In May 2017 Greater Manchester elected its first metro mayor, Andy Burnham for Labour. He will have control over the whole Greater Manchester combined authority area and will work with existing city leaders to take forward their strategic plan. You can find out more about the new metro mayors on our FAQ page.
The economic and political outlook for Greater Manchester’s new metro mayor
This page brings together the key facts about the city-region’s economy and what local residents see as the top priorities for the new metro mayor.
The economic data for Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester consists of the following local authorities: Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.
Understanding how the city-region performs on key areas like productivity and employment helps the new metro mayor to assess what they should prioritise. The table below shows how Greater Manchester compares to the UK average on these indicators.
The city region has seen a similar rate of growth in population to that of the rest of the country in recent years. It has slightly more knowledge service jobs than the average, but it is slightly less productive than the national average (measured in Gross Value Added per capita).
The skills level in the city-region are also below the national average, which may help to explain the lower level of productivity.
Source: All data publicly available. For full data source details contact Centre for Cities. Averages displayed are either UK or GB average depending on the data available.
The policy priorities for the Greater Manchester metro mayor
We outlined three priorities that the Greater Manchester metro mayor should priorities. read them in full here or summarised below:
Policy priority 1: A quick win
Put the GMCA spatial plan into action and create certainty over development
- The metro mayor must commit to the spatial plan, allowing them to be bold and strategic about the future growth of the city-region
- The metro mayor can ensure the right types of housing and offices get built in the areas of the city-region that need them most. This includes building high grade offices in the city centre, while prioritising other parts of the city region for housing
- By commiting to the plan, the metro mayor can also build consensus and trust with local authority leaders.
Policy priority 2: A strategic aim
Build the city-region case for congestion charging in Manchester city centre
- The metro mayor must present the case that congestion charging will help manage city centre traffic as part of a bold infrastructure plan, that signals an environmentally friendly agenda
- The metro mayor should show that congestion charging can benefit the whole city region, through investment in public transport for poorly connected areas
- To implement this effectively, the metro mayor should evaluate the outcomes and manage extensions and improvements accordingly.
Policy priority 3: A longer term vision
Develop a sustainable social care budget
- The metro mayor should use their power over the social care budget to match need with spending, avoiding waste
- The metro mayor should use council tax to increase the social care budget
- To ensure resources are allocated most efficiently, the metro mayor must evaluate the outcomes
What powers does the Greater Manchester metro mayor have?
Below is a summary of the powers the new Greater Manchester metro mayor has. The metro mayor has control over an integrated health and social care budget for the area, unlike the London mayor, who does not.
What did the Greater Manchester metro mayors candidates have in their manifestos?
Click through the Slideshare below to find out what the metro mayor candidates said on key issues such as transport, housing and skills.
What the voters say about the new metro mayor
In May 2016 Centre for Cities commissioned ComRes to find out what issues the residents of Greater Manchester think should be top priority for their new metro mayor. The poll questions were based on the powers they will enjoy as well as wider priorities. We also asked whether or not they wanted to see more powers handed down to the metro mayor. Below are some of the main findings.
Over a third of adults (34 per cent) in Greater Manchester think that health care provision should be the most important priority for local politicians. Emergency services and housing are the next two priorities (12 per cent).
Which, if any, of the following issues do you think should be the most important priority for politicians in your city at the moment?
Source: ComRes. Average first preference of adults across Greater Manchester (n=506)
A third of adults (33 per cent) in Greater Manchester say integrating health and social care is the top priority for the new metro mayor. This is followed by developing plans to build or commission affordable housing (15 per cent).
Of the powers that the new metro mayor will have, which of the following issues, if any, do you think should be her/his top priority in their first 100 days?
The metro mayor’s powers
Three in five of those living in Greater Manchester (59 per cent) agree that the new metro mayor should have greater powers than local council leader. A quarter (24 per cent) disagree.
To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree that the new metro mayor should have greater powers than local council leaders?
Source: ComRes. All adults in Greater Manchester (n=506). Percentages are rounded.
Awareness of the metro mayor
In May 2016, almost half (45 per cent) of adults in Greater Manchester said they were familiar with plans to introduce a new metro mayor for the city-region. Slightly more than half (54 per cent) say they were unfamiliar.
To what extent, if at all, were you previously familiar or unfamiliar with the plans to introduce a new metro mayor for the city-region?
What is the political landscape in Greater Manchester?
Labour’s Andy Burnham is the current metro mayor, he won with 63.4% of the votes. Second was the Conservative Sean Anstee with 22.7% of the votes. The turnout was 29%.
Find out more about metro mayors
Get up to date on the policies and powers affecting the metro mayors by reading our metro mayors FAQ.
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