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Old January 4th, 2008, 11:07 PM   #81
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http://blogs.manchestereveningnews.c...6/post_22.html

Be interesting to see what comes of this given Dave Cameron has ignored just about every task force he has set up so far.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 12:08 AM   #82
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LONGWORTH FOR MAYOR










"Would you let this man kiss your babies?"
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Old January 5th, 2008, 12:56 AM   #83
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I think the trouble with the current set-up is precisely that the individual 10 councils only care about their patch rather than looking at the big picture.

We have Manchester and Salford competing with each other rather than having a single coherent policy. And we have councils like Trafford which see themselves as a small collection of towns rather than suburbs of a bigger entity.

This is why the congestion charge is struggling because each council looks after it's own rather than takes the interests of Greater Manchester as a whole into account.

Perhaps having a Mayor and an Assembly like London would solve these problems. Plus, it would more than likely lead to greater devolution with the new Mayor having powers over public transport, housing and planning permission. The thought of not having the likes of Alistair Darling in Whitehall saying no to our transport projects or the likes of Ruth Kelly turning down planning permissions when she's probably never visited the site in question is an appealing one.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 01:52 AM   #84
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Good grief Metro has the Xmas spirit vanished already!!!!

I've been given two bottles of expensive Irish whiskey which you can have as I am teetotal until Easter. That might cheer you up!!!

Yes you know I am an advocate of a directly elected Mayor for Greater Manchester. I argue from a moral and organisational point of view.

First it would be morally better for AGMA to be directly accountable through the ballot box. Yes I know the AGMA consists of Clrs, but they are nominated and arent accountable to no one. Which perhaps explains some of the immature political posturings over the C Charge.

In terms of organisation it would counter the obvious parochialism as exhibited by clr Walsh. The most blatent example is the manner in which Manchester and Salford scraped in the dirt over the site of the BBC. However the best examples of the "City Region" working have been when we have fought as one eg Commonwealth games or the Metrolink.

I think GM needs a Ken Livingstone. Whether he/she is leader of a directly elected GM council or is an elected Mayor, doesnt matter to me.

The London Mayor experience is relevant to GM. London is naturally favoured by Whitehall, but has the extra advantage of a central political focal point to argue the case for the capital. Just imagine if Anthony Wilson had been that Mayor. Instead of shouting from the sidelines, he could have had some real power to transform Manchester. In fact he did alright as it was. But just imagine if. Now that is dreaming........

The political leverage of a single focal point is deeply appealing for GM. And is for a host of other cities. In terms of political might, if you think of New York you think of Guiliani and so on. It would give us a more focused advocate for the City Region.

However I will be honest. I know it won't happen tomorrow. I doubt in the big scheme of things people care enough for it. As historically people truely can only care about their immediate circumstances as life is generally so all consuming. But to argue on that basis is morally appalling. People get organised in a mass movement sense only when something really becomes obnoxious or threatening. To advocate the apathy argument is cynical. On that basis, the vote would be restricted to the gentry, we would still be watching three tv channels that closed at midnight to the song of "God Save the Queen" ringing through your black and white Panasonic telly. And most exotic food to pass through our mouths would be the tomato sauce on our chips. Apathy is merely the tool which allows the political machinery to dominate.

Had I been around in the sixties, I would have been supporting Harold Wilson's plans to reform the House of Lords and how far have we gone in that time. Well not a lot really. It took some three generations for Scotland and Wales to have its own executive. So like so much about British politics, it takes decades for modest change to occur.

But aside from the small town complaints of the middle aged parochial right; drinking their subsidized bitter next to the toilet and fire exit in their local Unionist clubs, just before the pub quiz starts; any movement to a democratically elected and accountable AGMA with extended powers has to be supported.

Last edited by heatonparkincakes; January 5th, 2008 at 02:19 AM.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 06:25 PM   #85
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Manchester Governance

I've lost the old thread.

Bit of progress at AGMA with this...

http://www.agma.gov.uk/ccm/cms-servi...set_id=1709018
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Old January 17th, 2008, 09:28 PM   #86
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This is quite interesting

Quote:
Proposal 10: Tax Increment Financing is a tool to use future gains in taxes to finance the current improvements that will create those gains.

