To expand these chapter summaries, please click on each chapter title below.
Ending the practice of the Lord Mayor and family actually living in the Town Hall for a year, with attending servant, was not the issue, and was a wise cost saving measure. But the title and the chain of office are invested in such symbolism that the position was reinstated after a few years of turmoil. Read chapter 3.
The Left administration in Manchester found itself caught in a difficult position. Refusing to implement the new tax and set a level for it would simply end up with the Council being forced to do so by the Secretary of State. Yet local Labour Party supporters were actively campaigning against the Poll Tax, with slogans such as “Don’t Collect! Don’t Pay!” The trade unions and councillors were concerned if they didn’t collect the Poll Tax, the budget would be massively short, meaning job losses and cuts to services for Manchester people. Either way the people who were worst off would suffer. Meanwhile some chief officers were not co-operating with the councillors in trying to identify how the organisation could be restructured and cuts made without entailing forced redundancies. Read chapter 13.
- Acting as client for the Compulsory Competitive Tendering process
- Monitoring improvements to the quality of services
- Overseeing the centralised awarding of grants to the voluntary sector
The process of transferring housing stock to housing associations was led by Claire Nangle, Deputy of the committee, who then became Chair in 1995, when Dave Lunts stepped down because of the conflict of interest of him working for the Housing Association that won the transfer deal. Under Claire Nangle’s leadership, pioneering work on probationary tenancies, led to senior housing officer Bill Pitt’s secondment to advise the 1997 Labour government, and the national introduction of ASBO legislation. Read chapter 20.
In the period 1984 to 1997 that this chapter covers, the services were the subject of numerous changes to the management and committee structures, driven in parts by CCT and the overall budget cuts required. Repair and maintenance needs, beyond the funds available, led to closures and public outcry and protests. The protests for Victoria Baths were particularly well organised. The chapter also has a large section about Heaton Park, the franchise for the golf course proving particularly challenging on a political level, but also initial proposals being objected to strongly by the public. Read chapter 23.