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EXCLUSIVE: Alicia Keys Gig Cost £425,000 Council Subsidy

Jonathan Schofield on whether Monday evening in Manchester was worth so much

Published on September 29th 2012.


EXCLUSIVE: Alicia Keys Gig Cost £425,000 Council Subsidy

CONFIDENTIAL ASKED A QUESTION at the Alicia Keys MTV Crashes Manchester event on Monday (click here for the review).

“So how much money did the city council contribute to the gig to grease the wheels for MTV to bring Alicia Keys?” 

The Council said they’d get back to us. 

But there will be others in Manchester looking at the amounts the Council donates to other cultural celebrations and wondering at the huge figure of £425K and saying could the money have been better spent on events that have more local impact than two and a half hours in the Cathedral?

And they did, and massively to their credit they didn’t make us jump through the hoops of a Freedom of Information Act Request. They gathered their officers and they came up with a statement. Open government is key and Manchester City Council did us proud here.

But they also took our breath away. 

For one gig in Manchester Cathedral, the ‘City Council contributed £425,000’. 

£425,000. 

Wow. 

As the Council say, part of the funding package comprised £250k from a regeneration fund that helps finance cultural events that will attract visitors and future investment to the host city, and the balance came from the existing city council events budget. In otherwords none of it came from council cuts in essential services. This was always ring-fenced for culture.

Sara Tomkins, Assistant Chief Executive (Communications Customer and ICT) at Manchester City Council, said: "This event will showcase Manchester around the world. As well as showing the concert itself, MTV are also broadcasting a programme about Manchester's musical heritage and music scene. Taking part in such world-class events strengthens Manchester's position on the world stage as a premier destination for music, entertainment and culture, boosts the local economy and increases the global profile of Manchester as an exciting destination for young adults to visit, work, study and live.   

"Manchester's ability to attract such events is testament to the ambition of the city and we hope to realise further activities in partnership with MTV in the coming years. The show has generated massive coverage across national and international media, including the Washington Post, with an expected media value in excess of £6.6m.”  

It's hard to work out how coverage in the Washington Post influences our economy directly but these things seem to matter. There are other stats the City Council want us to know. 

Apparently MTV Networks' brands are seen globally in 642 million households in 161 countries and 34 languages. It reaches over 213 million households in Europe through 28 different MTV channels and they receive 8 million unique visitors each month to MTV Music websites. In addition to its TV channels globally, MTV has 47 websites, 19 broadband services and 17 mobile TV channels and mobile video-on-demand services, including distribution to most of the world’s video-enabled mobile handsets. 65% of MTV’s adult viewers in Europe are aged 15-34. 

When Belfast hosted Mark Ronson (at least we got the far more talented Alicia Keys) they identified an economic impact of £1.6m through hosting the event. 

How that was worked out is less clear.

The City Council says that ‘given the worldwide appeal of R’n’B superstar Alicia Keys - it is anticipated that the economic impact of Alicia at Manchester Cathedral will exceed previous Crashes events’.   

But there will be others in Manchester looking at the amounts the Council donates to other cultural celebrations and wondering at the huge figure of £425K. They'll be asking if the money could have been better spent on events that have more local impact than two and a half hours in the Cathedral for A-grade musician? 

If Manchester International Festival receives £2m for almost two weeks of events then where’s the balance? And that subsidy has always been controversial enough.

If Manchester Food and Drink Festival got £32,000 in 2010 and receives nothing for event programming now, then how can the Keys' gig be justified? 

Wouldn't a re-invention of the much missed Streets Ahead festival be money better spent?

The problem is that this is part of the game of cities at the moment, where identity and profile becomes a battle that commercial organisations can exploit.

You had Mark Ronson I raise you Alicia Keys. Does this hint at a huge lack of confidence? 

One thing struck me on Monday night.

