Just Jim

Is Devolution drive slowing to a standstill?

Back in your box! The government’s commitment to devolving power to the North was the subject of sharp disagreement amongst top speakers during the first week of the International Festival of Business in Liverpool. Lord Heseltine said it was a…
chris
14th June 2018
Just Jim

Ikea out, devolution in Lancs?

Was it the shock of IKEA pulling out of a major investment in the Cuerden Retail Park near Preston, that has banged Lancashire heads together? Weeks after the furniture giant turned its back on being the anchor tenant, comes the…
chris
7th June 2018
Just Jim

Liverpool outpacing Manchester growth?

After my last two blogs on the Greater Manchester economy which took a bullish view of the conurbation’s growth; it is time to look at the surprising claim that Merseyside is outpacing its neighbour. In the run-up to the International…
callum
31st May 2018
Just Jim

Manchester safe from retail turmoil?

If anyone was in any doubt that our town and suburban retail areas face a massive challenge, the decision of Marks and Spencer to close 100 stores will concentrate minds. M&S are the anchor tenants in so many smaller towns,…
callum
24th May 2018
Just Jim

Manchester, a young city

First, congratulations to all my colleagues, past and present, who have contributed to 15 years of success for Downtown in Business. In the run up to the International Festival of Business in Liverpool, I’m going to be taking an in-depth…
callum
17th May 2018
Just Jim

Political Stalemate

After years of political turbulence, the local election results seem to tell us that deadlock has been reached in the nation’s politics. The Conservatives are seen as the party of Brexit and are gaining support in Leave areas, particularly in…
callum
10th May 2018
Just Jim

Osborne: I was right about Brexit impact

Brexit I first met George Osborne on Knutsford Heath 20 years ago when he had just been selected as the Tory candidate for Tatton. Who was this unknown who was tasked with restoring Tory fortunes in this constituency after the…
callum
3rd May 2018
Just Jim

Mixed messages likely in North election

THE POLITICS. What will people make of the last year in politics when they cast their votes in local council elections across the North next Thursday? Labour are already in a very strong position as you’d expect having been out…
callum
26th April 2018
Just Jim

Elected mayors: First year report

Last May the city regions of Manchester and Liverpool underwent the biggest change in local government since the Metro counties were abolished over thirty years ago. Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram were elected to give a voice to these conurbations…
callum
19th April 2018
Just Jim

Irritating agonising

Two areas of current debate are irritating me. One is what to do about Syria, the other what to do about representing the centre ground in British politics. The issues are totally different, but they have this in common; futile,…
callum
10th April 2018