The crisis in social care, housing and homelessness, low pay and hate crime, will top the agenda when Greater Manchester Mayoral candidates get a grilling from Greater Manchester Citizens (GMC) at their invite-only founding assembly tomorrow, May 1st.
Citizens UK and GMC will host hundreds of guests at this unique event at the iconic Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays. This is the biggest event of the Mayoral campaign. The leading Mayoral candidates, Andy Burnham (Labour), Sean Anstee (Conservative) and Jane Brophy (Liberal Democrat) will be asked how they would tackle the above issues, identified as top priorities for the area by Citizens’ groups and their members.
Guests in the audience will share their personal testimonies on these subjects, presented along with drama and music, and will ask the candidates to make certain pledges should they gain office, including:
- Social Care - implementing and enforcing minimum standards as part of commissioning arrangements including an end to 15min visits, ending zero hours contracts.
- Living Wage – to actively champion and promote the real living wage. Launching Living Wage Week in greater Manchester every year. Pushing for councils and key institutions to pay a real Living Wage and use their buying power to drive change across other sectors.
- Football- To work with greater Manchester citizens to put pressure on Manchester United and Manchester City football clubs and push them to pay the real living wage by the start of the 2019/2020 season.
- Housing/Homelessness - galvanise the regions housing providers (both in the private rented sector and housing association sectors) and decision makers to create a framework of Housing First options in order that long term appropriate housing is provided to those groups most at risk due to their circumstances and the impacts they face of welfare reform.
- Hate Crime- Ensure all members of the police force are trained in recording hate crime, can differentiate between race and religious hate crime, and monitor and measure hate crime data to identify emerging trends and focus resources on the relevant areas. Provide a victim support service that is effective and inclusive.
Chair of Greater Manchester Citizens Sir Peter Fahy said: ‘This will be a historic day for the people of Greater Manchester. Not only are we having our first directly elected Mayor for the region, but this unique Assembly will give ordinary citizens an opportunity to have their voices heard and play their role in helping to shape the communities they come from.’
Greater Manchester Citizens has recruited numerous institutions; ranging from NGOs, trade union branches, schools, faith communities, local community organisations and some of the central universities and students’ unions in the Greater Manchester region. They have pledged to work together to strengthen civil society, develop a new generation of civic leaders and to ensure that the crucial voice and interests of this sector are heard and represented at all levels of public life
Community Organiser for Greater Manchester Citizens, Furqan Naeem said: ‘We have come a long way in such a short space of time but this is testament to our local communities who all want to play a role in shaping the new Northern Powerhouse and Devolution deals. In order for democracy to work we need local people at the heart of making decisions and Greater Manchester Citizens intends to give people that recognition.’
Citizens UK will also be announcing their national General Election campaign at the Assembly in Greater Manchester…….
To attend the Assembly on May 1st please RSVP with the community organiser Furqan Naeem, firstname.lastname@example.org