I was with my son who loves football and was blown away not only by the jaw-dropping excellence of Alicia Keys, but the fact that along for the ride there was Joe Hart, David Silva, Micah Richards, Javi Garcia, Raheem Sterling, Robin van Persie, Alex Buttner and Fabrice Muamba.

I remember when I first started going to United and City in the early eighties and only Bryan Robson had world class status.

Now in Manchester in one gig there was in the audience a five-a-side squad that could probably beat any other in the world. 

We've changed.

£425,000.

If you've raised your game then you have to play it at that level, or fall backwards. This is what commercial organisations can exploit for their own advantage.

Somebody must have thought that almost half a million pounds was market value for an MTV Alicia Keys gig.

Whether we as citizens agree is a different matter.

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91 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

TomSeptember 27th 2012.

How much? Yer what? Flabbergasted.

Michael WestSeptember 27th 2012.

I'm not sure if I see any value for money here. What MCC is basically saying is that they have splashed out 425k on a telly commercial. How do we monitor what impact this investment has had? A few days ago mancon reported on our broadband windfall and the fact that large pockets of the city are still without something as basic as broadband. These kind of infrastructure developments show tangible rewards, shouldn't we start with the basics before we show off our fur coat and no knickers?

DanSeptember 27th 2012.

What!. This is a joke. I wrote to my local Councillor and indeed the Council last week about the state of the streets (litter) around the Northern Quarter/Ancoats/Piccadilly and the response was that they "are working closely with neighborhood managers to secure funding for more bins.". Yet they throw the best part of 500 grand at Alicia Keys!. Here's an idea, why don't they spend half a million quid on cleaning the city up so people/tourists are left with a good impression of Manchester and not it's dumpy streets. Priorities Manchester!

Carole EaseySeptember 27th 2012.

Absolutely horrified people in Manchester getting cutbacks all the time, there again bet the Manchester councillors enjoyed another Free night at our expense. Be ashamed very ashamed well done another major balls up

AlanSeptember 27th 2012.

DISGRACEFUL MCC!!! they need to wake up, do they not understand people are suffering cut backs and increases they cannot afford. Not everyone works for the council on high salary we just pay for it, no wonder no one has any faith or trust in the ability of councils or government to understand the real world the rest of us live in. Councils do not make money, just spend it, invest in jobs and business that create money first.

AnonymousSeptember 27th 2012.

We also spotted Sleuth attending the gig... in the VIP area!

CharlieSeptember 27th 2012.

From the MEN: "The council contributed £425,000 towards the event, at Manchester Cathedral, which included free drinks for VIPs and a VIP reception before the event at Harvey Nichols.

They also spent money on a big screen which broadcast the concert in Cathedral Gardens – but was poorly attended due to the bad weather.

The free event for 1,000 fans – including 250 M.E.N competition winners – was filmed by music station, MTV, which will broadcast it next month."

So £425 per person attending the gig.

Kevin PeelSeptember 27th 2012.

I was at the gig and it was fantastic. The broadcasting of it and the film about Manchester will reinforce our status as a leading city of musical heritage on the world stage. That's publicity you can't put a price tag on.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Stephen LakeSeptember 27th 2012.

Funny how a labour councillor in a labour controlled council a) got a ticket b) thinks it was good value.

This money would have been better spent on other cultural activities in Manchester. Perhaps investing in an event that were to find a world class act from Manchester.

As for the other rants about the council and non payment of council tax etc...the people of the city only have themselves to blame. Average turnout in the City Center in May was 17%. If you don't vote don't moan.

Poster BoySeptember 27th 2012.

...does a turkey vote for Christmas?

AnonymousDecember 24th 2013.

Did you get free VIP drinkies Councillor Peel?

DavidSeptember 27th 2012.

If you think Mark Ronson is a bigger draw than Alicia Keys then you are clearly deluded about popular culture.
The cost of this event makes no difference to the level of services in Manchester.Its peanuts compared to the overall budget.
If Mr SCHOFIELD however wants to aim a Daily Mail style Tabloid rant at Manchester Council,maybe he should focus,on the far more significant £50 million in uncollected council tax.That is the real disgrace,but our middle class socialists seem embarrassed at asking people to pay up what they owe.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Duke FameSeptember 28th 2012.

