Manchester City Council

The Modern City

I'm writing this post from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority offices in Leeds following meetings of Transport for the North, the Association of Rail North Partnership Authorities, and a brief Rail North Ltd Board meeting, all far more interesting than they probably sound. At 4pm I'm dialling into a LGA task and finish group on business rate localisation before getting the train to Hull where I'm speaking at a Humberside business summit.

 However I want to touch on a couple of things much closer to home.

Yesterday evening, as part of the Manchester Histories Festival, a new book was launched at a reception in Central Library. Manchester - the Making of the Modern City edited by Alan Kidd and Terry Wyke from MMU is a fascinating new look at the role Manchester played in changing the world.

Although much of the book centres on industrial Manchester , it does take us back to Roman times, and forwards to around three years ago. However it is not a linear history but rather a series of thematic chapters looking at key things in the history of the city - the Cosmopolitan city, Science, technology and medicine, the Voice of the People are all examples. It was a very successful launch and the book is now available for sale and of course to borrow for free from Manchester libraries.

This week also saw a new phase of “Our Manchester", our strength based approach, with the first two of what will be many Listening in Action sessions with Council staff. Amongst other things the sessions gave Council staff an opportunity to question me about anything they chose to raise. There were some really challenging questions, particularly at the second session, and now I have to make sure that the issues that were raised are followed up on i.e. to show we were listening!

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

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