Manchester City Council

Manchester's Executive

Today is the regular meeting of the Council's key decision-making committee.

The Executive meets every four weeks, usually on a Wednesday morning, although this time with 23 items of business on the agenda the debates on the issues ran for almost three hours and into the afternoon.

The first seven items all involve regeneration of particular areas, from the former Boddington's site at Strangeways, where what is proposed will bring far more employment than the Brewery provided, to the campaign for the regional casino in East Manchester, as well as local plans for areas including Moss Side, Rusholme and Ardwick. Of course, regeneration is always about prioritising and I've been contacted by residents telling me what they believe is needed in their areas. I make a point of listening to everyone's views and for example I am off to meet the Friends of Levenshulme on November 3, who have been making the case for investment in their area.

It's great news that the Boddington's site will now bring around 1,800 jobs to the area. There were only 123 jobs at the brewery, though obviously we were sad to see it close and we did fight to try to retain it. However we want the chimney to stay if possible surrounded by the new workplaces, homes and shops because it is a local and symbolic landmark.

Also, we are determined to keep pressing the government to let us move ahead with a regional casino in East Manchester. No other form of investment will bring the 3,000 jobs that we need, and we believe we have all the plans in place to ensure that gambling takes place in a safe environment where all potential problems are managed. It's so much better for people to gamble in a regulated casino than on the uncontrolled Internet: that's where the real problems lie.

Other issues at Executive include the next stages of our Academies programme, where we are going out to consultation on the proposals for improving our high schools, and helping youngsters become better prepared for the world of work in the 21st century. And we also agreed the first steps in establishing a sustained and high profile environmental engagement with residents, workers and other people in Manchester about recycling as part of our move towards our goal of becoming Britain's greenest city. Watch out for more news on green Manchester.

These Executive meetings are open to the public so feel free to come along.

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

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