If that money was spare, it should be paid back to council tax payers not spend on another vanity project for a bunch of town clerks.

AnonymousSeptember 27th 2012.

Clearly the VIP councillors would think it was fantastic we WILL remember this when it is time to vote!! "I am all right, I enjoyed it and didn't have to pay for it" how smug can they be? Promote the city, yes try cutting car parking charges and attract visitors instead of driving them away, which in turn closes business, and costs jobs and reduces your income MCC

DavidSeptember 27th 2012.

I don't remember Manchester Confidential running these sort of headlines,about the cost of the Olympic Torch relay,which was roughly the same and did not attract international media coverage.But that was before the editors pet campaign about Library Walks was rubbished by the Labour leadership for being middle class winging.
I wander did Mr SCHOFIELD pay for his tickets?,and if he did not is he going to give a donation to the costs now he realises the true cost to the city taxpayers.

AnonymousSeptember 27th 2012.

I was lucky enough to be there and couldn't care less how much it cost the council. Hosted in a country where we seem to be losing out to other major cities; a live music event this good (and it was mind blowing) in OUR own musical city shouldn't be derided as an overspend.

And David; please wind your neck in mate. Mark Ronson presses buttons and nobs for a living. What Ms Keys did on Monday night was stunningly beautiful.

Hero
John NuttallSeptember 27th 2012.

Alicia Keys is great, a true musician unlike the majority of producers' puppets that American record companies churn out. However, neither her nor MTV need any kind of subsidy from MCC. I could name half a dozen Manchester divas every bit her equal, I'd much prefer the council to subsidise home grown talent if they must play that game

AnonymousSeptember 27th 2012.

The usual price of everything, value of nothing stuff from Mcr Confidential. Haven't you got some parking charges to moan about or something?

Money well spent in my view, and I pay my Council Tax.

1 Response: Reply To This...
James KellySeptember 28th 2012.

Dear Anon, did you actually read the article? It questions but doesn't condemn the amount paid.

Hells bellsSeptember 27th 2012.

Utter disgrace. I've lived in the city for over ten years and watched it get dirtier and dirtier - a few hundred meters from my home one of the ginnels I walk past every day off Deansgate is referred to as 'Piss Alley' by friends, it stinks, is filthy and would be a condemned area was it indoors. It has got to be a health hazard. MCC should spend some money on cleaning things like that up. As for the 'ring-fenced' comment that's just laughable. People in the public sector are losing their jobs left, right and centre. While I think there are definitely job cuts to be made, however they try to dress up the perceived publicity value etc. in this climate it's just plain wrong.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Councillor Joan DaviesSeptember 27th 2012.

HB Can you let me have the name of the alley you refer to? I'll request some suitable action to reduce the problem. If you have some helpful information re times and favoured drinking holes of the culprits then please contact me offline. Ta.

Hells bellsSeptember 28th 2012.

It is College Land/Parsonage Lane - the walk through to Deansgate from St Mary's Parsonage, down the side of Trailfinders.

Kevin PeelSeptember 27th 2012.

I'm really shocked by the number of people who want to talk our city down and don't believe the council should have a big vision for the city and want to attract attention, visitors and investment that benefits us all.

Thankfully I'm confident that the posters on the ManCon rant wall don't speak for the majority who are proud of our city and want to see us promoting ourselves on the world stage in every arena.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Duke FameSeptember 28th 2012.

Kev, you are a deludded fool. You are a typical councillor with your nose in the trough. You appear to be intent on being a career polititian because you don't have the talent for a proper job.

AnonymousSeptember 28th 2012.

I'm really shocked how you dismiss genuine outrage and legitimate concerns about the amount of money spent and label anyone who disagrees with the value of the concert as 'people who want to talk the city down'.

