Happy New Year

Like millions of people up and down the country, was back in the office at the beginning of the week after a Christmas/New Year break. Before somebody makes the obvious comment that not everybody was so lucky, can I acknowledge the millions who got little or no break over the holiday season, and especially all the public service workers who made sure the city didn't grind to a halt, that health and care services were provided, and emergency cover was in place. Too many people are quick to criticise the public sector but as things like the recent floods or the less recent Manchester bomb show, we'd be in a hell of a mess without them.

Unfortunately, for me as for many others, being out of the office has no impact on the amount of work I have to do, so much of the week has been spent running to catch up. In between I've had a range of meetings on a wide range of issues, part of what makes my job both interesting and satisfying, as well as difficult, frustrating and sometimes down right painful. Waste and recycling, Core Cities and Key Cities ( more another time ), Health and the economy, cycling, commissioning of care services, university enterprise zones, are just a sample.

A brief word on health and the economy. Professor Ian Jacobs, Dean of Medicine at the University of Manchester gave a fascinating presentation to the Council's Economy Overview and Scrutiny on Wednesday setting out Manchester's potential to be genuinely world leading in health, being able to take new products and techniques all the way from discovery through evaluation to active use, and at the same time improving health in Manchester and creating jobs. All very exciting.

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