GM Poverty Action would like to congratulate the new Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who won with almost 2/3 of the votes. During the election campaign he was particularly vocal about his commitment to end rough sleeping by 2020, but his manifesto had many more pledges that related to action on poverty.
The following policies all appeared in Andy’s manifesto, most of which we have taken action on and featured in previous editions of the newsletter:
- Support for the Living Wage and minimising use of zero-hours contracts
- Building affordable homes and working to address the housing crisis
- Action against landlords who fail to adequately maintain properties
- A Good Employers’ Charter, setting out the basic standards and actions expected of good businesses
- Strategies to boost skills in adults and teenagers, including workforce development
- Using new transport powers to make bus services more affordable, more reliable and more accessible to disabled people and families with pushchairs
- Support with living costs for specific groups of people such as women affected by retirement-age changes, and young people leaving care
- Championing unpaid family carers and ensuring they are identified and properly supported
- More training and support, better pay and terms of employment, and more opportunities for career progression for social care staff
- Making Greater Manchester the most inclusive city-region in the country on disability issues
- Establishing a GM-wide Fairness Commission to develop plans to tackle inequalities across the city region
Some of these sit completely within the mayor’s decision-making powers, while others will require agreement from other leaders. However decision-making is only one kind of power. Spending power is limited, but the combined power of the good will of partners across sectors across the city region will be priceless. GM Poverty Action looks forward to working with the new mayor as a partner, and a bridge to many more partners, in tackling poverty in Greater Manchester.
Tom Skinner, Director Greater Manchester Poverty Action