Manchester City Council

Blame it on the Weather

A busy day but not quite the way I had originally intended.

Spent most of the day at my desk - long overdue - catching up with e-mails. Had intended to be in London, firstly for a meeting of the Core Cities Cabinet, then for the launch of the RSA ( Royal Society of Arts )'s Core Cities, London Councils and London Mayor supported Cities Growth Commission, and finally for a meeting with Shadow Transport Minister, Mary Creagh. Checked the Virgin website at about 6.30 this morning which said all services were running normally. Boarded the 7.35am train shown as being on time and then was rudely evicted ( along with all the other passengers ) at Maccesfield and informed by a rather harassed looking Virgin employee standing on the steps leading to a footbridge over the tracks that all trains to London were now cancelled. The cause, apparently a fallen tree somewhere between Birmingham and London. One tree and the whole of the West Coast Main Line grinds to a halt, and we don't, say the cynics, need anymore capacity.

A word about the Cities Growth Commission. Core Cities have already joined with the Mayor of London and London Councils in the CityCentred campaign, based on the report of the London Finance Commission, and calling for significant financial devolution to our major cities. The Growth Commission takes this further and aims to build further evidence on how government policy needs to change in respect of cities to give them the freedoms they need to create jobs and growth, not just in their own boundaries, but for the benefit of the wider regions they lie at the heart of. There is now a massive body of evidence that shows excessive centralisation is holding our cities back. There is a massive amount of evidence from elsewhere that cities in more decentralised countries contribute far more to overall national economic well-being. Hopefully the growth commission can bring all of this together and give authoritive advice to the next government about what it needs to do to unleash the power of our cities.

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

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