Tag Archives: greater manchester

Opinion: The case for a mayor for Greater Manchester  

In this article I’m going to make the case for a Mayor for Greater Manchester. I realise this isn’t going to be a popular position, particularly in Lib Dem circles. Our mayors – Dorothy in Watford and Dave in Bedford – are great of course. But what about Boris in London or that monkey in Hartlepool (twice re-elected) and don’t even get me started on Tower Hamlets. In the conversations I’ve had with Lib Dems, the word “mayor” is generally met with a look of horror.

But here’s the thing. About all those mayors have in common with what’s proposed for Greater Manchester is the name “mayor”. London, along with those councils who have opted for mayors, have “strong mayor” models. In these, the mayor is able to act alone. Typically they appoint their own cabinets with councillors or assembly members having little power to stop the mayor doing what he or she wants.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 25 Comments

The Independent View: Without thriving city economies, there can be no sustained national recovery

New Skyscraper Under ConstructionThis year, George Osborne delivered his Budget against a backdrop of better than expected growth, higher than expected employment, and a deficit reduction plan that exceeded previous OBR forecasts.

His speech, unsurprisingly, made much of the success of the “long-term economic plan delivered by a coalition Government and a Conservative Chancellor”. Yet the fact that our cities still lack the powers they need to fulfil their economic potential, and drive growth locally, will constrain future growth for large parts of the UK economy.

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , , , and | 7 Comments

Scrapped Greater Manchester Police Authority holds party at 5-star hotel

The Manchester Evening News reports:

Members of Greater Manchester’s axed police authority are to toast their own demise – with a taxpayer-funded bash at the five-star Lowry Hotel.

About 100 people are expected for a three-course meal at the swish city-centre venue to mark the scrapping of the authority.

Set up to hold Greater Manchester Police to account, it will make way for the region’s first elected police commissioner in November.

Well, that’s one way for the (Labour-run) body to spend money…

UPDATE: The dinner has now been axed (though may still cost some money).

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Pricier booze for Greater Manchester – a good idea?

The ten local authorities that make up Greater Manchester are considering imposing a minimum alcohol price of 50 pence a unit across the area – and David Cameron is certainly interested.

The move, planned for October, would see a standard bottle of wine costing at least £4.50, a 700ml bottle of whisky £14 and a six pack of lager at least £6.

Health officials are in favour, believing it will cut alcohol-related illness, improve life expectancy and reduce inequality.

One of the ten authorities, Stockport, is cautious, though. Stockport’s concern is not so much about the principle of minimum pricing …

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Second senior Greater Manchester Lib Dem defects to Labour

It’s only a couple of weeks since Lib Dem Voice noted the defection of Denton and Reddish parliamentary candidate Paul Moss from the Lib Dems to Labour. Now comes news of a second defection, this time of Karen Wright, a former Lib Dem leader on Tameside council and a councillor for 12 years, until she stood down in 2008. The Manchester Evening News reports:

Explaining her decision to quit the Lib Dems, Ms Wright said: “The timing of my move was always going to be difficult but, the failure of the Lib Dems to put forward a candidate in

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