Foreword

"This is Manchester. We do things differently here."
Anthony H Wilson

 

Greater Manchester is the home of radical forward-thinking. We have always done things differently here.

From the birthplace of the Co-operative and Trades Union Movements in the 19th Century, to the home of the Suffragettes in the last, Greater Manchester has a proud tradition of wrenching power from the Establishment and placing it in the hands of ordinary people. 

Now we have the chance to do it again. And the health of our democracy demands we succeed.

The arrival of devolution in England presents the best opportunity we will ever get to rebalance this country from South to North and give real power to the people and places that Westminster has left behind.

At the launch of this Mayoral campaign, we invited the people of Greater Manchester to help us write a Manifesto for its future. And they have. Thousands have attended our meetings and sent their ideas.

The result is Our Manifesto - a political prospectus unlike any other. 

As you will see, many of its proposals can be traced directly to individuals and organisations from all parts of our City-Region - and are true to its radical values.

People are proud of Greater Manchester. It is already a great place to live and, thanks to strong civic and political leadership, has come a long way in the last 20 years.

Now is the time to build on those foundations and make it even greater. 

Our Manifesto sets new ambitions for what we want Greater Manchester to be: the best place to grow up; the best place to live and get on; the best place to grow older. A prosperous, modern place where no one is left behind.

But we won't get there by doing more of the same. It's time for our City-Region to do what it likes doing best and do things very differently. 

For too long, politics at local and national level has made young people its target for cuts. 

We will turn that thinking on its head.

Greater Manchester will only rise to the challenge of Brexit if we invest in our people and give all of our young citizens hope for their future at the end of school.

Our Manifesto's message to them is clear: this place is yours to explore, to shape and to build.

As well as redefining support for the next generation, we will re-write the rules about ageing.

Here, older people won't be spoken of as a burden. The term "bed-blockers" will be banished. Instead, we will pioneer a positive new vision of active ageing, with older citizens supported to live a longer life to the full and valued for the contribution they can make.

These are high ambitions - particularly at a time of continuing cuts to public services. They will only be achieved by working very differently and drawing on the natural generosity of our communities. 

Our people want to get on in life. But they won't just walk on by those huddled in our doorways, avoiding their eyes. Here, rough-sleeping is not accepted as an inevitable fact of modern life.

So Our Manifesto commits to end rough-sleeping by 2020, not by throwing public money at the problem but through the compassion and contributions of our citizens. 

This way, devolution to Greater Manchester will bring change to the way this country works. It will allow the values of our people truly to shine through.

In the future, more positive change will come by people taking inspiration from what is happening in Greater Manchester rather than through direction from Westminster. 

This is a great place with great people. But our potential has been held back for too long. 

It is time to build a new future for Greater Manchester.

A Digital City. A Green City. A Young City.

A modern capital of industry where everybody has a part to play and every voice is valued. 

A beacon of social justice to the country.

Greater Manchester stands on the verge of a great new era.

Together we will make real change happen.

This is our time. 

This is Our Manifesto. 

 

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