5 November 2014
Why is it that despite the people of Greater Manchester voting against having a Mayor, we find ourselves, a few years down the line, getting one anyway?
Since this news was announced a few days ago, a number of people have asked how I feel about it. Perhaps it’s something to do with my natural inclination to shy away from controversy, I don’t know, but I personally don’t believe that an elected Mayor is what Manchester needs. Surely it’s just another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy.
We’ve got good leadership in place already; people like Sir Howard Bernstein and Richard Leese. The last thing we need is Manchester’s answer to Boris Johnson!
I’m also not convinced that this is being pushed through to give Mancunians a more ‘powerful voice’ (to quote George Osborne) as we’ve already declined the idea in a vote. Why canvas the opinions of thousands of people and then not listen to them? There’s got to be an ulterior motive here.
As for the Chancellor’s comments about closing the divide between north and south, I think we should be competing with London. The divide is more about the North having a better standard of living than they do in the capital, which is a place that out-prices many people. We’re well placed to give it a run for its money, especially when it comes to innovation in tech and digital, so bring it on I say!
What do you think a mayor will do for Greater Manchester? Will it really give us greater ownership?