When a public project such as a road, school, or hazardous waste cleanup is carried out, there is an increase in the value of surrounding real estate, and often new investment (new or rehabilitated buildings, for example). This increased site value and investment creates more taxable property, which increases tax revenues. The increased tax revenues are the "tax increment." Tax Increment Financing dedicates that increased revenue to finance debt issued to pay for the project. The MAA could include an element that linked this mechanism to the proposed Strategic Planning framework so as to create an incentive for local authorities to develop at the agreed nodes in town centres and other strategic points, by creating TIF Districts.
Peopl have talked about incremental financing for infrastructure for years, but I've never heard of a solid proposal getting off the ground. If the MAA includes this then Manchester would be fairly revolutionary.

My only problem with the proposals is that it is compromised by government intrasigence and local parochialism. If the MAA works it will become a very powerful organisation, and that needs democratic accountability if it isn't to become staid and corrupt. This could be a mayor, direct election of the exacutive members, or simply a return of a small GMC to provide oversight, whatever is most efficient, but to concentrate power in the hands of people so far removed from public influence is dangerous.
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Old January 18th, 2008, 02:57 PM   #87
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The report says (My highlighting)

Governance
Manchester has a long history of strong civic leadership and collaboration, which is widely regarded as being a major contributor to its economic success. The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) was established in 1986 and acts as the voice of the ten local authorities of Greater Manchester, working in partnership with a wide range of organisations both private, public and voluntary within the city-region and sub-region. These ten authorities and three associate member authorities co-operate on a number of issues, both statutory and non-statutory, where there is the possibility of improving service delivery through collaboration.
However, Manchester’s structures of governance need to be changed if it is to achieve its growth aspirations. An Executive Board will be created, comprising the leaders of the ten Greater Manchester authorities, who will act as the primary agent for key services and activities where conurbation-wide co-ordination and integrated action is necessary. A Business Leadership Council will be set up to complement the Executive Board, developing private sector input to issues under consideration by the Board. Seven strategic commissions, which once strategic direction has been set by the Board, will oversee the actions necessary to achieve agreed targets.

AGMA has proposed that the Economic Development, Employment and Skills Commission will be established as a forerunner to the wider process of governance change. Each of the Commissions will be charged with taking decisions on behalf of the Executive. An executive body is needed to underpin the Economic Development Commissions work and it is intended that Manchester Enterprises (ME), the economic development agency for Greater Manchester will become that body, operating a co-ordinating organisation between the districts and the Manchester family of agencies and other partners. The Commission will enable us to achieve more than is possible from the existing governance arrangements.

In terms of policy, the Commission will offer several advantages. Firstly it will create a body with defined objectives and a clear delegated authority on behalf of its stakeholders, which is essential to the development and execution of authority. Though ME is an exemplar for other city region economic development bodies, Greater Manchester’s ambitions for city regional growth are unlikely to be achieved unless there is a more robust and transparent vehicle for collective decision making on behalf and with the consent of the Greater Manchester Authorities. Secondly the more robust the management and governance: the Executive and the Commissions, the more credible our stance in relation to devolution and delegation from Whitehall.

In terms of process, the Commission should make important differences. It will ensure a single decision making process for strategic economic development in the city region. Currently, issues that materially affect the AGMA authorities taken by the ME Board often need to be ratified separately by AGMA. A single process bringing together the public and private sector will be simpler and easier to understand. This will be achieved partly through the Commission and partly through its unique position as the broker of cross boundary and cross-area agreements such as the MAA.

Last edited by heatonparkincakes; January 18th, 2008 at 03:03 PM.
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Old January 18th, 2008, 03:02 PM   #88
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My thoughts.

As I have said previous this is what I had heard being said. Good to see it being declared in public.

Good initial step. Should provide a forum to deflect the parochialism of the ten councils and there own particular interests.

First steps towards the re-democratization of GM.

Effectively the Executive Board is the cabinet of GM. The Commission its effectively "Administrative Department.""

After this, we should be working to consolidate existing powers, making this work. Showing that local governance in GM is effective and strong.

