Greater Manchester is already a great place to live and work. It has an unrivalled mix of heritage, culture, sport, music and countryside. But it can be even better.
It shouldn't just be the best place to grow up; it should be the best place to live, work and to get on in life too.
To achieve this, we will need invest in the industries of the future and set bold plans for them. To this end, Our Manifesto announces our ambition to be both a world-leading Digital City and a Green City.
We must remove some of the barriers to growth and modernise our transport system. And, if we are to retain the best talent here, including the people who come to Greater Manchester to study, we must do more to enhance its "liveability", with enhanced green spaces, clean air, cycling infrastructure, vibrant town centres and safe communities.
Jobs, pay and business
Today, Greater Manchester is home to over 100,000 businesses, 1.2m employees and has an annual GVA of £56bn.
Our economy is a UK success story. We have reversed long-term population decline, and our City-Region is the key economic driver of the North.
We are a City-Region looking to the future and we will continue to lead the way.
We will forge a new, dynamic and collaborative relationship with businesses, where they will be supported to grow and expand, but at the same time expected to ensure their staff earn a decent wage and have full access to employment rights.
Building on the principles of the Co-operative Movement, I want to work in partnership with socially responsible businesses, to ensure a sustainable economy and society.
So we will develop a new Contract with Business – setting out what we will do to support them and what we expect in return for Greater Manchester employees and the wider public.
We will work with business to deliver shared solutions to the challenges holding back growth and affecting competitiveness – from new ways to fund business start-ups to tackling congestion and the lack of affordable housing.
Businesses will be invited to help the Mayor identify the skills we will need in the future and be centrally involved in the development of the new UCAS system. We will work to amplify the voice of business throughout Greater Manchester and make economic and investment decision-making more business-led.
To that end, we will establish a Mayor’s Business Advisory Panel, with a revolving and representative membership, to work closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership to provide guidance on policies and insight on future challenges.
As we begin the process of leaving the European Union, the Mayor will be a strong and experienced voice making the case for Greater Manchester overseas. We will target major business opportunities, events and festivals to bring to our City-Region, boosting the economy and putting us on the map. We will continue to be an outward-looking City-Region and will welcome people who come here to work.
Over the coming years, we will redouble our efforts to attract inward investment, tourism and promote Greater Manchester around the world.
There are many ways in which our businesses are supported to grow, innovate and export. But there is a sense that this system is not joined up, leading to unnecessary duplication. We will develop a more streamlined system of business support and one place to call. For instance, we will look at establishing a Mayor's Office for Digital, Creative and Media, based on the New York model.
Greater Manchester has a proud industrial past and continues to be a centre of innovation in the present. But, if we are to make a success of Brexit, we need to think big and recover that sense of ambition which made Greater Manchester the birthplace of the industrial revolution.
Our goal will be to make Greater Manchester the modern industrial capital of the UK once again.
To achieve that, we need a shared sense of direction amongst business, education and political leaders. This starts by identifying the specific sectors which will drive the future prosperity of Greater Manchester and making them our explicit priority, without losing sight of the diverse strengths of our economy.
The Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review, published in June 2016, identified key capabilities across the North which could provide the foundations for closing the productivity gap, generating new jobs and enhancing global competitiveness: advanced manufacturing; digital; health innovation; and energy. These were supported by three enabling capabilities: education, logistics and financial and professional services.
We will aim to become a leader in these sectors and task the new Business Advisory Panel to develop a clear plan to drive each forward.
Once we have identified our key sectors, we will work to develop clusters around them, with a lead university linked to schools and colleges. Our aim should be to develop a thriving ecosystem of organisations, involving universities, businesses big and small, colleges and other public bodies. This may involve creating new structures or strengthening existing ones.
These industry clusters will build networks of expertise, help attract skilled workers and generate new start-up businesses. They will be able to work with the new Mayor to ensure decisions over transport, skills and planning allow local industries to thrive and grow.
