Manchester Family budget cuts proposed

The Manchester Family of key public agencies that help shape the city region is facing a 12.4% budget cut, according to proposals going before Greater Manchester Combined Authority's executive board on Friday.

Policy advisor New Economy, inward investment service Midas and promoter Marketing Manchester currently receive a total of £2.524m from district contributions each year.

An ongoing review of the Manchester Family is being led by Sir Howard Bernstein, head of paid services at GMCA and chief executive of Manchester City Council.

The proposed budget cuts over the next two years are as follows:

  • New Economy: £807,000 approved budget in year 2013/14, to reduce to £707,000 by 2015/16
  • Midas: £1.306m to £1.144m
  • Marketing Manchester: £411,000 to £360,000

Each district pays Midas an equal contribution. For Marketing Manchester, 80% of the funding is split; 35% paid by Manchester City Council and remaining 65% split equally between the other nine districts; the remaining 20% of the total funding is split on a population basis. With New Economy, funding is split between the 10 authorities on a population basis.

In addition to the cuts to the Manchester Family, the combined investment and core strategy team is to see its budget more than halve from £1m at present to £497,000 by 2015/16.

The savings will not be returned to the councils, however. The money will be used to fund new priorities such as the Low Carbon Investment Team, which has a proposed budget of £500,000 in 2015/16 to continue GM green agenda work after a two-year joint venture with UK Green Investment Bank expires. There will be £350,000 for a unit to examine public sector reform, as Manchester city region aims to become less reliant on central government.

The combined authority will also have to find £160,000 for running joint procurement contracts, which are currently billed as a stand-alone project by Trafford Council on behalf of the group, but has indicated it wishes to see centralised billing from existing AGMA resources.

The executive for AGMA and GMCA are due to meet on Friday in Stockport.

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