Then we can envisage a strong bid to expand both GM's boundaries and powers and then strive towards a directly elected form of governance.

Eventually the only morally correct way for a city region to work is if there was some form of direct election to the authority/board/council/mayor that runs the whole shebang.

Last edited by heatonparkincakes; January 18th, 2008 at 03:07 PM.
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Old January 18th, 2008, 03:07 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatonparkincakes View Post
My thoughts.

Good initial step. Should provide a forum to deflect the parochialism of the ten councils and there own particular interests.

First steps towards the re-democratization of GM.

Effectively the Executive Board is the cabinet of GM. The Commission its effectively "Administrative Department.""

After this, we should be working to consolidate existing powers, making this work. Showing that local governance in GM is effective and strong.

Then we can envisage a strong bid to expand both GM's boundaries and powers and then strive towards a directly elected form of governance.

Eventually the only morally correct way for a city region to work is if there was some form of direct election to the authority/board/council/mayor that runs the whole shebang.
..and then the Grosser Mancunian Reich shall last for a thousand years!
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Old January 18th, 2008, 03:52 PM   #90
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That Reich didnt have any democratically elected elements to it.

However that country does have a very effective regional and lcoal government system, which this particular country should take a serious note of.

My learned member, the Rgt Hon Metrolink. Whats your views on this?
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Old January 18th, 2008, 03:57 PM   #91
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Hitler was elected.
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Old January 20th, 2008, 11:36 PM   #92
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2 years old exactly but this puts Metrolinks thread in context

The New Local Government Network was originally established in 1998 to encourage the new Labour government to bring about elected mayors as means to invigorate local democracy and to quicken the pace of modernisation in other areas.

The network's City Regions Commission was established earlier this year in response to the rejection by voters in the North East of the government's proposed elected assembly for the region. Instead, the commission examined the alternative case for city regions rather than the elected regional assemblies that have been Labour policy since the early 1990s. As well as a number of city leaders, the commission's membership also included Local Government Association Chairman Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, London Assembly Member John Biggs, historian Tristram Hunt and urban commentator Tony Travers of the London School of Economics.

To some extent, the commission were pushing at an open door, having quickly spotted an opportunity following the policy void created by the emphatic rejection of regional government by voters in the North East. With over a decade of momentum called to a sudden halt, Labour's attention had quickly turned to other models to address not only the democratic deficit in England created by the Scottish and Welsh devolved bodies but also the need to reconfigure the non-unitary pattern of local government left by the failed review of councils in the mid-1990s. As such, the notion of city regions quickly gained currency in policy circles around New Labour, with the IPPR's Centre for Cities also springing up in response.

Though the term city region has been in use among economists, planners and urbanists throughout the post-war period, in a UK context the term arrived with Derek Senior's Memorandum of Dissent against the Redcliffe-Maud Report in 1969, with Senior proposing a city regional framework instead of Redcliffe-Maud's proposals for a unitary system of local government and eight provincial councils. In the 1974 reorganisation of local government by the Conservative government of Edward Heath, which dismissed the Redcliffe-Maud Report of its predecessor, the resulting two-tier system saw a partial city regional system emerge under the Metropolitan Counties, which were later abolished alongside the Greater London Council by Margaret Thatcher in 1986. Today, the vestiges of the late 1960s appetite for city regions remain in the Passenger Transport Authorities in the former metropolitan counties. Currently, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has factored city regions into its workplan through its Core Cities Group and the Northern Way regeneration initiative, though this remains the stuff of civil servants rather than anything formal.

Having accepted this landscape and the need for reform, the City Regions Commission examined both existing models, such as the Greater Toronto Area Council, and how a British solution could be worked out. Competitiveness against European rivals is of interest to both the commission and the government, with this already driving much of the ODPM's agenda. The commission examined how city regions work elsewhere in Europe, looking at the Association of the Urban Region of Stuttgart and the Lille agglomeration.