The loosening of State Aid rules may present an opportunity to support the development of specific industries using public investment. Where appropriate, we should identify through the Spatial Framework the parts of Greater Manchester that may be able to serve as centres of excellence and ensure they receive the support necessary to develop these capabilities.
The Independent Economic Review is clear that poor transport links are holding back the economy of the North. It cannot be right that it takes longer to go from Manchester to Hull than it does from London to Paris. Put simply, there will be no Northern Powerhouse without major investment in our rail infrastructure. This should be the Government's single highest transport investment priority for the country. At the very least, it should be explicitly made a higher investment priority than Crossrail 2.
Working with businesses here, and colleagues across the North, we will develop a powerful new campaign calling on the Government to bring forward plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail – connecting Manchester with Liverpool, Leeds and beyond – including a new parkway station in the west of Greater Manchester to relieve congestion, and call for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail to be built as one single, integrated scheme.
An early Government commitment to improving our rail infrastructure could galvanise the Northern economy. It would attract investment and help our businesses plan for growth. It would allow for a new generation of young people in Greater Manchester to build this new railway for the North.
We want to back businesses across Greater Manchester to succeed. In return, we will expect businesses to back their staff with decent levels of pay, secure contracts and appropriate employment rights.
The vast majority of business owners in Greater Manchester care about their employees. Many businesses across Greater Manchester are paying the Living Wage and report the benefits of a motivated and more productive workforce.
The Living Wage is independently calculated each year, based on what employees and their families need to live – such as a decent meal, a warm home or birthday presents for children.
Three years ago, there were only 16 Living Wage Employers in Greater Manchester. Now there are over 100 – with our City-Region becoming the first place outside of London to achieve that milestone.
But we can do better.
At the moment, one in four jobs in Greater Manchester pays less than the Living Wage. For young people, the situation is worse. In some parts of Greater Manchester, 90 per cent of young people earn less than it.
At the same time, increasing numbers of people are employed through employment agencies. Between 2009 and 2015, the number of agency workers in our City-Region increased by 24 per cent.
Although agency workers are entitled to some basic working rights, they are not usually entitled to sick pay or maternity, paternity and adoption pay. Crucially, they have no notice period or recourse in the event of dismissal. Research from the Resolution Foundation has found that agency workers also suffer a ‘pay penalty’, earning on average £430 a year less than full-time workers in equivalent roles.
For some, agency work is a choice that fits a particular lifestyle choice or employment preference. Others say that they are only working in this way because they cannot find a permanent job.
It is unacceptable for people to be in work, yet also in poverty, struggling to make ends meet. There are people in work in Greater Manchester who are forced to use food-banks to top up wages or lack of hours. That is unacceptable and our goal should be to end it.
As part of the new Contract with Business, we will develop a Good GM Employers' Charter – setting out the basic standards and actions expected of good businesses – such as addressing the gender pay gap, encouraging flexible working, recognising trades unions and ending the use of enforced zero-hours contracts.
The Mayor will lead the way as a model employer, setting an example for others and adopting the highest standards for fair pay, good working conditions and gender equality.
We will make the Mayor’s office a Living Wage Employer and minimise use of agency staff and zero-hours contracts.
Here in Greater Manchester, the home of the trades union movement, we should require that any large company in receipt of public funding recognises trade unions. More broadly, we will develop a new Memorandum of Understanding with trades union colleagues to set out how we expect all public bodies in Greater Manchester to work and implement the principles of good social partnership.
At present, our adult skills system is failing to deliver and prepare our workforce for the trends that will affect our future economy.
In the past, there has been too much focus on lower-quality courses, which fail to meet the needs of learners or employers. Half of qualifications taken by adult learners are below NVQ level 2 and many offer poor wage or employment returns. Yet at the same time, many skilled sectors face persistent skills shortages that are not met by current provision.
As part of the plan to introduce a UCAS-style system for apprenticeships, we will include opportunities for local people who want to increase their skills or retrain in order to find work, giving many adults a second chance at building a career.
