I’LL wager there are one or two people at the Town Hall experiencing rapturous joy at the moment – or at least breathing a deep sigh of relief.

And what could there be to generate what I assume is such pleasure?

Well, the council has finally announced the first restaurant that will be moving in to the town centre Time Square development.

And frankly, it is quite exciting – what the Guardian describes as a ‘unique venue’.

The new restaurant is the latest iteration of The Botanist, the sort of eating and drinking place more likely to be found in hipster and footballers’ wives places such as Didsbury, Alderley Edge and Knutsford.

The Botanist will join the other ‘offerings at the Bridge Street site which will also have a multi-screen Cineworld, new market hall, council offices and other yet to be confirmed restaurants.

According to the Guardian’s website, The Botanist delivers a wide selection of experimental botanical cocktails and masterclasses inspired from resident botanists’ travels across the globe, to a carefully curated Ale Inventory with more than 60 world-class ales.

And a spokesman said: “The Botanist will provide an experience like no other (you can’t beat a bit of marketing hyperbole, can you?)

“From casual catch-ups, family meals and special occasions to sophisticated evenings.”

I wonder if this is a statement of intent by the council. There is no doubt that The Botanist is a pretty high-end establishment and seems to send out a signal about the kind of town centre the Town Hall mandarins want in the future.

It has certainly appeared over the past few years there has been a real attempt to clean up the Bridge Street late night drinking culture but I think there’s still some way to go before the town centre becomes the family-friendly entertainment and casual dining place I would want to take my family.

Just one further point. Is the hexagonal car park actually going to start opening on Sundays when Time Square is up and running?

READ > First restaurant revealed for Time Square (and it's pretty exciting)

ONE of the problems of politics is the disconnection between what we are told is happening and what we see on the ground.

We have been told austerity is over, that more money than ever is being pumped into public services, the police and education.

And yet our own experiences are so different in reality.

This was brought to mind recently when the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union – published the results of a survey of its members. And some of the results are shocking.

While I accept the union and its members have a vested interest, I make no apology for publishing some of the results of the survey.

Teachers say they increasingly have to dip into their own funds to buy lesson resources, classroom materials and even food, clothing and toiletries for pupils.

One in five teachers said they buy lesson resources with their own money once a week and more than one in 10 (12 per cent) say they do this several times a week.

When asked why they had purchased the resources, more than half (53 per cent) said it was because of funding pressures on their school. Around a third said it was because the resources they are provided with by their school are increasingly out of date or unsuitable and 28 per cent said their school was choosing to spend money on other things rather than resources.

It really does take a lot to shock me, but I have to confess this report leaves me shocked and saddened.

We are supposed to be living in one of the world’s leading economies yet we are suffering the harshest effects of ideological austerity.

The question I would ask is if this is acceptable in what is supposed to be a forward-looking, modern, compassionate society?