Friday, 19Th February, 2016
This morning Bury South MP Ivan Lewis officially launched his bid to become Labour’s mayoral candidate in next year’s first Greater Manchester-wide election.
He is the second hopeful – after police commissioner Tony Lloyd – to throw his hat in the ring.
But what would he do if crowned Greater Manchester’s first ever elected mayor?
Here he runs down his top six priorities if he wins on May 4 next year.
Inequality and child poverty
“This will be my overriding priority.
“Inequality is leaving too many people behind and is holding Greater Manchester back. Radical change is necessary to reconnect economic growth with social justice and begin a new era of politics with more open democracy.
“Good jobs, high quality education and skills, better health, especially mental health, quality public transport and affordable housing must become the norm in all parts of Greater Manchester.
“I will spearhead a Greater Manchester wide plan to attack the child poverty which wastes so much talent and is a scar on our community.
Inequality in the way we do government too – the public, their political representatives and civil society must have a much greater stake in decisions which are made about their communities at a Greater Manchester level.”
Ivan Lewis joins in activities with Contact Community Care Group, the charity he set up when he was 19, as he launches his mayoral bid
A fair deal from government
“From day one, with a new mandate as elected mayor I will fight for a new, fairer deal from central government.
“This has to be a deal which will give us the financial base and powers to close the gap with London and the South East and build a truly world class Greater Manchester.”
Good Jobs For Local Workers
“We have to use the powers devolution is giving us to make sure that people living locally, in all parts of Greater Manchester, have the skills to benefit from the jobs of the future.
“We need an economic strategy which maximises our growth potential but also has a plan for the economic and social renewal of the parts of Greater Manchester which have not benefitted from the progress of the past twenty years.
“We need to ensure that by raising educational standards, building a quality apprenticeship system and tackling worklessness it is local people who benefit from the technological and green revolutions which will continue to transform the world of work.
“I will work with business, Trade Unions and public service leaders to ensure Greater Manchester leads the country in paying a proper living wage.”
Ivan Lewis says he will use the position of mayor to revitalise parts of Greater Manchester that have been left behind
“We must use our new powers to support a major house building programme with a focus on affordable homes.
“Vitally, though, we should be investing in renewing those neighbourhoods where long term decline has left a legacy of streets of empty homes and a poor environment for people to live and thrive in.”
“We need to ensure that the current tendering process which will determine the future operation of Metrolink and our new power to regulate buses leads to a smart-ticketing system and more affordable travel, especially for young people.
“I will stand up to train companies when they rip off Greater Manchester residents with ever-increasing ticket prices.”
Ivan Lewis plays a game of Table Tennis
“We must shift the system from treating people at the point when they are sick in hospitals, to early intervention and prevention in the community.
“However, people have to be confident that quality primary care and community services are in place at a time of severe cuts.
“I will make mental health and support for people with learning disabilities a personal priority.
“I will oppose, in the strongest terms, any attempt by the Tories to privatise the NHS in Greater Manchester.”