Working with colleges and employers, we will develop a new 14+ strategy for skills in Greater Manchester, including adult learning, re-training and workforce development.
While the devolution of the adult skills budget is welcome, it has been subject to significant cuts in recent years and will not be sufficient to meet all of our local needs. The Apprenticeship Levy will raise additional funds but it is likely to stimulate investment in London and the South-East, and not places like Greater Manchester.
We will call for the Apprenticeship Levy to be placed under the direction of the Mayor and allow for it to be developed into a Skills Levy. This could turbo-charge skills devolution in Greater Manchester and allow the Mayor to invest in high-quality vocational education and business support.
Environment and climate change
As a place with a proud tradition of radical forward-thinking, Greater Manchester can and should be making a bigger contribution to the climate change debate.
We should show how setting more ambitious goals on sustainable living helps people live better, drives economic prosperity, improves health and reduces inequality.
If we clean up our air, enhance our green spaces and help people cycle or walk more frequently, we will become a healthier society. If we help communities to generate more of their own energy, we will become wealthier through reduced energy bills.
The time has come to see climate change not as a peripheral concern but as a central challenge and the route to making society healthier, wealthier and happier.
Cities around the world are driving social change in this area by setting a goal for the point at which they become carbon-neutral. In Greater Manchester, it is currently set at 2050. Following the latest scientific advice, other cities such as Copenhagen, Melbourne and Stockholm are bringing that date forward.
Within a year of the election, we will host a Mayor’s Green Summit to declare a new, accelerated ambition for Greater Manchester on the green economy and carbon-neutrality. In the meantime, we will ask experts and city stakeholders to lead a public debate on what that new goal should be.
Too many people in Greater Manchester face the choice between eating and heating.
We will establish a Greater Manchester Energy Company, generating power using green technology and reducing energy bills.
Greater Manchester should be focused on the energy needs of the future; fracking belongs to the past.
Through the Greater Manchester Minerals Policy, the Mayor will propose a presumption of a ban on fracking across our City-Region.
If we are to keep Greater Manchester as an attractive place to live, we must protect and enhance our green spaces.
Whilst there is a need to consider land release for housing and business growth, we should work from the principle of minimal loss of precious green space and enhancing what we have got.
A charity called City of Trees has plans to develop a new City Forest Park in Greater Manchester. The identified area spans the Salford-Bury border and put together is on the scale of Central Park in New York.
For centuries, this land was the site of coal mining and manufacturing. With the right leadership, it could be transformed into a new urban park, providing Greater Manchester with an inspiring new green space.
Trees can deliver a whole range of benefits, from helping to tackle climate change to making our streets more attractive and providing essential habitats for wildlife.
City of Trees has a bold plan to plant three million trees within a generation - one for every man, woman and child across Greater Manchester.
We will support City of Trees to establish a City Forest Park and back the plan to plant three million trees, making our streets greener and our communities more attractive.
It is time to wake up to the fact that the way we are living is causing unacceptable damage to health.
The most recent data shows Greater Manchester has been in breach of its legal limits for nitrogen dioxide in every year since 2011. Nitrogen dioxide is a pollutant caused principally by too many vehicles on our roads and, in particular, standing traffic on congested roads.
In the most polluted parts of Greater Manchester, this may be causing much more serious damage to health than has previously been realised. Last year, 64,000 people were admitted to hospital in Greater Manchester with respiratory problems – amongst them 14,000 children under the age of five.
We will introduce a new Clean Air Action Plan for Greater Manchester.
As part of this plan, we will seek powers from the Government to introduce Clean Air Zones to reduce the number of the most polluting vehicles, such as HGVs and older buses, from entering certain areas with the worst air quality.
We will only truly tackle air pollution if we can give people reliable and affordable alternatives to cars. So we will put improving public transport at the centre of the plan to clean up our air and use the Mayor’s new powers over bus services to introduce low-emission and clean-energy buses.
