My Manifesto for 2017

◆ Introduction ◆ The health service Greater Manchester deserves ◆ A stronger Greater Manchester in the EU
◆ Transport fit for the 21st century ◆ No-one sleeping rough ◆ Protecting Greater Manchester
◆ Caring for our environment ◆ The right homes in the right places ◆ More jobs, better jobs
◆ Proud of our diversity ◆ Empowering young people ◆ Power to the people

Introduction

Greater Manchester has the opportunity to take its place as a world class city, but it has been let down by its leaders and by the Government. We can do better.

As your Mayor I will tackle our environmental problems, protect our green spaces, build more homes, create jobs, improve our health, provide a better education, improve our NHS and social care and improve the transport infrastructure that links it together.

It is  not good enough for an overly-secretive group of local Labour politicians to decide what’s best for everyone and then tell us. That approach has led to our failing health service and to the proposals to build across our precious greenbelt.

Instead we need a genuine bottom-up approach. We must all work together to decide our our future - what we all want for Greater Manchester, for our area, our neighbourhood.

Whether you live in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford or Wigan, your choice for Mayor of Greater Manchester will affect your life and the lives of your family and friends.

 

The health service Greater Manchester deserves

Our NHS and social care system is under huge pressure, as a result of Government under-funding and the needs of people who are living longer but with chronic health conditions. In Greater Manchester our health is poorer than it should be. Higher unemployment and higher poverty in Greater Manchester affects the quality of life and life expectancy of many of our residents.

Health and social care systems are under enormous strain with unacceptable waits for ambulances, more cancelled operations, and patients waiting on trolleys in A and E. General Practitioners, community health professionals, and community pharmacists have been under resourced to the point where they are unable provide the degree of care for patients that they would wish to. A focus on the community would ease the pressures on our hospitals, but also improve the lives of the people of Greater Manchester. Social care has become a system where only those with high needs are supported, with thousands of families across the region struggling to cope caring for their loved ones, and vulnerable children and adults being let down by a broken social care system.

For too long, mental health has been the poor relation in the health service. I will fight for mental illness to be given the same priority and resources as physical illness in our health service.

 

I will:

  • Work for a unified Health and Social Care system that properly meets the needs of all people in Greater Manchester.

  • Ensure proper respite care for dementia patients and their carers.

  • Work for a seamless Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service for young people aged 0-25.

  • Fight for more mental health beds in Greater Manchester to end the scandal where people in urgent need of mental health treatment can be sent hundreds of miles away and make sure young people are always treated close to home.

  • Introduce a specialist Rapid Assessment, Intervention and Discharge (RAID) mental health team at all hospitals to help people in crisis and those with concurrent mental and physical health problems.  It is far too easy at the moment for patients with mental illness to slip through the net and not be given the care they need.

  • Champion those let down by the system who are experiencing mental health problems who may need acute and long-term community care.

A stronger Greater Manchester in the EU

I firmly believe that our future will be better the closer we are to the European Union. A vote for me is a vote against a Tory hard Brexit. A vote for me is a vote to work with our EU partners and get the best possible deal for Greater Manchester and keep as close a relationship as is possible with our European partners.

The Government has promised that the elected Mayor of Greater Manchester will have a seat at the table with the Brexit Secretary so it is all the more important that we have someone who will fight hard for Greater Manchester and our interests.

 

I will:

  • Fight for Manchester’s best interests when I meet the Brexit Secretary.

  • Ensure the Brexit Secretary understands the impact a hard Brexit would have on our world-class Universities in Manchester – both in terms of students and the people they employ.

  • Argue Greater Manchester’s case for the allocation of the remainder of our £176 million EU Development Fund money covering 2014-2020. Only £19 million of our share had been spent before Brexit.

Transport fit for the 21st century

The economic success of Greater Manchester is dependent on us all being able to move around easily and affordably, and to have good access to other parts of the UK and abroad. For many years, the Government has poured money into London’s transport infrastructure. The result is that London has reaped the economic benefits and the rest of the country has fallen farther and farther behind.


