Manchester City Council

Fairness and Equality

I'm planning to return to one of the elements of my last blog at some point but have a few other things I want to cover first. Full Council met on Wednesday. It is of course available to watch on-line but there are a few things from the meeting I wanted to mention.

The meeting started with a presentation on Our Manchester, the methodology we plan to develop over the next ten years to deliver Our Manchester, the ten year strategy for the city. For the presentation the Council's Deputy Chief Executive was joined by representatives from Wythenshawe Community Housing and from the Clinical Commissioning Groups. They were able to talk about how the Our Manchester approach is already beginning to make a difference, in one case through crafted conversations leading to greater community engagement in Benchill, the other in how different approaches to dementia could allow sufferers to better be supported in their own home.

This presentation was followed by a speaker from the WASPI campaign who are fighting for a fair deal on women's pensions for those unfairly affected, 99000 in Greater Manchester alone, by changes to equalise retirement dates and extend the age of retirement. The speaker was quite clear that they are not opposed to equalisation or indeed the move in retirement age. What they are against is the unfair way this has been done, leaving thousands of women pensioners, even when they have paid all their national insurance contributions, in dire straits. The Council passed a motion, with only one vote against, supporting the campaign.

At every Council meeting we usually have two " back bencher " notices of motion, a bit like a Council version of a private members bill in parliament. These are unwhipped motions and at this Council they included one opposing the government proposals to extend selective education. The evidence is that selective education does nothing to increase social mobility and indeed discriminates against children from less affluent backgrounds. It may have been a free vote but it was still passed unanimously.

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

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