We will commit to giving people more regular and accessible information about the quality of air they are breathing in and issue public health alerts from the Mayor’s office during periods of high pollution.
Everyone should have a decent and secure place to call home. But, for thousands of people here, that security is something they are living without.
We have a dysfunctional housing market that fails to meet people's needs. Inflated house prices leave many people unable to find a way onto the housing ladder and unable to live in the area where they grew up. Many pay high rents and are stuck in poor, over-crowded accommodation that is not good for their health and deprives their children of a decent environment.
The new Mayor will have access to the Greater Manchester Housing Fund – money that can be used to regenerate housing and build new homes. At present, it has been limited to loans to large, private sector organisations. This has led to a focus on a small number of areas in Greater Manchester and on flagship residential development at the higher-end of the affordability scale.
We will refocus the Greater Manchester Housing Fund, with the explicit aim of solving the housing crisis and building affordable homes. We will seek to renegotiate the terms of the fund so that it can be used to help councils and housing associations build more council homes and social housing.
As part of this, we will work with housing providers to establish a new GM-wide Rent-to-Own scheme that will be particularly focused on people under-30 to help them on to the housing ladder. We will focus Rent-to-Own schemes on our town centres to revitalise them.
We will only get a real grip on improving our towns when all owners of properties in those places take a pride in them.
The proliferation of absent private landlords in many of our smaller towns in the 80s and 90s is a major barrier to their improvement. Too many fail to invest in the upkeep of their properties, even though they are in receipt of considerable public funds through Housing Benefit. This drags whole communities down and leaves councils with insufficient ability to turn them around.
It is also the case that too many responsible landlords are undercut in the market by the landlords who fail to look after their properties. At one of the Our Manifesto events, someone asked: why does a tenant looking for somewhere to rent have to pay hundreds of pounds to provide credit checks and references whereas landlords do not need to show any equivalent references? It's a fair question.
In the absence of new legislation from Westminster, there is a limit to what can be done to turn things around. However, we intend to do everything we possibly can.
We will start by introducing a GM-wide voluntary registration scheme for private landlords in Greater Manchester, with a clear standard that they are pledged to meet.
This would include areas such as: maintaining properties to basic health and safety standards; protecting deposits, and providing a written contract.
Such a scheme would help differentiate the many good private landlords in Greater Manchester from those who get a bad name for the rest. It would help potential tenants and local communities identify those landlords who have chosen not to sign up to these basic principles. The scheme could even include ‘TripAdvisor’ style reviews of landlords to allow prospective tenants to make informed choices and to reward those responsible landlords who are doing the right thing.
Our message to absent private landlords will be a simple one: respect our communities or get out of Greater Manchester.
So, alongside the regulatory scheme, we will develop a new partnership scheme, working with local councils, to take tough action against private landlords who fail to maintain properties to basic health and safety standards or who allow seriously anti-social or criminal behaviour to take place inside them.
This could include a range of actions from enforcement notices to compulsory purchase orders.
This is not intended to punish landlords who run responsible and legitimate businesses. It is intended to punish those whose inaction makes the lives of others a misery and who diminish quality of life in our communities.
It is possible that this new scheme could lead to a significant reduction in the bill for Housing Benefit across Greater Manchester. In advance of finalising it, we will seek a deal with the Government to ensure that any savings from Housing Benefit will be recycled back into the Greater Manchester Housing Fund.
Parts of our City-Region - particularly the city-centre - have made great progress in the last 20 years and are unrecognisable to what they were in the 1990s. We all take a great pride in that. But we also know that you don't have to travel far out of the city-centre for things to look very different. When you go even further out, to some of the outlying towns that circle the city of Manchester, there is a real sense that some have gone into decline.
Many of the town's across the northern arc of Greater Manchester - from Wigan and Leigh in the West to Oldham and Ashton-under-Lyne in the east - have experienced profound social change in the years since traditional industries left.