I don't doubt that it was a fantastic night for all who attended but I personally feel that it's an outrageous amount to spend to host an A-list celebrity and for VIP goodies/Harvey Nichols parties regardless of how much fun was had.

As a city councillor I would expect you to engage and reason with me and others and explain why you hold the opinion that it was a worthwhile event. Including, what is the expected increase in visitors and investment that justifies the £425k spend?

As someone who loves Manchester, lived here for nearly ten years and voted for you in the last election I am appalled by your reaction here.

Hells bellsSeptember 28th 2012.

Have a big vision but get priorities right I thnk is the key theme if you read this properly and look at it objectively.

Julie JohnsonOctober 1st 2012.

Mr Peel,

Did you pay to attend, and if so how much? My understanding is that the tickets were all given away to a chosen few? Did you go to the VIP reception? Get free drinks?

Because frankly, given your involvement, your integrity both as a commenter and a councillor is severely compromised and you're a fool if you can't see that.

Events? Great! But events that are only available to a chosen few and can then only be seen via a subscription service (so the services and channels concerned will reap the benefit)? You've been taken for a ride with our money.

AnonymousSeptember 27th 2012.

Could Alicia Keys sell out a decent size show in Manchester without financial support? YES
Would MTV have filmed that show? YES, they need the content and probably would have paid for the privilege. They do not have any where near the credibility and worldwide reach they once had and would have been in a bidding war with other media channels.
Is Media value a good measure? NO, it's notoriously modelled to suit the the hype needed.
Will Manchester generate a net income of £425k from the follow on exposure? NO, despite the potential and legacy, Manchester is not a reliable destination to regularly experience this type of music or culture.
The fact that this event was filmed in Manchester will dissolve at a similar pace to the memory you will have of this rant.
Best analogy I can provide as the autumn rushes in; striking a match is not the same as raising a bonfire! and that amount of cash could have burned brighter and for longer!

StephenSeptember 27th 2012.

If this was about promoting Manchester and its musical heritage, then why Alicia Keys? Also why the need to make it a VIP junket?

And MTV? They may as well have spent a fortune on a promo film and then put it out on Betamax! So last century.

AnonymousSeptember 27th 2012.

Out of touch! The council and councillors are out of touch, if they think these rants are a minority. Do we get value for money? Do they waste our money? as usual listen to your hangers on, not the people who pay you!! Much better ways to promote this city (which is great due to its people not its council) than wasting money like this. If you want to waste money ask the people of Manchester to vote to say how happy they are with the council, and how it runs the city! As it was said above no point voting any more, why bother if this is how you carry on.

MissMSeptember 27th 2012.

most of the people moaning on here are out of touch. ever heard of speculating to accumulate?

MissMSeptember 27th 2012.

just wish to point out that leah mackay did not make the above comment. it was me!

Selina BurnsSeptember 28th 2012.

I loved it so all stop moaning its done now get over it already , what a brilliant night .

Paul ShannonSeptember 28th 2012.

It's a fair question to ask if our cash-strapped council can afford to spend £425k of public money on this MTV concert - but before rubbishing these legitimate concerns, Councillor Kevin Peel should clear up the rumours and declare openly right now if he accepted freebies such as a VIP concert ticket or free entry to the aftershow party? Elected representatives spending our money need to be open and transparent.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
Kevin PeelSeptember 28th 2012.

Paul I saw at least one councillor from your own benches at the event so perhaps before you attempt to create a bandwagon and jump on it you should check that out.

Duke FameSeptember 28th 2012.

Kev, it's not about which coluour of councillor managed to get a freebie, it shows all councillors in a bad light. Sickening.

Hells bellsSeptember 28th 2012.

A typical political deflection response from Mr Peel.

Phil WalkerSeptember 28th 2012.

So your answer to did you get a freebie is that you saw some councillor from a different party there too - I presume that means that you did get a freebie and you are trying to justify it by saying so did a lot of other people. Frankly if I had my way we'd just sack any politician who refused to give a straight answer to a straight question. The whole lot of you would be out of a job by the end of the week. The answer to the question was either yes I got a freebie, or no, I paid out of my own personal income - so, which was it?

