Break on through....

Great to be able to attend at least part of Breakthrough UK’s twentieth birthday celebration today. It’s a pioneering organisation run by and for disabled people championing their rights and responsibility

Aspects of the Our Manchester approach, starting from strengths, service user co-design, they’ve been doing for all of those twenty years, helping over 5,000 people on the way along with countless companies and other organisations. It was also an opportunity for me to pay public tribute to Lorraine Gradwell who sadly died this year, founder of Breakthrough and an indomitable campaigner.
Yesterday was transport day, starting with a Transport for the North ( TfN ) Partnership Board attended by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. The centrepiece of the meeting was TfN’s draft strategic transport plan which is due to be launched for consultation in mid-January, and at the heart of that is Northern Powerhouse Rail aka Crossrail of the North aka HS3. Thinking back to the “ tensions “ in August this was a very positive discussion but there’s a long way to go before we deliver the long-term £60b+ investment programme the North needs. TfN was followed by a Rail North board meeting and then a meeting between the City Council, TfGM, Network Rail, and Department for Transport to discuss the improvements that need to be made to both Piccadilly and Oxford Road Stations to deliver the May 2018 rail timetable.
A footnote from Wednesday when the City Council hosted the second of two civic receptions for first responders on the night of the Arena bombing. Arena staff were unable to attend the first because they were working that night, so this one was specially for them, Showsec, and a small number of medical staff. On a very dark night for the city, the immediate response of these people, along with many others thanked at the first reception, shows just why Manchester has responded to this horrific crime with strength, resilience and solidarity.

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

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