These problems have been compounded by changes in retail habits, the emergence of out-of-town retail parks and the shift towards online shopping. Some town centres are looking increasingly run-down, full of empty retail units or charity shops. Once a great source of civic pride, they now symbolise for many a social and political failure to ensure fair distribution of available resources.
Over the next 20 years, Greater Manchester will apply the same level of ambition and vision to the outlying parts of the City-Region as it has shown in the last 20 to the development of the centre.
To underpin this, we will need a planning framework to support the delivery of these goals in all parts of the City-Region.
There are concerns that the current draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) fails to rise to this challenge. It is insufficiently ambitious for what Greater Manchester can be in the future.
While endorsing its ambitions on levels of house-building, there are doubts that the current draft would not lead to the building of the right mix of housing types and tenures to extend to everyone the hope of an affordable and decent home to rent or to own. Put simply, we need a planning framework for Greater Manchester that will solve our housing crisis.
There are also worries that the draft framework, by concentrating too heavily on large, green sites close to main arterial roads, would put more cars and lorries on our roads. This could make it more difficult for Greater Manchester to address poor air quality and add to levels of traffic congestion which many people feel are already unsustainable. This would not enhance the attractiveness of Greater Manchester as a place to live and could lead, in places, to struggling town centres surrounded by suburban sprawl and choked by congested roads.
We can do better than this.
We will require a radical re-write of the GMSF to produce a plan which provides solutions to the housing crisis, manages traffic congestion, raises our ambitions for jobs and maximises the "liveability" of Great Manchester.
This will mean a substantial reduction in loss of quality open green space and we will work towards the aim of no net loss of Green Belt. Where possible, we will seek to add land to the Green Belt to compensate for any land lost.
More broadly, the GMSF should be rebalanced towards a priority objective of revitalising Greater Manchester's proud towns, including the smaller towns within our 10 boroughs, with good quality and higher-density residential development.
Given that these towns are unlikely to be the retail centres they once were, we need to find a new future for them. Our goal should be to remodel them as quality places to live, balancing new higher-density residential development with quality culture, public space, bars and restaurants.
Transport is the lifeblood of any successful City-Region. It helps connect friends and families, links people to jobs, shapes the communities we live in and affects the air we breathe.
Right now, our transport system is not working and that is the result of a lack of fair investment over many decades. For every £1 the Government spends in the North-West on transport, London gets £6.
As a result, our roads are close to saturation point, with traffic often at a standstill. Our buses and local trains are in desperate need of modernisation. We lack the cycling infrastructure of other major cities. Unless we take action, Greater Manchester is at risk of grinding to a halt.
Over the last six months, we have asked for ideas on tackling congestion and improving public transport. The only idea we have ruled out is the introduction of a congestion charge. In 2008, 79 per cent of voters in Greater Manchester rejected the introduction of a peak-time congestion charge and there are no signs that public opinion has changed.
At ‘Our Manifesto’ events, we heard how congestion is holding back businesses, putting a strain on people’s working lives and reducing the amount of precious time people get to spend with their loved-ones.
Last year, the average Manchester road journey took 68 per cent longer in the morning peak and 79 per cent longer in the evening rush hour compared to what it would have taken in free-flowing conditions.
The Government has made a limited pot of funding available for certain areas to reduce congestion and deliver upgrades on local roads. So far, Greater Manchester has only been given a small portion of that – despite our roads being the third busiest in the UK.
The Mayor will demand our fair share of that investment.
We will look at traffic pinch-points across the City-Region, how we can remove bottle-necks and increase capacity to reduce congestion.
We will publish a new plan to tackle congestion and commission an urgent review of the condition and configuration of our busiest roads, working with businesses, road users and Transport for Greater Manchester to see what quick changes can be made to improve traffic flows.
There is no silver bullet to tackling congestion. We need to look at a range of solutions, including making use of the latest technology.
We will promote websites for car-sharing schemes across Greater Manchester and look at new ways to incentivise people to travel in cars together, such as allowing certain bus lanes to be used by cars carrying three people or more at particular times.
