A special Manchester City Council meeting will take place on Wednesday 12 July to pay tribute to the victims of the Manchester Arena attack and the many people who contributed to the city’s inspiring response.
This month’s full Council meeting is the first to take place since the 22 May atrocity and the regular meeting will be preceded by a special meeting at 10am reflecting on the events of the day and their aftermath.
The traditional civic prayer will be read by representatives from across the city’s faith groups and the names of those who lost their lives read out. A minute’s silence will then be observed before an number of short speeches from guest speakers who played noteworthy roles in the response to attack.
Speakers include Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine, tattoo artist Vent Brewer of Sacred Art in Chorlton who gave bee tattoos in aid of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund and Sam Arshad of Manchester Street Cars who instructed the company’s cab drivers not to charge people being picked up from the Arena.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, will introduce a motion about recognising outstanding contributions to the city. Council members will be asked to approve one or more civic receptions being hosted in autumn to thank as many people as possible who demonstrated selflessness, community spirit and solidarity during a difficult period.
They will also be asked to support the creation of a new honorary citizenship of Manchester for people from outside Greater Manchester who have made a significant contribution to the life of the city, with Ariana Grande as the first recipient of this new honour. This would be in recognition of her role in organising the One Love Manchester Concert on June 4, which raised millions of pounds for We Love Manchester Emergency Fund set up for victims of the May 22 terror attack, and as patron of the charity.
Sir Richard said: “Manchester continues to move forwards with strength, spirit and its trademark swagger. But we will never forget the terrible events of 22 May and their aftermath.
“As well as honouring the victims and all those affected, it is important that we remember the extraordinary acts of courage and generosity of spirit which we have witnessed. The worst of times have in many ways brought out the best in the city.
“It is only fitting that we mark the first time the full Council has met since then with a special meeting reflecting on those events before getting on with normal business – itself a symbol to terrorists and those who would divide us that Manchester will not be cowed or deflected by them.”