Dave MartinSeptember 30th 2012.

Typical politician - dodge the question by talking about something else, as though everyone is too thick to notice. While only time will tell whether this thing was vfm the sight of councillors at the trough is never pleaant

Julie JohnsonOctober 1st 2012.

Thank you for asking again Paul.

Kevin, instead getting into petty bickering, maybe you could just ANSWER THE QUESTION?

UrbanefoxSeptember 28th 2012.

If Manchester wants to compete with the big boys of Europe then it has to court the global media, and there aren't many bigger players than MTV. This costs money and if the Council has allocated money for this purpose, then it was money well spent. It looked spectacular.

I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think Manchester has hosted the MTV European Music Awards? If the 'MTV Crashes' event was an opportunity to convince MTV bigwigs to host the ceremony in Manchester in the foreseeable future, then it was money very well spent indeed.

8 Responses: Reply To This...
Duke FameSeptember 28th 2012.

NO, if Manchester wants to compete, it just needs to give businesses the tools to compete. The council is there it clear the litter and mend street lights, councillors are in the council because they ar not talented enough to get a proper job, they should not be spending our money in this way.

Duke FameSeptember 28th 2012.

Why, the council are there to get teh bins emptied, put street lights on etc - they are even inefficient at doing that, they are not gig promotors.

UrbanefoxSeptember 28th 2012.

Agree with you on the benefits of keeping the City Centre clean and that Manchester is getting dirtier. The Council should think about 'ring fencing' some money for additional bins and public toilets sometime soon.

That's not the Council's only role though, it's also got to promote the City. This concert was seen by a global audience of teenagers and young adults. Quite a few people want to visit and live in cities where this sort of thing goes on - myself included.

It'd be nice if it was clean too though...

Duke FameSeptember 28th 2012.

I don't agree that the council is here to promote the city.

I support neither Man C or Manre but these two institutions promote the city in a far greater way than anything the council can do. Private enterprise is simply far better at it than hapless public servants.

The town clerks' roll is to provided a clean, secure place for business to thrive, if business thrives, people will be needed to work here and if they are employed here, they will spend here etc. What will an American Singer and the European Franchise of a US media company do to make more business in Manchester? All that will happen is that less people came to see her than had a proper promoter arranged it in the arena, those who came would have thought "it's a bit cold & wet here oh & the town is a bit ugly" and they would have gone home again.

We have the likes of Kevin Peel and other councillors trying to overstate the importance of their little role in order to self-promote themselves. We've seen it recently with Richard Leese desperately trying to spend a fortune on TIF, Howie Bernstein's ego and ability to milk the public purse knows no limits and before that Graham Stringer who still manages to create more column inches for himself than his intellect deserves.

Duke FameSeptember 28th 2012.

I don't agree that the council is here to promote the city.

I support neither Man C or Manre but these two institutions promote the city in a far greater way than anything the council can do. Private enterprise is simply far better at it than hapless public servants.

The town clerks' roll is to provided a clean, secure place for business to thrive, if business thrives, people will be needed to work here and if they are employed here, they will spend here etc. What will an American Singer and the European Franchise of a US media company do to make more business in Manchester? All that will happen is that less people came to see her than had a proper promoter arranged it in the arena, those who came would have thought "it's a bit cold & wet here oh & the town is a bit ugly" and they would have gone home again.

We have the likes of Kevin Peel and other councillors trying to overstate the importance of their little role in order to self-promote themselves. We've seen it recently with Richard Leese desperately trying to spend a fortune on TIF, Howie Bernstein's ego and ability to milk the public purse knows no limits and before that Graham Stringer who still manages to create more column inches for himself than his intellect deserves.

AnonymousSeptember 28th 2012.

Ah we clearly have our very own right wing head banger in Duke Fame.