A number of people, including Louise and Frazer, suggested we should encourage employers to allow employees to be more flexible in their working hours, so we can stagger start and finish times at work, reducing the amount of traffic at peak times. Others said we need to see commensurate changes in our public transport to ensure it is a realistic alternative to using the car.
We will ask all major businesses in Greater Manchester to request they play their part in tackling congestion too, including offering more flexible working patterns for their employees.
For the last 30 years, the public of Greater Manchester have been badly served by the bus companies. They have suffered a bus service run in the private rather than public interest.
Across Greater Manchester, there are 22 different bus operators with 140 different types of ticket available. Busy, lucrative routes like Oxford Road in Manchester see buses of varying standards nose to tail. Other more isolated estates receive no service at all. There is no Oyster-card style scheme because no common standards can be imposed on the operators. Single journeys can cost £3 or more - double the £1.50 cost in London.
All of this means that, for many, buses are neither reliable, convenient nor affordable enough to make them a realistic alternative to the car. Only eight per cent of people in Greater Manchester now use the bus to get to work.
The new Mayor will be given powers over bus services across Greater Manchester, including over fares, routes, frequency and ticketing.
We will use these new powers to make our bus services more affordable, more reliable and more accessible to disabled people and families with pushchairs.
Many people, like Carys, complained that they have to buy three different tickets for three different buses and people like Magda said we need an integrated ticketing system to make it more affordable to change modes of transport.
We will use the latest technology to introduce an integrated ticketing system on all forms of public transport, making travelling round the City-Region more affordable and more convenient.
This new system will include a new daily fare cap – so that people are able to make a number of journeys on different modes of transport with a limit to the amount they pay - and a new 'Hopper' fare like that in London.
People with sight or hearing loss often face numerous challenges when travelling on buses. Research from Guide Dogs UK found that 65 per cent of people with sight loss have missed their bus stop at some point on their journey.
We will require bus operators to provide accessible information on their services, including audio announcements and visible media.
Many people have said that cycling should be at the heart of our plan to get Greater Manchester moving.
We are already home to the most successful professional cycling team in Olympic history. But we but we should aim to be a world-class cycling City-Region in every sense.
Greater Manchester should be a place where everyone, regardless of age or economic circumstance, sees cycling as an accessible, safe and effective choice for short journeys.
Over the last five years, 480 people have been killed or seriously injured on our roads cycling. 77 per cent of residents, and 84 per cent of regular cyclists, think that cycle safety in Greater Manchester needs improving.
We must reduce the number of lives lost on our roads. Part of the solution is ensuring we have safe cycling routes around all parts of the City-Region.
We will work with our councils to build a new network of dedicated cycle lanes, making full use of old infrastructure (such as disused railways and canal towpaths), to link up each borough to the city-centre and create radial links.
During the ‘Our Manifesto’ consultation, many people including Navneet suggested we should introduce a cycle-hire scheme, like the ‘Boris bikes’ in London. Others suggested this scheme could be linked to key transport hubs to give people the option of cycling for part if not all of their journey.
We will launch an iconic bike-hire scheme, making use of the latest technology, to make cycling a more accessible and convenient way to get around.
We also need to do more to help children gain the skills and confidence to start cycling. Only 3 per cent of children cycle to school, compared to 35 per cent in Copenhagen. As part of our ambition to get every child "school-ready" by the time they start school, we will work with staff in schools and early years’ settings to give every child the opportunity to learn to cycle.
In the long-term, the more people we can get cycling, the more we will be able to reduce congestion and tackle air pollution. But, crucially, we will be encouraging people to live a more active life, leading to improved health and happiness.
Together, let’s make Greater Manchester the best place to cycle in the country.
Alongside this, we must do more to encourage active travel, including working with schools to establish safe walking and cycling routes.
We will appoint an Active Travel Commissioner for Greater Manchester and ask them to report back to the Mayor on a regular basis.
