Metro Mayor Andy Burnham has announced his strategic resolutions for 2018 calling on Manchester to reapply it’s radical and pioneering verve. 2018 marks both the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Trades’ Union Congress (TUC) in Manchester and, on 6th February, the centenary of the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1918 – granting votes for women for the first time.
It was a victory won by Moss Side-born Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst who inspired and led the Suffragette movement and is acclaimed the greatest northerner in history in a recent poll.
Mr Burnham set out his five resolutions for the New Year. “Right now, our divided world needs a new dose of that radical Manchester spirit. So, as we prepare to celebrate these momentous events, we should resolve today to apply it afresh to the many challenges of our own difficult times.”
Mr. Burnham’s 5 resolutions included support for those affected by the Arena bomb last May and continuing to press government for more funding for Greater Manchester’s emergency services .
Keeping homelessness high on the agenda is another resolution as people demand urgent action to improve the situation. “I am confident that the plans we have developed in Greater Manchester will continue to deliver real results,” he said, “but I will monitor progress closely, as well as continuing to donate monthly to the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund, as we work towards our goal of ending rough sleeping here by 2020.”
His fourth resolution is to initiate a major overhaul of the transport system. The increasing level of congestion on the roads reflected the fact that public transport was “simply not good enough”. Mr Burnham pledged to use new powers to change the way local buses worked as well making the case for new investment in infrastructure.
His fifth resolution is to continue to build the voice of the north and make the case for more devolution: “If we are to rise to the challenges of Brexit, we need to develop a world-class digital and transport infrastructure and have the freedom to innovate on policies which Westminster has traditionally neglected, such as technical education.
“While we live in difficult times, I start this year with great pride in our radical past and great optimism for what we are about to achieve.”