Markets fail. The role of the public sector is to correct market failures; to innovate, take risks and invest where the private sector can not or will not; and promote wider social and economic benefits rather than sectional interests alone. Maybe if the private sector were more coordinated and proactive in promoting the city we could make a saving on the events budget.

£425k sounds expensive but the cost of buying that sort of global media exposure through conventional means would cost many multiples of that figure.

Manchester as a place and a brand must compete and compete hard to win investment and these sorts of events are an important component of that strategy. As long as they don't take funding away from mainstream services (as stated) then I don't have a problem with it.

HOWEVER, as with others on here, I am absolutely appalled at the idea that Councillors might have benefited from this for free. ManCon, if you are to put in an FOI request, I suggest it is to find this out. Did Mr Peel and other politicians pay for their ticket or not?

Duke FameSeptember 28th 2012.

Hmm, that's a bit of a cliche, when the left are found to be hypocritical thieves, they resort to name calling! "right wing head banger", I'm a bit of a liberal but the next step is to label everyone who doesnt share the leftie dogma a "Mail reader"

AnonymousSeptember 29th 2012.

As one of that select group of people that think that if only the state got out of the way the private sector on its own would lead us to nirvana, I'd say you were the definition of a crazed right wing head banger.

Well guess what, the state got out of the way of the banking industry (largely) and look at the catastrophic economic consequences.

A decent and fair society with a high standard of living demands that both sectors are strong.

Alicia Keys at the cathedral can be seen as one small part of a strategy to reverse the localised effects of de-industrialisation, itself a form of market failure that continues to have profound effects on the city and its people.

the Whalley RangerSeptember 28th 2012.

It is absolutely of the essence that this sort of thing happens and is sponsored/ supported. Currently in Spain, this event was news on the national TV station here (!)

Similar events that raise Manchester's profile are notably Usain Bolt's 150m run down Deansgate. All really good stuff! More of it, please.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Duke FameSeptember 28th 2012.

So we're currently giving 10% of our salary to people like Kevin Peel & Richard Leese to spend on a nice jolly.

There is a line where there is market failure and public goods must fill the void, this is a mile off, it's very very wrong.

Craig EasthamSeptember 28th 2012.

Why is it of the essence?

Does it make the streets cleaner?

Does it improve child literacy and poverty?

Does it open public toilets and libraries?

Does it improve the number of nursery places for children?

The whole gamut of services that have been slashed - not just now, but over the last 25+ years in this city?

How long and how much money does the motley crew in Town Hall want/need to turn the lives around of the city's residents?

Or, is it simply that all MCC cares about is making sure that shoppers and visitors line the pockets of businesses while residents rot.

the Whalley RangerSeptember 30th 2012.

Duke

as i said a TV ad for £425k. Do you have any idea how much a 30 second super bowl ad costs?

Craig
'slashed services over the last 25 years?' - I have known Manchester when the only bars in town were Dry201 and Ten Bar. It was Bosnia then, what are you on about?

AnonymousSeptember 28th 2012.

Councillor Kevin, I want Manchester promoted on a big stage and it's great that happens, but what boils my pi** is the fact that the council also seem to be taking the mick out of residents. I've lived in the city centre for nearly 10 years and it has become dirtier and filthier as they have gone by. Nice that we can have all these new visitors, yet when they go back to their home town, they can say "oh yeah Manchester was great, but it's dirty". I've also discussed with the council a road issue near my property which was met with "we cant afford to paint a yellow line". I'll do it for nowt! You need a reality check.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
DanSeptember 28th 2012.

Well said Anon, I raised exactly the same issues with them a couple of weeks ago. "Lack of funding" was the response. How long can this excuse be used?. Like you I have lived in the centre a fair few years and the general state of the streets has gone from bad to worse. I wade through litter to work sometimes. Clean it up and keep on top of it!. Most major European cities do this and are beautiful to look at/visit.

Hells bellsSeptember 28th 2012.

