> Welcome to GMeP > The Greater Manchester Strategy
Everyone has heard of Manchester. As a centre for commerce and culture in the North of England it is unrivalled. Thanks to the success of the Commonwealth Games in the summer of 2002, its global reputation was enhanced. But Manchester is greaterthan this. Greater Manchester has ten local authorities and 2.5 million people in one city region. There is great richness in its cultural heritage and in the diverse mix of its community. This diversity is melded togetherby services, transport, business links and mutual opportunities.
The sum is greater than the parts. The centre provides Greater Manchester with its global identity, specialist activities and employment opportunities. But the centre needs the rest of the conurbation for its employment pool, the skills of its people and its collective purchasing and bargaining power. Their futures are bound together in mutual dependency.
Although the economy of Greater Manchester is expected to grow, we cannot ignore the constraints that could threaten or undermine this growth. We have very wealthy and successful areas, but also some of England s poorest neighbourhoods. Disadvantage falls disproportionately on certain sections of the community. We must ensure that Greater Manchester s growth benefits all its residents and counteracts the dangers of polarisation.
AGMA - the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities has produced a Greater Manchester strategy in orderto provide a vision forthe future of our City-Region and to set ourselves with our partners key outcomes to achieve. We believe that only by working together can Greater Manchester pull its weight in discussions with the NWDA, Central Government, Brussels and others about what is important to us and the people we serve, both in terms of funding priorities and policy development.
We were pleasantly surprised by the responses received from the consultation draft of the strategy we produced. This final version of the strategy has taken on board many of the key points that those who responded have made. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have taken the time to consider what we originally proposed.
One fundamental response from the consultation process was a strong desire across sectors within Greater Manchester fora credible mechanism for taking forward an agreed strategy. In orderto achieve this, this strategy includes proposals for a Greater Manchester Forum.
The strategy will be a starting point forbetter co-operation across Greater Manchester. To produce a document which has a broad degree of support across Greater Manchester, illustrated by the organisations that have agreed to endorse its production, is in itself an achievement. However we shall only make a real difference by achieving its challenging key performance actions. Lets stop talking and get on with it!
Leader, Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.