We should be proud that the Metrolink is now established as one of the best modern tram systems in Europe, and proud too of successful, innovative systems like the Leigh, Salford, Manchester Guided Busway.
Over the coming years, we will build on that success by delivering more capacity, making services more reliable and improving security by increasing staff presence – particularly in the evenings and at weekends.
We also need to work to better connect all parts of Greater Manchester, not just the city centre, and to ensure that a well-connected Manchester Airport is the hub airport of the North of England.
We have received many submissions from people suggesting we need better links between our town centres. People like Karen told me that there are too many routes where you have to go in and out of the city, such as Bury to Rochdale.
We will reinvest the profits from Metrolink towards expanding the network, and develop new high-quality transport links, with a particular focus on radial routes across boroughs
Whilst we have some fantastic and state-of-the-art, modern tram stations in Greater Manchester, many of our local rail stations are cold, dreary and uncomfortable.
Of the 97 rail stations across Greater Manchester, over 80 per cent of them are more than 100 years old. Many have not changed much over that period. Around 50 of them are classed as inaccessible for disabled people.
A number of people said they have difficulty parking at local train stations and that, too often, stations are not properly linked to other modes of public transport.
We will put forward a plan to modernise our local train stations, making them more accessible, linked to other forms of public transport, and work with local businesses to make better use of empty waiting rooms.
As well as improving our stations, we need to ensure there is enough capacity on our rail network to meet the needs of the number of passengers that want to travel.
Our trains are also in urgent need of an upgrade. Many are decades old and lack basics such as decent toilets, power sockets and Wi-Fi.
We will work with Rail North to replace our outdated trains, increase capacity and help deliver new services, such as a fast Northern Connect service between Manchester and Liverpool.
Safety and security
The safety and security of the people of Greater Manchester will be our priority.
If we are to make Greater Manchester the best place to live, then people need to feel safe on their streets and secure in their neighbourhoods.
The new Mayor will take on the powers of the Police and Crime Commissioner and be responsible for the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. We will make sure our emergency services operate efficiently and work together effectively.
In recent years, Greater Manchester Police has faced significant budget cuts from the Tory Government. As a result, we have lost thousands of police officers from our streets. It is no surprise that crime has been on the rise.
We will do more to protect our police force against cuts. We will recruit more police officers and protect neighbourhood policing teams from any further reduction in numbers.
We will help fund this commitment in part by merging the back-office functions of the Police and Crime Commissioner with the Mayor – saving on office costs and reducing duplication.
We want to provide new opportunities for young people to join the police and contribute to making our communities safer and more secure. Apprentices can take on a variety of roles, from administrative support to working in neighbourhood teams.
We will support the expansion of the cadet and apprenticeship schemes in Greater Manchester Police, creating real opportunities for young people.
We must ensure our police force looks like the communities it is charged with keeping safe by continuing to seek new recruits from all of Greater Manchester’s diverse population and ensure they have role models in senior positions.
In the past few years, Greater Manchester Police has also led pioneering work to improve the way people in crisis because of mental ill health are treated. As a result, there is now a 24/7 helpline for police which has helped reduce the number of people being kept in police cells because of a mental health crisis.
We will build on this type of collaboration to ensure all our emergency services are working together to deliver the best outcomes for the people of Greater Manchester experiencing mental health problems.
Too often, the 112 service does not provide a responsive enough service to the public and can leave people waiting a long time for call to be answered. We will set up a review of it with a view to improving it significantly.
However sometimes things go wrong. In any police service, there will be occasions when victims or witnesses do not always receive the high-quality service they deserve. People need to have the confidence to know that when something does go wrong, and they make a complaint, it is taken seriously and acted upon.
We will strengthen the openness and effectiveness of the police complaints system, ensuring that malpractice is dealt with robustly, and complaints are responded to in a timely and sensitive manner.
There have also been concerns in recent times from serving GMP officers about the way complaints against them have been handled. There need to be improvements to the way professional standards are upheld, with more accountability and transparency. We will conduct a survey of the police workforce to identify areas where warranted and civilian staff wish to raise concerns or see improvements.