Exactly my thoughts.

AnonymousSeptember 28th 2012.

With a 20% front loaded cut imposed on the city and with precious little opportunity to raise revenue locally (Whitehall mandarins and Westminster politicians continue to hold local government in a vice-like grip), what do you expect?

Services are bound to become stretched.

Duke FameSeptember 28th 2012.

How much did you pay for a ticket Kevin Peel? My calculations are 15 libraries, 35 lolipop ladies........Labour noses in hte trough sicken me.

Leigh McLaughlinSeptember 28th 2012.

Money well spent in my opinion and I don't even care for Ms Keys music.

Craig EasthamSeptember 28th 2012.

And from next April, people will have to pay 15% of their rent and Council Tax out of benefits as low as £70.00 a week.

The Labour motley crew like in another fecking world.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Craig EasthamSeptember 28th 2012.

*live*

AnonymousSeptember 28th 2012.

Nope.

Tory cuts devolved to local gov to implement.

Clearly suckered by their PR there Craig.

Patricia CarnivalSeptember 28th 2012.

Manchester goes from strength to strength.

MORE people than ever before are making Manchester the vibrant place that it is. You want it, and we give it to you.

Rio, Paris, Berlin, have nothing on Manchester!

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Duke FameSeptember 29th 2012.

Apart from sunshine, clean streets, attire tire, beaches, history, low taxes, a local authority that's not corrupt, lower taxes, low unemployment.

With State organised entertainment, riches for the glorious leader and nothing for the people, the comparison would be be with Pyongyang

Duke FameSeptember 29th 2012.

architecture not 'attire tire'

the Whalley RangerSeptember 30th 2012.

Duke - you have clearly neither been the world's (!) first train station, nor the best courthouse in Europe after Antwerp?

the Whalley RangerSeptember 30th 2012.

*to*

Ghostly TomSeptember 28th 2012.

We want the economic movers and shakers to invest in this city. To do this you have to raise the profile of the city. Raising the profile in a good way attracts these people. They invest and this leads to job creation which leads to money being spent in the city which stimulates more economic activity. We get into a virtuous circle which, thankfully, the city has been in for the last 15 years or so. Alicia Keys playing Manchester Cathedral falls into this bracket. It has already put Manchester in the papers in a positive way and this will continue when it is televised. People want to invest in vibrant, exciting cities not dull, worthy ones. We have no idea how much money this concert will generate on the amount invested. I do know that the money the city invests in Christmas markets and decorations pulls in many times the investment in business done in this city. The concert should be put in the same bracket. Something done that helps show the city off in a positive light. Something we need after the sad events that have happened in the city over the last couple of weeks that have had us in the headlines.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Duke FameSeptember 29th 2012.

Total rubbish.

Ghostly TomSeptember 29th 2012.

@Duke Fame as was your comment. Please try and think of a literate reply or keep you comments to yourself. You can't deny the positive economic impact of money spent on Christmas in the city and, for the moment, the jury is out on the Alicia Keys concert. At least try to come back with some evidence to back up your comments. Looking at your comments through the thread, what exactly made you such a bitter and twisted person. OK, the city isn't perfect but do try to enjoy yourself.

Ghostly TomSeptember 28th 2012.

Having said the above, I hope ALL the people lucky enough to attend the concert paid the full amount for their ticket.

AnonymousSeptember 29th 2012.

I would rather be a resident of a city that has the balls and vision to do this sort of thing than a resident of a city that cares little beyond prosaic and functional services - however slightly imperfect they may be.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Duke FameSeptember 29th 2012.

I'd rather the local state allowed me to choose my own entertainment than taken money from me in order to arrange live entertainment for themselve and let the serfs watch the show on TV.

AnonymousSeptember 29th 2012.

You may consider yourself a Duke, but none of us consider ourselves serfs!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Duke FameSeptember 29th 2012.

I suspect you already know but I was refering to the hideous attitude of the councillors like our Kev Peel.

