Wednesday, March 08, 2017

A challenge for the Metro Mayor candidates

The election for the new role of Greater Manchester Metro Mayor is in May. I'm worried. In my wonky world of civic engagement and politics, there is talk of it. I'm involved in organising a hustings at our University between the candidates for the business community.

But where I rub alongside and amongst the folk who matter, the people on the train, in the supermarket and on the touchline at kids football, awareness is low. On Facebook it is downright hostile and slightly devoid of facts.

But here's a response to the misnomer that the people of Manchester rejected a chance to have a Mayor and that therefore this an invalid role "imposed" on us:

In 2011, the cities of Salford and Manchester held badly promoted referenda whether they wanted to directly elect their council leaders. Salford on a 18% turnout said yes, Manchester said no. This is for a new position for GREATER MANCHESTER, an elected politician with oversight over many more newly devolved powers. Or maybe you'd prefer an appointed Chief Exec do the job.

It also emphasises the urgent need for the winning candidate not to do politics as usual, to be ambitious for Greater Manchester.

Cut and paste that, spread the word and if you please, come along to our event.

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