Prime Minister’s promises signal end to casino fight

Manchester City Council has dropped its legal challenge to the casino U-turn after assurances from Gordon Brown that jobs will be created in the area.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of the council, discussed the area's regeneration needs with Brown at a meeting of the ministerial group chaired by Hazel Blears, Communities Secretary, which was set up to find a way to compensate East Manchester after the casino concept was scrapped.

Sir Richard said: "The city council will do everything it can to protect the interests of the city and its residents and we are convinced that there is more to be gained for Manchester by working with Government than from confronting them in the court room. As a consequence the city council will not be pursuing legal action.

"Given everything else going on at the moment, the very fact that the Prime Minister was willing to give us some of his time is a clear indication of his commitment and the importance he places on progressing the projects announced earlier this year. We are very pleased to have his backing but will continue to put pressure on Government to ensure the promises are delivered for the people of east Manchester."

The ministerial group is made up of eight cabinet ministers: Secretaries of State for Culture, Media and Sport; Innovation, Universities and Skills; Work and Pensions; Transport; Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform; and Health, as well as the regional minister for the North West, the leader of Manchester City Council and the chairman of the North West Development Agency.

The aim of this regeneration taskforce is to help generate an equivalent number of jobs to those that a regional casino could have delivered and to foster greater long-term growth that benefits the people of east Manchester. It meets every two months to drive the regeneration plans for east Manchester forward.

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