THE voters of the Bolton Borough will make their choice for the elected Mayor of Greater Manchester on May 4.
The stand out issue with candidate Andy Burnham is that he truly gets the enormous opportunity before us to use political devolution from Westminster to benefit the people of Greater Manchester and that he has a track record of high level skills and decision making and achieving change.
The devolved Greater Manchester economy is the biggest outside London with around £1.5bn as a base budget, around £6bn for health and social care, government transport investment of around £30m and strong predictions of the billions that the Greater Manchester economy can grow to as it takes charge and shapes its future.
It is a stand out issue that Andy Burnham has rallied for over a decade about the unfairness of central governments investment into the South over the North; he will relish evening out that awful legacy. I say it is an advantage having a Mayor here who has spent some of his career time in London. He has seen and felt the unfair advantage the South has had.
The South has had vastly better transport, culture, schools and skills investment for a long time. You can see why Andy Burnham is talking about creating a better future for young people here. He knows access to college and skills for every young person matters hugely so that everyone can get a job, better jobs can be created here and low incomes can start to rise.
The income inequality whether it is people living side by side in the same city or between the leafy parts of the city region and an outer area like Farnworth, is a stand out issue for the new Mayor to get on with tackling.
These are big difficult issues and we need a Mayor with a solid track record on getting things improved to take this on. Burnham has been the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and has held two positions as Secretary of State making decisions for the whole country. This week he has declared that should he be elected as Mayor he will drive the same ambition for Bolton as Manchester city has received over the years; and if elected we will hold him to those words.
Cllr Sue Haworth