Neighbourhood Services

Following the example of Islington Council, Manchester’s Labour Group aimed to devolve decision-making and delivery of services to a local neighbourhood level. This chapter outlines the steps taken to do this, creating new committee and staff structures, finding suitable sites for building new offices, the consultations with the public and the negotiations with the chief officers and trade unions.
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Local Services Decided on by Local People
The Committee and Neighbourhood Services Unit
Consultation Meetings
Finding or Building Neighbourhood Offices
Staffing the Neighbourhood Offices
Negotiating Devolution in Practice
The Open Town Hall as an Information Centre
Appendix 6A: Extract from 1984 Manifesto: Open Government
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Editor’s Comments

This is a relatively short chapter. I’ve added the sub-headings and opted to include the Appendix as a section rather than making as another page. The only other editing has been typographical. There were a couple of sentences that I wanted to take out but have left them as Kath’s voice.


[1] The child protection disasters in Islington left an indelible impression on Margaret Hodge who is currently an MP and was the leader of Islington Council at the time.

[2] In Tower Hamlets in 1986, a neighbourhood services initiative was introduced by an incoming Liberal Democrat administration within six months of taking control. But it was on a much more modest scale than Islington with a much smaller number of neighbourhoods.

[3] The members of the team were – Ann Seex (Head of Unit), Mal Benyon, Pip Cotterill, Chris Duncan, Dave Power and John Shiers, plus an admin officer and a research officer.

[4] A sixth site was identified in the Dam Head area of Blackley.

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