The report's foreword comments that any solution must be rooted in British circumstances, building on existing arrangements rather than imposing any top-down model for uniform adoption. It explicitly rejects a "German urban federal solution", arguing that Britain's ancient local councils have historical liberties and do not share Europe's post-fascist experience of regionalism. Instead, the commission believes it is possible to graft alternative arrangements on different conurbations to reflect local circumstance – a Black Country 'Senate' of West Midlands local councils might wish to pursue a different road to Newcastle-Gateshead, for instance. The report also singles out Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol as leading cities in need of new arrangements to recognise both their economic role and civic aspirations.

In addition to allowing city regions to emerge from below in an asymmetrical fashion, the report calls for enabling legislation to pass powers over housing, planning and transport to the new bodies. Though asymmetrical in nature, the report argues for co-terminosity alongside existing bodies such as Learning and Skills Councils. The need for upheaval through reorganisation or referendums to assent to establishment would be avoided through using existing authorities and mandates for their creation, argue the authors.

The fundamental consideration is the role of cities as the drivers of regional economies, with defined travel to work areas that also see cities as the centre of retail, leisure and cultural activities. The government has already recognised the economic case for more fiscal autonomy in this regard, though it does not want to comment further until its review of local finance is concluded. The IPPR's Centre for Cities has boosted the network's research in this area with its own studies of regional housing markets and the role of cities in this regard. This alone guarantees a receptive audience for the proposals as housing market issues generally attract more media attention than local government.

City regions are expected to form a major strand of next year's local government white paper, with Communities Minister David Miliband throwing his weight behind the report and welcoming its contribution to the debate. David Cameron, the newly elected leader of the Conservative Party also welcomed the proposals, pointing out their appeal to Conservatives over unwanted regional government. Mr Cameron used his recent leadership campaign to show support for more elected mayors in English cities and recent policy initiatives by the party have moved in a more localist direction. Having already set up a review of its own the shadow the government's Lyons Inquiry into the future of local government, due to report next year, the commission's findings may yet find their way onto the statute book.

And not to split hairs, but i dont see the link between GM 2008 and local governance and the far right's fraudelent coup d'etat in 30s Germany?
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Old January 29th, 2008, 02:57 PM   #93
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Sprucing up cities

The regeneration game

Jan 17th 2008

From The Economist print edition

Why cities' plans for renewal often sound strangely familiar


A STROLL through the centre of most British cities is much prettier now than it was a decade ago. Though output in the north has grown more slowly than elsewhere, its cities have beautified themselves: boules pistes and public sculpture liven up formerly deserted bits of Leeds; the seafront at Hull boasts a futuristic new aquarium. A year of civic jollification has just begun in Liverpool, named “European Capital of Culture 2008” and given a big dollop of European Union cash. This week Sheffield presented plans for a new high-tech “digital square mile”, complete with suitably jazzy new buildings.

The cranes on provincial skylines are encouraging. But followers of regeneration, as the business of boosting down-at-heel neighbourhoods is now known, might notice that many cities seem to be thinking alike. Sheffield's digital square mile will complement what neighbouring Leeds calls its own “digital cluster”; over the Pennines, Salford is beavering away on a “digital-industries hub”. And though Liverpool is the official capital of culture, places such as Gateshead (where the huge Baltic flour mill is now an arts centre) and Wakefield (which is due to open a new Barbara Hepworth gallery in the winter of 2009) have similar hopes.

Why do city councils have the same ideas about how to grow? One reason is that they have the same people advising them. Since Labour moved regeneration up the agenda in 1997, creating a spider's web of regional-development bodies and arming them with cash to dish out, a regeneration-consulting industry has sprung up. Regeneration & Renewal, a weekly trade magazine, lists scores of organisations happy to advise councils on how to bid for, and spend, the money. Following the advice of one such consultant, Sheffield now wants to club together with Leeds and Manchester to form a single “super-city”. Last year the same outfit advised Glasgow and Edinburgh, which are engaged in a similar collaborative effort.

If consultants can spread good ideas and not just recycle tired ones, so much the better. But the homogeneity of city-development strategies also owes much to the British government's enduring top-down approach to local government. In England a great deal of regeneration work is steered by nine Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), whose members are appointed by, and report to, central government. This has encouraged uniformity: “Once a minister identified a sector as important, it tended to trigger a herd mentality among RDAs,” says Dermot Finch of the Centre for Cities, a think-tank. Following a minister's remarks about the brilliance of creative industries a few years ago, every regional agency began overstating the contribution of the creative sector to its economy. Other notable recent fads include biotechnology, financial services and exploiting the 2012 Olympics.