Transport is closely linked to our housing and economic policies. If we allow urban sprawl over our greenbelt, we will continue to rely far too much on the car and will find ourselves building more and more roads. If we can make better use of our urban space and house more people in our existing towns, public transport, cycling and walking become better solutions.

 

I will:

  • Ensure everyone can access jobs. Every area in Greater Manchester must have good, reliable and affordable public transport links to the main employment centres, especially Manchester City centre.

  • Look to expand Metrolink to service all ten boroughs and introduce more double-length trams to ease overcrowding at busy times.

  • Develop an orbital tram route around Greater Manchester.

  • Introduce smart payment so you can pay once for integrated travel on trams, trains and buses.

  • Introduce a one-hour ticket that allows unlimited travel on bus, tram and train in Greater Manchester within the time limit.

  • Introduce better measures to improve the reliability of public transport and the congestion on our roads.

  • Improve cycling and walking facilities across Greater Manchester, with a goal of making Greater Manchester the cycling capital of the UK.

No-one sleeping rough

Homelessness is a sign of failure. It is unacceptable that people should be sleeping on the streets in Britain in 2017, and yet the problem has been getting worse across the country and even more so in Greater Manchester. Gimmicks are not the answer.

 

I will:

  • Ensure every organisation helping homeless people gets more help and I will work with them to better co-ordinate efforts and come up with real solutions.



Protecting Greater Manchester

The last year has seen an increase in a wide range of crimes and an increase in fires in Greater Manchester. The Police and Fire Service are under great financial pressure and are working to deliver a service with fewer officers and less money. In taking over the duties of Police and Crime Commissioner, I will prioritise the work of the Police. It is essential that GMP’s focus is on tackling those crimes that have the biggest impact on people’s lives.

 

I will:

  • Prioritise Police work on those areas that most blight the lives of local people, including robbery, burglary and anti-social behaviour.

  • Make savings by having the management of the different emergency services working together or merging. We can make efficiencies in management and bureaucracy first.

  • Continue the policy of increasing the Police precept by the maximum allowable (£5 for Band D properties in 2016/17) to counter the effects of Government cuts.

  • Work to build innovative new links between the Police, local councils and other organisations.

  • Invest in upgrading technology in GMP.

  • Make sure the police have the right training to help people with mental health problems in an emergency situation.

Caring for our environment

Our environment has a huge impact on our quality of life. Air pollution in Greater Manchester is illegally high and costing hundreds of lives a year, with many thousands more people suffering from medical conditions such as asthma due to pollution. Climate change is beginning to impact gm as global warming gases continue to rise.

 

I will:

  • Map and track pollution across Greater Manchester so we better understand where and when it is getting dangerously high.

  • Develop schemes to reduce pollution emitted in Greater Manchester, including by encouraging less polluting forms of transport.

  • Encourage pollution-scrubbing technology, including green wall, green roofs and urban parks.

  • Encourage carbon emission reduction for our businesses and communities.

  • As the impact of climate change impacts with more extreme weather and flooding plan mitigation schemes across the city.

  • Ensure we protect our nature reserves and green spaces, protect our woodland areas and plant more trees.

 

The right homes in the right places

I am ambitious for Greater Manchester’s economy to grow successfully and sustainably. I want more companies, more jobs and more small businesses in Greater Manchester.I want our children and grandchildren to be able to afford to live and work in Greater Manchester in good-quality homes with access to high quality education,  transport links and health services.

I oppose building on the greenbelt proposed in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. The plans will lead to urban sprawl: big expensive homes being constructed on green fields while large brownfield sites go untouched.

Greater Manchester is a low-density city. We are already very spread out, and that creates all sorts of problems including higher car use and more pollution. We need a policy shift away from greenbelt development and towards enabling higher-density development (and the infrastructure to support it) in our existing towns and cities.

 

I will:

  • Reject the current Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and work with local councils to develop better answers to managing sustainable economic growth.

  • Work for a plan that results in the homes, businesses and infrastructure we need being built in our towns and cities, making use of the unused space.

