Greater Manchester mayoral election: Candidates spell out key policies

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, Plans for an elected mayor in charge of Greater Manchester's devolved powers were announced in 2014

Those hoping to become Greater Manchester's first metropolitan mayor have less than a month to go in which to earn your vote.

Greater Manchester, in case you were wondering, includes the 10 borough councils - Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside Trafford, and Wigan.

Who are the candidates desperate for your support on 4 May, though, and what are their priorities?

BBC Radio Manchester's political reporter Kevin Fitzpatrick has produced a potted biography for each of the eight would-be mayors.

We're also asking all of them for a "minute manifesto" video.

Candidates are listed below in alphabetical order

Sean Anstee, Conservative

Media caption, Mr Anstee says he wants to boost skills and job opportunities

Leading Trafford Council since 2014, Sean Anstee was among the 10 local council leaders who agreed the devolution deal with government that made this election possible. Born and raised in Partington, he has promised that a proportion of new homes will be reserved for people who have lived and grown up in their local area. He says his key pledges include increasing skills and creating jobs, and says he would ensure schools, health facilities and transport support economic growth. Mr Anstee wants to introduce a "year of service" volunteering scheme to help young adults prepare for the world of work, and says he would ensure the region is easier to get around with smart and integrated ticketing on public transport.

Mohammad Aslam, Independent

Media caption, Mr Aslam wants to get homeless people off the streets

Mohammad Aslam is a director of a property letting company with years of business experience. Born in Faislabad, Pakistan where his father was a councillor, Mr Aslam moved to Manchester 17 years ago. He has been helping the community in the Cheetham Hill area by offering support and being a voice for them in the local mosque. He says his key pledge includes making Greater Manchester "more developed and a modern region". He also wants to get homeless people off the streets and improve the roads.

Jane Brophy, Liberal Democrats

Media caption, Ms Brophy wants to do more to protect green spaces from development

An experienced councillor, Jane Brophy currently lives in and represents Timperley in Trafford. She says she would fight against what she calls a "ruinous hard Brexit that will cost jobs across Greater Manchester", and is proposing to scrap the Spatial Framework plan which would see development on swathes of green space. Ms Brophy says she wants to tackle crime, with a focus on reducing offences against people. She is also promising to build a health system that "works for everyone", improving mental health treatment and integrating health and social care.

Andy Burnham, Labour

Media caption, Mr Burnham wants to prioritise young people

Veteran Leigh MP and former minister Andy Burnham has put young people at the heart of his manifesto, and wants to give them ambition and aspiration beyond school. He would introduce a university-style application system for apprenticeships, and give all 16 to 18-year-olds half-price travel on buses and the Metrolink. He also wants to improve air quality by ensuring more people get on buses and use a new network of cycle lanes. Mr Burnham has promised to "revitalise" town centres, ensure more affordable homes are built and create jobs in the digital and advanced manufacturing industries. He wants to end rough sleeping by 2020.

Marcus Farmer, Independent

Media caption, Mr Farmer would like to see the Metrolink free at the point of use

Marcus Farmer has described the current leadership of Greater Manchester as a "party political fiasco" and says he would work in everyone's best interests to get things done. He says he would build strong partnerships with other cities and, to deal with congestion on the roads, he would like to see the bus and tram systems free at point of use, with the costs covered by an increase in council tax. He says he would create a "business-minded organisation" that links schools with local companies and is a supporter of grammar schools. Mr Farmer wants to bring confidence back into the public sector and instil pride in how people deliver public services.

Stephen Morris, English Democrats

Media caption, Stephen Morris manifesto

Stephen Morris is North West chairman of the English Democrats, and also general secretary of the Workers of England Union and the Trade Union Congress for England. He says he became involved in politics after being elected as Unite's branch secretary at Metrolink in 2003, a role he held until 2010. Mr Morris says his mission is to provide an alternative to the country's main political parties and, if elected mayor, he would make tackling child poverty, deprivation and homelessness among his priorities. He is also very pro-business, and says he'd like to see the North West become a "silicon valley" of the country.

Shneur Odze, UKIP

Image source, Ben Wareing
Image caption, Mr Odze wants to protect hospitals in the region from closure

Shneur Odze is a former councillor and stood for election to the European Parliament. He says he believes strongly in greater transparency in public services. Mr Odze says he would like to give a voice to those who love living in Greater Manchester, but are appalled at how some services are being cut. He has promised to create a council of advisors from civic, communal, religious, student and other walks of life, to be his sounding board. He says he wants to prioritise protecting the greenbelt from development, would keep all police stations open, and would work to prevent closure of hospitals and walk-in centres. He would also campaign against the HS2 high-speed rail project.

Mr Odze declined to provide a "minute manifesto"

Will Patterson, Green Party

Media caption, Will Patterson manifesto

Will Patterson is a Wigan resident and chairman of the Wigan & Leigh Green Party. He says his key priorities would be to protect and expand the greenbelt while ensuring new social and affordable homes are built in and near town and city centres. On public transport, he would end peak-time pricing, while pushing for a new "outer circle" tram line around the region. He wants to see a "Greater Manchester Living Wage", and feels strongly that there should be more public engagement in the devolution process. He says he would also involve voluntary groups and organisations in his policy-making process.

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