But the RDAs are getting less herd-like, Mr Finch reckons, and local authorities are being given a bit more freedom. So far, cities have tended to follow the lead of regional agencies, partly because they hold important purse strings, but also because cities are inexpert at making their own assessment of the best way to grow. The Treasury has spotted this problem, and in July proposed that local authorities should be forced to spend more time examining the needs of their economies, in return for being given more say over how cash is spent. With luck, better-tailored, more varied strategies might emerge. Having long promoted regional agencies as the best means of regenerating deprived areas, it would be good if the government put some power back into the hands of the regeneratees themselves.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 03:57 PM   #94
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Indeed

Although economic trends probably have as much to say about "digital clutterings" than which consultants are being employed.

I am not sure you can call new industries that centre around biotech, digital tech and the media as fads.

Its hardly that Manchester et al can re become major manufacturing centres, when you have China and India, and in a generations time, Africa to cheaply build this.

But there is something to say that Whitehall are very hesitant to allow different parts of the Uk to growth in different ways. Personally I think the UK could easily exist as a functioning federalistic political entity, which would be more robust and flexible in dealing with the complexities of the global age, than the uber centralising hand of Whitehall and Westminster.

But generally good article.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 01:16 AM   #95
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"Its hardly that Manchester et al can re become major manufacturing centres, when you have China and India, and in a generations time, Africa to cheaply build this."

This is a opinion often heard in the UK. But the United States, Japan and Germany - the worlds three most successful economies, all have very large and very successful manufacturing industries. Manufacturers in this country could do well, if only those in governance would give them a chance.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 12:20 AM   #96
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erm not quite what i meant to say. Manufacturing is still a key aspect of the northern economy, but we need to embrace so called new technologies to maintain our competitiveness.

And also historically all those english public school boys in the city of london just cant sully themselves with dirty smelly UK manufacturing. Whilst in the forthmentioned nations, they do. Ask a German graduate what they aspire for and it will be finance law or corporate manufacturing. Ask an english grad and it will be finance, media advertising.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 12:30 AM   #97
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while i am here

In another of those at work conversations it was pointed out this curious hierarchy of Gm and uK politics. Apparently had the UK been a new applicant to the EU, it wouldnt meet its criteria as a truely democratic state.

Local government

Metropolitan councils
Elected members

County Council
Nominated members.

Regional Authority
Nominated members

House of Commons (Lower national chamber)
Elected Members

House of Lords (Upper national chamber)
Nominated or though birth

Monarchy (Head of state)
By birth

Hardly democratic now.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 04:35 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatonparkincakes View Post
In another of those at work conversations it was pointed out this curious hierarchy of Gm and uK politics. Apparently had the UK been a new applicant to the EU, it wouldnt meet its criteria as a truely democratic state.

Hardly democratic now.
Nonsense. Care to show the proof of this claim?
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 04:40 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatonparkincakes View Post
Metropolitan councils
Elected members

County Council
Nominated members.

Regional Authority
Nominated members

House of Commons (Lower national chamber)
Elected Members

House of Lords (Upper national chamber)
Nominated or though birth

Monarchy (Head of state)
By birth
County councils don't exist in metropolitan counties such as Greater Manchester. Those which do exist in non-metropolitan counties are made up of elected councillors.

Regional assemblies are made up of a elected councillors of the councils covered (the councils send a certain number of their councillors as their representatives). They are being abolished though.

The House of Lords, though not directly elected by the people, actually represents the nation's politics better than the Commons does. It has nearly equal numbers of Labour and Conservative members, as well as a large number of cross-benchers and members of other smaller parties.

The monarchy doesn't get involved in day-to-day politics. It is as you point out mainly a "Head of State" role. It's pretty much a ceremonial post with last resort reserve powers.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 10:06 AM   #100
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...plus, the House of Commons are merly 'Elected - Nominated Members of political factions' anyway.
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