Headlines: January 10th, 2006

An initiative begins in Manchester this week to give people from minority communities a chance to give their views on the city council’s Agenda 2010 policy, which looks at how mainstream services are working to meet the needs of all Manchester residents. This week will see the first of a series of road shows.Agenda 2010 is designed to take a partnership approach to themes named as important by people from black minority ethnic communities. The four main areas they have identified are crime, health, education and employment.The first event will take place on Thursday evening in the Cheetham Hill area of the city, with further road shows scheduled next month and in March in the Longsight and Moss Side areas. These will lead up to an Agenda 2010 and Manchester Partnership conference, which will take place later in March.

The City Council has stressed the importance of all members of the community, especially from black and minority ethnic groups, attending the events to help shape the agenda to improve race equality across Manchester. It is particularly keen that families take part and the road shows will include entertainment and food to encourage this.

The start of the road shows coincides with the return from Israel of the city’s Lord Mayor who was invited to Jerusalem to speak on Islamic Jewish relations, with which he is involved in Manchester. Councillor Mohammed Afzal Khan was invited by the Israel Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, non-Governmental body, devoted to promoting international relations with special emphasis on world Jewish concerns and Israeli foreign policy. Its previous speakers have included the Secretary General of the United Nations and a number of Prime Ministers. During his visit the Lord mayor also made a speech to the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians.