Manchester City Council

The Budget Holes

Friday 24th November,2017.      
Greater Manchester Combined Authority is meeting in Stockport this morning with the big discussion being this week’s budget, even though it doesn’t appear on the agenda. Greater Manchester was the only place to have a specific statement attached to the budget and there were undoubtedly some positives for us including an additional £243m of transport funding over the next four years and an agreement that GM will pilot a local industrial strategy. 
The positives were acknowledged but not surprisingly more of the discussion was about what wasn’t in the budget and I’ll mention just four of those. Firstly, even though local authorities up and down the country are recording massive pressures on their children’s and adults services budgets, not a penny extra was made available. When we ask the public in Manchester about their priorities adult social care is right up at the top, and so is crime and anti-social behaviour. This budget made no mention of policing, community safety or counter-terrorism whatsoever.
Similarly the Department for Education seemed to have opted out of the budget process altogether. As we develop a local industrial strategy, skills will absolutely be at the heart of it. We need a skills offer and independent advice and guidance that raises aspirations and  that has a clear relationship to the opportunities in our local economy and that will only be delivered through devolution. And finally, public sector pay. Local government and local government workers need to be able to negotiate a fair pay settlement and for that to be funded. The ongoing freeze isn’t fair.
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There are 3 responses to “The Budget Holes”

  1. A Clarke Says:

    So there's very little money in the budget for social care etc but manchester city council can find the money to loan * i say loan but we know it won't be repaid back * to big construction firms to build private housing in the city centre and also that mcc can afford to refurb the town hall at a cost upwards of £300 million !

  2. Richard Leese Says:

    @A Clarke. Let’s not get facts in the way. Manchester City Council is not loaning any money to private house builders. Greater Manchester Combined Authority is through a fund provided by central government solely for that purpose. We are of course renovating the Town Hall taking advantage of historically low interest rates. The alternative would be to board it up which I don’t think would be acceptable to Manchester people and would probably cost the Council just as much as giving it another 140 year’s of life

  3. Mick Says:

    Typically arrogant response. The money being loaned to builders still comes from the taxpayer. And presumably the 300m for the town hall will still need to be repaid.



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

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