  • Use Mayoral Compulsory Purchase Order powers to enable more brownfield development.

  • Protect our parks and green spaces, and work to create more.

  • Campaign for Greater Manchester to be able to scrap council tax and business rates, and replace them with a tax on the value of land. This will encourage better use of brownfield sites and punish owners who leave land in our towns and cities undeveloped, or buildings empty.

  • Press for more affordable and social housing to be built, and work for the local councils or Combined Authority to have our own house-building companies to get to work and build the homes that we need.

 

More jobs, better jobs

Under my leadership, Greater Manchester will be open for business. My ambition is for Greater Manchester to be a great world city, a centre for business in the UK, Europe and the world.

 

This growth must be inclusive - benefitting everyone. Greater Manchester’s workforce needs to be upskilled so we can attract new businesses and offer employers the highly-skilled employees they need to be successful. That means closing the skills gap.

 

I will:

  • Provide help, support and incentives to encourage businesses of all sizes to set up, remain and grow in Greater Manchester.

  • Work to introduce a guarantee that every 16-25 year old is offered suitable work, education or training.

  • Partner with the business sector to increase the number of young people taken on as interns and apprentices.

  • Improve adult education, focussing on delivering the skills and training needed to improve access to the jobs market for those adults in need of retraining.

 

Proud of our diversity

Following the Brexit vote, Britain saw a sharp rise in reported hate crimes against minorities. Manchester was not immune to this – shockingly there was a 50% rise in hate crimes reported to GMP in the weeks following the June referendum.

 

I believe our diversity and tolerance are strengths, not weaknesses. They are something we should be proud of.

 

Despite Manchester’s proud history of being an open and welcoming city to a diverse range of people, there were nearly 500 hate crimes against LGBT people in the 12 months up to April 2016 and an increase in hate crimes against people of different religions and nationalities. We must tackle this now and put a stop to it.

 

I will: 

  • Work tirelessly to ensure Manchester’s long and proud tradition of being open, tolerant and welcoming to those who come here and contribute to our communities and economy continues.



Empowering young people

This part of my Manifesto was written jointly with RECLAIM, a Manchester-based youth leadership charity with a bold aim to end leadership inequality within a generation.

The young people of Greater Manchester are the architects of our city's future. They want to see a Manchester that is open to their ideas, tolerant of our city's growing diversity and unified in confronting the challenges that young people face. I will fight for the bold, ethical and hopeful future that Greater Manchester's young people deserve and I am determined that our young people's voices will be heard.

Greater Manchester is a hive of innovative thinking and its young people are at the forefront of change. However, across our communities, far too many of our future leaders are not being heard. In 2017 it is appalling that so many young people's prospects are still determined by the circumstances of their birth and background. Whether it's greater access to education and training or challenging the low wage, low security employment culture, I will listen to the demands of Greater Manchester's young people and I will step forward with them to deliver an open, tolerant and unified future.

 

I will:

 

  • Bring young people from every community in Greater Manchester together with leaders in education and business to build a bold and progressive new deal for aspiration, skills and training.

  • Work with young people and our NHS to deliver a youth focused strategy for mental health care.

  • Fight against local authority cuts to youth services and press council leaders across the city to invest in youth centres and out of school support for young people

  • Work across party lines to empower all 16 and 17 year olds by giving them a vote in every UK election and referendum.

Power to the people

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority must be opened up to scrutiny and it must be accountable to the people for its actions. Many people do not even know it exists, and very few have any real idea about what it does, how it does it and who takes the decisions. Now the Combined Authority is taking on more responsibility, this is unacceptable.

 

I will:

  • Make sure the work of the Combined Authority is communicated clearly to the people of Greater Manchester, explaining in plain English what is being decided, what effect it will have, who is taking the decision, when it’s being taken and what they can do about it if they object.

  • Ensure that the leadership of the Combined Authority can be held to account, just as the Government is in Parliament and local councils are in their council chambers.

  • Ensure all Combined Authority public meetings are webcast and include the opportunity for public questions.

 

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