Looking back, Looking forward

Budget Council this morning but a bit less excitement than some other budget council meetings around the region. This was the second year of a horrendous two year budget but all the difficult decisions were taken last year and the only significant changes from that are the Council Tax freeze, for the fourth year out of the last five, and that from April 1st this year we are proposing to raise the Manchester Minimum wage to the level of the National Living Wage. Sorry to say that next year's budget won't be so straightforward.

A lot of interest in the 2002 Commonwealth Games at the moment in the run up to the 2014 Games in Glasgow. At a similar point twelve years ago people were looking back with apprehension to a less than successful games in Edinburgh. Now journalists are asking the question as to whether or not Glasgow will repeat the undoubted success of Manchester. Earlier this week I recorded interviews for BBC Scotland and for Radio 4, both from the roof of the new 6th form college being built in Beswick which gives a fantastic view over the sports facilities that make up the Etihad campus including MCFC's remarkable new training facility. As well as the college the view includes the relatively new East Manchester Academy and Beswick Library and the under construction community leisure complex, visible signs of progress already made in the regeneration of East Manchester and that despite the recession and government cuts, regeneration is still underway.

I've been up to Glasgow to look at what they're doing and one of our Deputy Chief Executives, Vicky Rosin, who was heavily involved in 2002, sits on their legacy steering group. I'm sure Glasgow 2014 will be an enormous success, and provide yet more evidence that big events don't have to be held in London.

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