Manchester City Council

​Covid 2 - the story so far

8 May, 2020

The first public meeting of the City Council's Executive Committee has now taken place virtually and relatively successfully. it was a lot longer than our "real life" meetings are but there was a lot of information content. Viewing figures were a lot higher than normal ( though no threat to Normal People ) and as always it is available for catch-up viewing on the Council website.

For anybody watching online, it probably didn't look a lot different to any previous meeting apart from everybody taking part, was doing so from their kitchen/dining room/spare bedroom. The content was to a certain extent  " choreographed " but on-line meeting technology doesn't lend itself to freeflowing discussion. Remarkably for a virtual meeting lasting almost two hours only one participant's broadband crashed though that did have to be the Leader of the Opposition just as he was called to speak.

This was not a Manchester Labour cyber plot aided by our North Korean allies. It is an inevitable part of virtual meetings. I've done hundreds over the past seven weeks. My system doesn't crash often but when it does, it's always at the worst possible time, like yesterday when my sound froze in the middle of speaking to Transport Minister Baroness Vere in a transport update meeting for mayoral combined authorities. One thing we have definitely learnt after weeks of nothing but videocons is that most of the time they are no substitute for the real thing.

As I said last time, there were two reports to the Executive, one looking back, the other looking forward. Next week I plan to talk a bit more about the road to recovery following on from Sunday when we are expecting an announcement from the Prime Minister on if, when and how the lockdown might be relaxed.

Until then, stay well.

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

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