All police officers need access to the latest technology so they can spend more time on the beat and less time stuck in offices. We need to make sure people are able to report crimes online and can access real-time information about safety and security issues.
We will work to make Greater Manchester Police digitally accessible by 2020 and improve data sharing across public services so that they work more effectively to tackle and prevent crime.
In recent years, we have seen increases in domestic violence, which now makes up almost one third of violent crimes in Greater Manchester. Almost 2,000 rapes were reported last year across the city region and we know that many more cases go unreported.
We will put in place a plan to reduce violence against women and girls.
This will include working to build confidence amongst victims and witnesses to report any experience of violence or abuse by promoting accessible services in the community that meet their needs. We will work closely with public sector and voluntary organisations to develop effective support for victims of sexual and domestic violence.
Many people have told me how they can sometimes feel unsafe or intimidated travelling on our public transport, particularly in the evenings.
We will get tough on anyone who commits a crime or engages in any kind of anti-social behaviour on our buses and trams - such as harassment, vandalism, abuse or intimidation towards other passengers - by issuing more banning orders and penalty fares.
We will prioritise a greater staffing presence on public transport in the evenings to reassure passengers. More broadly, we will build on the successful Reclaim the Night initiative, we will encourage all boroughs in Greater Manchester to follow Bury's lead and secure Purple Flag status for the night-time economy.
Any type of hate crime is totally unacceptable - be it on the basis of someone’s sexuality, gender, religion, race, nationality or disability. It goes directly against the values of Greater Manchester. At a recent meeting with GM Citizens, tackling hate crime was identified a top priority for the Mayor.
We will have a zero-tolerance approach to hate-crime and it will be clearly communicated across Greater Manchester on public transport and in other locations.
If it is reported, we will have a clear policy of pursuing convictions wherever possible and publicly identifying those responsible.
Many cases of hate-crime go unreported. So we will need to designate trusted community organisations to work with the Police to give more people the confidence to come forward.
We all need to be vigilant if we are to keep our City-Region free from the threat of terrorism. We want the police to be able to do more to root out and stop the people who are promoting terror.
We will also ensure that our emergency services have the resources they need and are fully equipped to deal with major civil contingencies – such as a terrorist attack or flooding.
Many public-facing workers face violence, threats and abuse on a daily basis. All too often the offender isn’t charged or sent to court. We will ensure staff who work with the public are given greater protection, with tougher penalties for those who assault them.
We also need to do more to support police officers, police staff, special constables and volunteers who too often do not get the recognition they deserve for keeping us safe. We will seek to reduce pressures on workloads and make sure we do all we can to care for the well-being of police staff.
Fire and Rescue Service
The new Mayor will also take on responsibility for Greater Manchester’s Fire and Rescue Service.
In recent years, the Government has cut one in four front-line firefighters in Greater Manchester. At the same time firefighters are saving lives in different ways and taking on extra responsibilities, such as: responding to certain medical emergency calls to assist our paramedics and ambulance service; and working with schools to teach more young people to keep themselves and their friends and family safe, including training in Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
We will support firefighters to continue delivering, and building upon this important work, whilst at the same time maintaining acceptable levels of emergency response cover in all communities, including for flooding incidents.
We should aim to ensure that our firefighters are representative of Greater Manchester’s diverse population – encouraging more women, and more people from under-represented communities to consider training as firefighters.
Across Greater Manchester, it is estimated that there are hundreds of life-saving defibrillators, but many are unknown to the Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance Service.
CPR and defibrillators can dramatically improve the chances of someone surviving a cardiac arrest if they are used in the vital first few minutes. Crucially, no clinical training is required to use defibrillators.
We will build a "heart-safe" Greater Manchester. We will establish an open public register of all defibrillators so that, if someone calls 999 in the event of a cardiac arrest, they can be immediately directed to the nearest. We will also encourage the placing of defibrillators in major public places.