Manchester City Council

Back after a Break

Very pleased with myself as since I committed to keeping the blog up at the rate of two a week I have though I wish everything else in the local government garden was as straight forward. This will however be the last post until May 23rd as on Monday we enter the period known as purdah, the period in the run up to local elections, when the Council has to be even more careful not to do anything that could be represented as party political.

Doing the blog on the way back from St. Helen's and the quarterly meeting of the North West Regional Leaders Board which had a number of meaty items on the agenda - progress with Rail North and the re-tendering of the two northern rail franchises; HS2 and particularly meeting the enormous skills requirements; a number of reports from the NW Business Leadership Team including one on a skills pilot in Greater Manchester to support the skills needs of SMEs, and another on exploiting world-leading science in the NW; skills in the growing manufacturing sector; progress with 2014-2020 European funding programme; and lastly the research programme for the coming year.

Our Executive Members' Public Service Reform working group meets this afternoon. Today we will be looking at the issues of complex dependency through the prism of worklessness. It is still the case that the thing that makes the biggest difference to families with somebody of working age, is whether or not they are in work. The current priority across Greater Manchester to create jobs is thus absolutely right, but we still need to be smarter at ensuring our population benefit from that, and we still need to find news of getting those furthest from the workplace into work.

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

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