Tom Skinner urges MCFly readers to have their say on the strategy for Greater Manchester
Right now local authorities are working on a city-wide strategy, claiming ‘By 2020, the Manchester city region will have pioneered a new model for sustainable economic growth based around a more connected, talented and greener city region where all our residents are able to contribute to and benefit from sustained prosperity’.
In my opinion it’s very market-focussed, very much about business and less about people. It lacks any real vision of the communities and people of Manchester as a distinct asset to be invested in. There are things like skills training for individuals that makes them more attractive to investment, or opening up land for development in the most market-able spaces. But little or nothing about investing directly in communities through community organising and prioritisation of ultra-local community centres such as libraries and leisure centres. It also focuses on raising the average wage (which can be achieved while increasing inequality) rather than raising low wages through any effort toward a Living Wage.
I tend to pick up on stuff about education, community resources, low pay etc, but I’ll bet the strategy falls just as short on the environment – can any greens help a simpleton like me to spot how the strategy can improve its environmental aspirations? If so, why not tell the authorities directly! They’re asking for your thoughts, and credit where credit’s due, along with the ~50 page strategy, they provide a 2-page ‘plain English’ summary, so you don’t have to spend hours reading it.
The consultation closes on 17th June, so please write and have your say today.