Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The doors will open at 5.00pm and as numbers are limited you are advised to get there early.
The Area Committee is requested by planning officers to recommend that the Planning and Highways Regulation Committee refuse planning permission.
Both ASDA and Kirkland applications will be referred to and decided by the Planning and Highways Regulation Committee on:
Friday 1st March - Venue: Stockport County Football Ground, Room TNT 2 Suite, Edgeley Park, Hardcastle Road, Edgely Stockport SK3 9DD at 6.00pm
Doors open at 5.00pm and as numbers are limited to 210 people you are advised to get there early.
Friday, February 22, 2013
I was delighted to don the purple GrowthAccelerator tie and get back on the road to promote this fantastic business service. The first event was in Rotherham, the next day I was back on the road and up with the lark in Leeds. Both events had a real energy about them and a real rapport between the panel members who I did interviews with. I’ve added insights from them to a blog on the GrowthAcclerator website on international trade tips.
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Sunday, February 17, 2013
We went to see I Am Kloot on Friday. I find lead vocalist and front man John Bramwell so enchanting and his music capable of such stirring, despite such heavy dollops of melancholia. I wonder whether this new album Let It All In will be their breakthrough, certainly it deserves to on the basis of the first few listens. I was happy for Elbow when they achieved great success, but as I've got to love Kloot I've felt a nagging frustration that they are better. It's not a contest, but I wish it more than anything. A new video released this week may help, there's another one up there too (above). One of them will have to be this album's One Day Like This, though I'm not sure which one yet.
Another observation. The audience at the Ritz was a real mix. Usually a musical style like this would be more suited to the Bridgewater Hall or the Lowry, but Kloot appeal to people who like a drink and may have been to the Ritz on a punk might many eons ago. The mixture of drink and quiet moments leads to frequent chit chat during the show. Really annoying.
Anyway, enough of that. Go and buy the album. Piccadilly records are stocking it, but HMV aren't.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Really, don’t bother watching The Estate set in Harpurhey on BBC3, it sounds exploitative and boring, the worst kind of poverty porn. It’s one of those TV programmes that seeks to portray the people of a poor area as freaks for the entertainment and amusement of the rest of us. In the process it upsets the locals and frustrates those who agreed to appear when they come out of it badly. Frankly it sounds exploitative and boring.
If you are interested in understanding the tough north Manchester neighbourhood then may I suggest instead that you take a trip to the Factory Youth Zone.
I went there this week and had a good look round with energetic fundraiser Claire Griffiiths and the CEO Paul Bird.
Up on the wall is plastered the mission statement of the Zone - “Somewhere to go, something to do, someone to talk to.” The three things the kids wanted from the new facility when it opened, following the lead of Bolton Lads and Girls Club.
The sports, social and education facilities are top notch, but it’s the passion and commitment of the volunteers and the enthusiasm of the kids that really set me alight. I think they’ve struck a remarkably successful balance between learning and leisure. Yes, there’s table tennis tables, which we all remember from our youth clubs, but also some incredible courses and projects. Plenty of business people have been through the Zone to talk to the kids about what it’s like in the world of work.
The Zone is our charity this year and we’re going to be doing a few things that bridge entrepreneurship of young Mancunians with the community of Downtown. Please get in touch if you’d like to help us.
On a totally different theme, another story that has loomed large with me this week has been the resignation of the Pope. If you’ve ever been to Rome, you’ll know what I mean when I say it feels like the global headquarters of a major international corporation. A real company town. One of the many ways in which the Roman Catholic church differs from corporations however is that it’s CEO tends to die on the job, rather than gracefully retire.
It annoys me that football managers refuse to resign as they seek a big payout, so many business leaders stay on too long in search of that payoff and the stubborn desire to build a legacy. I have rather a lot of admiration for those who genuinely step to one side and get out of the way of their successor – Sir Terry Leahy did it. Tony Blair wanted to, but was grumpily pushed out. So you have to rather admire Pope Benedict’s precedent-setting move to retire the Papacy. He sees the enormity of the task of leading such a complex organization and is restating what is expected of the role in future years.
It was Enoch Powell who said all political careers end in failure. I suspect that history will be rather kinder to Joseph Ratzinger.
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Sunday, February 10, 2013
Here’s an audioboo of me at the Liberty Pensions 5th birthday party at the National Football Museum. It was such a terrific occasion, the guest speakers were me and Martin Vander Weyer of the Spectator, who really impressed with his rendition of his poem about the financial crisis. Inspiring stuff.
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