AGMA approves restructuring of ‘Manchester family’

The executive board of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities agreed a new business plan on Friday to streamline activities of four support agencies in the light of funding cuts.

The proposal was written by Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council and Barbara Spicer, chief executive of inward investment agency Midas.

The Manchester family of organisations will be restructured to find savings of £3.2m in 2011/12.

The organisations affected are Manchester Solutions, Marketing Manchester, Midas and the Commission for New Economy.

The business plan sets out three areas of work in the future:

  • Research, strategy and evaluation, including employment and skills – to be led by New Economy
  • Business growth, trade and inward investment to be led by Manchester Solutions with Midas
  • Marketing, communications and tourism – to be led by Marketing Manchester

In addition to her role as chief executive of Midas, Robinson will also take on the responsibilities of a chief operating officer across the Manchester family, working with her fellow chief executives to ensure cohesion and maximise efficiencies.

A statement from AGMA said Robinson's extra role was "a critical requirement and will enable the organisations to deliver more effectively without the need for an additional appointment."

There will be 85 job losses, equal to 35% of the total staff, and the consultation period has already started.

Robinson said: "This review has been very timely and we are grateful to our AGMA colleagues for their support and guidance in taking it forwards. As we all seek to realign our focus directly in support of the delivery of the Greater Manchester Strategy, it is only right that form follows function, and we have endeavoured to put the most robust structures in place in order to drive forwards those strategic priorities we are collectively responsible for."

Lord Peter Smith, chairman of AGMA, said: "The family of agencies were challenged with budget cuts of £3.2m in the 2011-12 financial year. Coupled with the creation of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership, it was necessary to re-align the work of the Family to ensure that maximum outputs could be achieved. The new structure and ways of working will better support each of Greater Manchester's local authority areas and will continue to focus on driving economic growth."

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