Manchester City Council

Future Scientists

Last Friday of the month means a day of Greater Manchester meetings. Meetings rotate around the ten districts and today is at Salford Civic Centre in Swinton. I start at 9am with Labour Leaders, the main purpose of which and an important one being that we don't all fall out with each other. This is followed by four public and live-streamed meetings, the first being the Health and Social Care Strategic Partnership Board, followed in turn by the Combined Authority, the joint AGMA Executive/CA ( an oddity that will disappear next year - both bodies have exactly the same membership ), and then the CA's Resources Committee.

Don't propose to go through the agenda but will mention the draft for consultation of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and the start of a consultative conversation around the refreshing of the Greater Manchester Strategy (GMS). The former has already generated a chunk of press coverage and clearly has some controversial elements but in many respects is less important than the GMS. The GMS is where our ambition and vision for Greater Manchester will be set out along with what we need to do to achieve it. The spatial framework is ultimately no more than a land allocation plan in service to the GMS.

No Policing Panel this month so we move then to an informal Leaders meeting, again important as in any partnership there is a need to be able to have regular strategic discussions in a way that builds mutual trust and confidence.

Earlier in the week we marked the end of Manchester's very successful year, apart from the referendum, as European City of Science. As well as the 3,500 delegates for the European Science Open Forum, the year saw over three hundred events ranging from high-level academic events to fun events ( with serious undertones ) for families. The event to mark the end took place in the middle of Manchester's tenth science festival which if I was listening right is now the biggest science festival in the UK.

Being half term week I was looking around for something to do with my granddaughter and was overwhelmed just how much was on offer through the science festival. Couldn't help contrast this with my own childhood when generally there was nothing on of this sort at all. Ended up opting for the Museum of Science and Industry which was heaving with children of all ages. The enthusiasm the staff and volunteers generated should help ensure that we have the scientists, technologists and engineers we will need for a healthy future.

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

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