Manchester City Council

Something to look forward to

Hasn't been a lot this year with the bad news on Brexit well and truly trumped ( sorry, couldn't help it ) last week. The Council's Executive met on Wednesday with an agenda that included the consultation draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and a new Housing strategy for the city. Worth noting that housing is and will remain a council, not a combined authority, responsibility and that almost a quarter of all new housing ( of all types and tenures ) in Greater Manchester will be in Manchester on brownfield sites.

The day before began with an announcement from government setting out the proposed route for the second phase of HS2. This is undoubtedly good news for Manchester with stations at Piccadilly and the Airport being confirmed. The alignment coming into Piccadilly has been changed slightly both to avoid having to cross the existing trans-Pennine line but also to give a better route into Piccadilly. The new alignment has an added bonus of saving a number of homes in West Gorton from demolition. Of course for maximum benefit from HS2 we need a lot more investment in the northern rail network including, within the same timescale as HS2, a new four-track line crossing the Pennines.

HS2 isn't due to be completed until 2033, a bit of a wait. We won't have to wait so long for the next Manchester International Festival. On Tuesday evening I joined festival director John McGrath when he unveiled the first four ( of around 25 ) commissions for the 2017 festival. This taster gave a real indication that next year's festival will live up to the now well-established reputation of world-class innovation and originality and of course great entertainment. Some lucky Mancs will even be able to have a mini-MIF in their own home.

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

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