The Chief Executive of Manchester City Council and arguably the architect of English devolution has announced he will retire in Spring 2017. Sir Howard has been with the council since 1971, and led the regeneration of Hulme, the Manchester Commonwealth Games, and the post-IRA bomb rebuild.
The news comes amidst what some see as a new era for the region, after Tony Lloyd, the insider’s choice, lost the Greater Manchester Mayor Labour selection to Andy Burnham MP.
Sir Howard and Sir Richard Leese have jointly led Manchester City Council since 1998, in an alliance that MEN’s Jennifer Williams describes as “unrivalled anywhere in government”.
When he leaves the council, Sir Howard has insisted that he will never work outside of Manchester, saying that “It’s my city. I’ve always been a proud Manc. I’ve always regarded this place as the most cosmopolitan, the most successful city about.”