Manchester City Council

M4, Triple C and Going Rogue

The Council’s Executive Committee met yesterday but it was one of those blink and you’ve missed it sort of meetings so I won’t dwell on it here. Earlier in the week I went to visit the city council’s translation and interpretation service, the M4 referred to above, now apparently the only such local authority based service.

Now twenty years old, they use a bank of several hundred interpreters covering over a hundred languages. As well as providing for the Council’s own requirements they also provide a document translation service to Manchester residents and businesses and provide services for many other organisations including courts and the NHS earning the Council a fair chunk of income as a result. With an enthusiastic staff a great example of efficient public service.
Later the same day, along with Councillor Tracey Rawlins our lead member for disabled people, I met a group of really enthusiastic ( young ) people from the Triple C Creative, Confident, Collective. At least two of the group are working actors and also disabled, and one of their key objectives is to open up more work opportunities in theatre, film , and TV for other disabled people. They are also doing some work with disabled pupils in schools using drama to build confidence and are interested in the wider use of drama in therapeutic settings. As well as work with schools and cultural organisations, they also want to develop a disabled artists network. Lots of energy and ideas, very 'Our Manchester' and hopefully we can provide them with a bit of support.
Tomorrow I’m going to Higher Openshaw to visit the former Varna Street Primary School site, now the home of Rogue Artists. Rogue used to be based in an old mill behind Piccadilly Station but had to move as that building is being converted into ( much needed ) for sale, residential accommodation. I think providing space for artists is really important, and it has to be cheap,  as very few are able to make a full-time living out of their art. They needed a home. We had a disused, listed school building which will never be suitable for future educational use. Hey presto, we were able to put the two together. Going to see how they are getting on but will have to wrap up warm as apparently one thing they haven’t got is any heating for the building.

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

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