It reminds me of those private concerts Gadaffi used to organise fir himself and his team.

AnonymousSeptember 30th 2012.

I hadn't guessed that was your reference cos it's so incongruous. Don't believe Kev regards voters as serfs.

T VanetSeptember 29th 2012.

I agree with a strong and adventurous council taking risks like this

Peter JasonsSeptember 29th 2012.

We could have one major event per month sponsored to the tune of £40K over the year rather than have had a two hour extravaganza for a limited audience

DavidSeptember 29th 2012.

All these people moaning over £425,000, which is really peanuts.While you totally ignore the the more significant uncollected £50 million in council tax.If Manchester collected that,the streets would be cleaner,and there would be no need for draconian parking charges.

Personally I think it's about time the government cracked down on councils like Manchester and Liverpool which have the worst records.The government should cut back on grants to the city every year,exactly what it fails to collect in taxes.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 29th 2012.

Yes you've said that already David. Most people ignored it the first time.

But I'll indulge you. You mention Manchester and Liverpool. Do you not think there might be some correlation between council tax collected and levels of poverty. Do you not think that the time and costs of taking people to court - in the context of enormous cuts to already stretched local authority budgets - might also curtail council's abilities to collect council tax?

DavidSeptember 30th 2012.

You are making the assumption that it is poorer people who are failing to pay council tax.How do you know this?.I would suggest it has more to do with people deliberately avoiding doing so and the council failing to collect it,which is their job.
Furthermore the problems in Greece are caused not by the working class avoiding taxes but the middle classes diing this.When this happens,other people having to pay more from taxes,to compensate for those refusing to pay.This is not fair.

AnonymousOctober 1st 2012.

You are assuming that it is the better off that are failing to pay council tax..... yet cite the record of two of the most deprived local authorities in the country to support your hypothesis.

Your argument does not stack up.

DavidOctober 2nd 2012.

It's you who made the link between non payment and people being poorer.I suggest non payment has nothing to do with poverty but is people avoiding payment and council failure to make them.I cited the example of Greece,to show your assumption is not correct.

Carry on with your excuses for non payment,and those working class people who do pay,will have to keep paying more,to subsidise those Mancunians who choose not to.You are the one hurting poorer people by this thinking.

AnonymousOctober 2nd 2012.

What evidence have you put forward as to the income profile of people not paying council tax in Liverpool and Manchester to support your argument? What evidence have you put forward to assess the efficiency of Liverpool and Manchester against other, similarly deprived councils? Answer - none.

Your argument depends on making a spurious link between Greek income tax evasion and council tax collection rates in Liverpool and Manchester.

I would suggest you have in fact made a far stronger argument for linking poverty to collection rates by citing two of the most deprived local authority areas in the country.

Poster BoyOctober 1st 2012.

MTV have certainly identified the 'Gift Horses'. ..

I wonder how much Ms Keys was paid for her performance?

1 Response: Reply To This...
the Whalley RangerOctober 1st 2012.

Who cares?

How much is Tevez-Rooney paid per week to advertise the city?

How much is Hester paid to raid the funds in your bank account?

How much was Saville paid to design what exactly - gift wrap?

A Keys is a world class artist, just like U Bolt is a world class athlete. They command a fee. We need to move on.

Poster BoyOctober 4th 2012.

Mr.Ranger; are you a pseudonym for Kevin Peel? You exhibit a similar habitual unerring ability to miss the point completely...

3 Responses: Reply To This...
the Whalley RangerOctober 4th 2012.

We know Mr Peel does not reside in the Range. I reside in the Range. I am the Whalley Ranger.

Poster BoyOctober 10th 2012.

Doh. I rest my case.

the Whalley RangerOctober 11th 2012.

??? You mean you withdraw your case.

CobbydalerOctober 10th 2012.

Going to be investigated by the council's finance scrutiny committee. Won't hold my breath for any censure...

At least now it's hit the BBC news it may attract more widespread comment.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-19898694…

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