This morning saw the Point at Lancashire Cricket Club host the Pro-Manchester Great Manchester Business Conference.
The tone was set by a video appearance from Sir Richard Leese and a presentation from the podium by Sir Howard Bernstein.
Both laid out the compelling arguments in favour of the process of devolution of powers to Greater Manchester which formally began with the adoption of the Greater Manchester Agreement on 3 November 2014.
Current statistics show that Manchester remains in a £5bn net deficit position, comparing spend with taxes. Moving Manchester into “net contributor” territory (and thus creating a robust platform for growth and development) can only be achieved by taking control of key powers, budgets and spend. This will allow for shaping of delivery through collaboration across a wide range of core services: developing infrastructure in an integrated and efficient way, improving communications and transport linkages and networks and, not least, integrating health and social care provision to improve health outcomes at all levels.
Sir Richard characterised Manchester as “the virtual super-city of the North” and Sir Howard emphasised the powerful message that “Manchester has been a city of Firsts for Generations.”
The Blog is looking forward to continuing the Devo Manc discussion at MIPIM next week and beyond.