Rest and Best

The last blog of 2014 following the last Executive Committee meeting of the calendar year yesterday. Unusually we had two sets of comments on the minutes. The first from me responded to reports from Oldham Council's discussion of the GM devolution agreement where Council Leader, Jim McMahon proposed that the Combined Authority should become a precepting authority. This was misinterpreted as suggesting an increased tax burden for GM residents. Not true.

The local bits of what currently make up the CA are funded through a mixture of precepts, levies and voluntary contributions. Simplifying this to a single route would give greater transparency and accountability but wouldn't cost any more. Indeed bringing the police and crime commissioner's role formally into the CA should allow us to make some efficiency savings.

The other was an update from the City Treasurer on the provisional grant settlement received from government on the 18th December. That confirmed not only the unfair distribution of the government's cuts but also that we would even be an extra £700k worse of than previously predicted. Wonder if Secretary of State Eric Pickles has been visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future yet.

Dealing with the cuts is going to be tough but the Council remains determined to do its best for the city and its people and that includes doing our best to have a happy Manchester Christmas and a getting better New Year.

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