The office of the Mayor of Greater Manchester is of much greater significance than you would be led to believe but with it come three risks.
These risks are exactly why Greater Manchester needs a tried and tested Mayor with the determination to implement serious change, why Labour needs a high profile and radical candidate to reconnect Labour with the North and why we all need someone with the profile and experience to take the Tories to task and ensure we are given our fair share in Greater Manchester.
1. A Poisoned Chalice
The biggest fear amongst Labour supporters is that the Tories are setting Labour up to fail in Greater Manchester by devolving plenty of responsibility but not enough funding. Andy called this out early on in his campaign by highlighting a £1bn shortfall in funding for Greater Manchester.
The city-region needs someone with the guts to call this out, the determination to fight this battle and the experience to ensure a better deal. From fighting for Hillsborough Families through to Trade Union rights, Andy has shown his persistence in fighting for what is right and proper.
2. A Labour Disconnect?
The political side-effects of the EU Referendum will not be felt for months to come but there is a genuine fear that UKIP and the right could gain ground in the same way the SNP did in Scotland after the Independence Referendum.
Greater Manchester needs a strong, Labour leader not afraid to make serious change and show that Labour is needed more now than ever. We need a Mayor who is not afraid to be radical and to pave the way for Labour to return to government. Labour is at risk of taking the North of England for granted - business as usual is not an option.
3. Being Underwhelmed
The third risk is that the mayoralty could be seen as another layer of bureaucracy, a peg-up from local councils and nothing but a rubber stamper.
The Mayor has to be a trailblazer and offer totally out-of-the-box thinking. With Andy's commitment to build the country's first fully integrated National Health & Care Service (and his experience as Health Secretary to actually implement it) and his promise of a radical and open new style of politics (with long overdue mayoral e-petitions and question times), Andy guarantees a mayoralty to rival London.
Councillor George Newton, Tameside