5 May 2017

andy burnhamToday’s the day that Greater Manchester chooses its mayor. The polling stations are closed, votes have been cast and the result is set to be announced later today.

It’s a historic day for the region whatever the result and one that I think is long overdue. The whole idea about devolved power is common sense! It amazes me really that we’ve not actioned it before. How is it logical that the whole country is governed from one hub? It is impossible for Westminster to fully comprehend the challenges and priorities of each region without being on the doorstep.

Devolution is certainly working already across England and I do believe that it will work in Manchester. I think eventually decisions will be made in this way right across the country. The people that can see the big problems, the here and now problems, in any city should be able to action and fix them without having to go ‘cap in hand’ to the capital.

I’ve made no secret of my support for Andy Burnham as Greater Manchester mayor and we’ve been fortunate to have him visit UKFast Campus and to hear his manifesto first hand. He is keen to engage with the digital community and help us build it, which I believe is imperative if we are to strengthen the city and attract more businesses and skilled workers in. Every person and business in the city needs great technology. We’re very lucky to have forward-thinking council already and to have a mayor who aligns with that is only going to mean great things for the region and the city.

Anyone who has heard me talk will have heard me say that I believe that Manchester is going to become one of the greatest cities in Europe and rival London for tech talent and growth in the community, it is amazing to hear a politician who is running for mayor join us with that pledge. He is 100% behind it and honestly believes that it is a possibility.

I wish Andy the very best of luck and whatever the result later today, I know that we’re lucky to have such a strong leader with their heart in our region.

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