the most difficult parts of the budget. Work to promote independence, reduce dependency. New delivery models with the city's entire early years population to improve their life chances before they even get to first base. Integrating Health and Social Care, improving community services, eliminating unnecessary admissions to hospital particularly amongst older people and stopping the same people being left too long in hospital because the community support they need isn't there. A whole family approach with " troubled " families, getting the full spectrum of public agencies, national and local, to work together in a co-ordinated way focussed on the family rather than just their particular service speciality. Behaviour change, citizens not customers taking more responsibility for their own neighbourhoods. Most of this involves change programmes lasting at least three years and in some cases much longer. Indeed the hard work has only just begun.

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

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