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Liberal Deadocrats - Labour Must Move National HQ

Leader of Lib Dems dumped as Confidential's theatre writer, Joan Davies, is elected

Published on May 4th 2012.

Liberal Deadocrats - Labour Must Move National HQ
THE MAYOR idea is chucked out and Labour increases its already vast majority to almost a full deck.
This is important. You’ve got to live in the city centre to understand it. It’s different from the other wards in Manchester. 

The City of Manchester is so good to Labour it should relocate its headquarters to the city with immediate effect. This is one loyal city.
These are the ward results after last night's decimation of the Liberal Democrats: Labour 86, Liberal Democrat 9, Independent 1 (one third of the seats were up for election).

The last of these would be Labour as well but results from a councillor leaving the fold over the controversial FC United Stadium proposals in Moston.

No other city has anything like this majority in the UK.

MCFC might win the league but Manchester is definitely red. 

It was gift night all round for Labour who were also against an elected mayor for Manchester and got their way.

It was a close run thing though. 48,593 people said no to the idea with 42,677 saying yes.

Confidential is pleased by this: we don't think there is need for a elected mayor for the City of Manchester. 

As Sir Richard Leese, Manchester Council Leader told the MEN: "There now needs to be a very clear debate about a Greater Manchester mayor and we've not had that yet. We shouldn't be following the London model. If we are to move down that road it should be something that builds on the very significant achievements of the combined authority across Greater Manchester - it should go with the flow."

He has a point, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Salford meanwhile had already decided to have an elected mayor through a council chamber decision rather than a referendum. The results will be announced soon.

The Liberal Democrats were hammered across the region and nationally. They now have no Salford wards and the council leader of Stockport Dave Goddard lost out too. 

In the city centre, well-regarded councillor and leader of the Liberal Democrat group, Marc Ramsbottom, gaves way to the Manchester Confidential theatre writer and Castlefield resident Joan Davies (her most recent review is here). 

Joan DaviesJoan DaviesShe said to us: "With Kevin Peel, also of the Labour Party, there are now two city centre councillors who actually live in the city centre.  This is important. You’ve got to live in the city centre to understand it. It’s different from the other wards in Manchester. You’ve got residents, employers, workers, tourists and all these elements have to gel together if the city is going to be successful and thus benefit its citizens and the region."

We're sorry for Marc he's been an excellent and deeply committed councillor, one with a good brain on him. He should stand for parliament next.

But Joan is also a fine person, who loves the city centre and is thoughtful, intelligent and humorous. She will be a great asset to Manchester City Council. 

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here @JonathSchofield

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31 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousMay 4th 2012.

"As Sir Richard Leese, Manchester Council Leader told the MEN: "There now needs to be a very clear debate about a Greater Manchester mayor and we've not had that yet. We shouldn't be following the London model."

Excuse my ignorance but how is having a mayor of AGMA any different to having a mayor of London?

Baxter fishheadMay 4th 2012.

It's massively different. Think about it for a minute

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMay 4th 2012.


CobbydalerMay 4th 2012.

Well, let's hope Joan gets involved with City Centre issues as much as Marc did. Sorry to see him go, probably due to people abstaining. Rubbish turnout of less than 14%...

AnonymousMay 5th 2012.

An elected Greater Manchester mayor?
Do you think the people of Bolton, Wigan, Rochdale and Tory Trafford would vote for that? Never mind the people of Manchester - where most instinctively vote "no" to change & "no" to more politicians.

Unlike London, Scotland, Northern Ireland & Wales - the English regions were "scandalously ignored" by New Labour back in 1997 (we missed the devolution boat) and there's ZERO CHANCE of the people now voting for a Greater Manchester Assembly & elected mayor.
We're stuck with what we've got folks!
(Unless of course, as per the creation & abolition of Greater Manchester itself, Whitehall decides and we're given no choice???)

DavidMay 5th 2012.

We're so loyal to Labour and London votes for Boris.So as a reward the next Labour government,will do what the last one did,and throw lots of money at London,while taking every possible opportunity to shaft us.

DavidMay 5th 2012.

This perpetual Labour rule in this city is extremely unhealthy.It has lead to a very biased local media,including MEN,and Manchester Confidential,because they have an obvious commercial interest in not upsetting the local Labour leaders,because they know that there is no chance that these people will ever be voted out of office.That is not the case in London,where the local media is more diverse politically.
The likes of Leese, unlike Boris and Ken,have jobs for life.People with talent and vision,who are not members of the Labour Party might as well pack up and move to another city.I fail to see how Manchester being a one party state is anything to be celebrate,it hardly leads to a vibrant local democracy,as the pathetic level of voting turnout suggests.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
CobbydalerMay 5th 2012.

Well said!

AnonymousMay 6th 2012.

An elected mayor might have given Manchester an executive member who can be voted out if they were not up to scratch (in all areas of the City). In my opinion the link between the ruling councillors and the top Council officials is just too cosy and voters cannot decide who actually leads them: we can't 'punish' Leese with the ballot box (e.g. for his police caution in 2010). There also won't be any effective opposition in MCC: who is to stop the Council doing whatever they like?

AnonymousMay 6th 2012.

Apart from UNISON'S "Say No To Tory Mayors" adverts in the MEN, there was NO DEBATE in Manchester about elected mayors. No "YES" campaign and no "NO" campaign.

Lowest turnouts in the country, a Town Hall "sycophantic" local media (what's left of it) - yes Manchester is a truly "dead" political city. An apathetic political wasteland!

DavidMay 6th 2012.

Labour voters may think it great that the council is nearly all red and free of Conservatives.But how would they feel if it was the other way around.If they lived in a city where there was no point voting Labour,because the Conservatives were bound to get in,so thousands of people simply stopped voting.A city where there were thousands of Labour voters,but not one member of the council,to represent their views.

DavidMay 6th 2012.

I actually think the people of Greater Manchester would vote yes to an elected mayor.But only if the job had similar powers and influence as the London Mayor has and also only if we had strong candidates,and not the same old tired local politicians.You need much more inspiring candidates for such a post.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMay 6th 2012.

I would love to think they would David, but "depressingly know" they just wouldn't.
Newcastle have just rejected an elected mayor and overwhelmingly rejected (78%) a North East Regional Assembly back in their 2004 referendum. (And apparently this was the area of England, deemed to want regional devolution the most!)

Similarly, the "disparate" & "small c conservative" people of Greater Manchester - would NEVER EVER EVER vote for a Greater Manchester mayor and the recreation of a new Greater Manchester Council/Assembly!

We in the North "missed the devolution boat" back in 1997/98 -when New Labour could push through whatever they wanted. So unless Whitehall "imposes" it on us now, it just won't happen!

DavidMay 6th 2012.

I partly agree with you in respect of attitudes to Greater Manchester.especially in relation to Bolton and Wigan.But in a way I do not blame them for their skepticism,when you consider the case of transport planning in Greater Manchester.What benefit have these,the two biggest towns in Greater Manchester seen from Metrolink.Their seems to be to much concern given to the likes of Chorlton and other Manchester suburbs,when extending the network.

DavidMay 6th 2012.

Elected mayors are supposed to address the lack of significant local political power and influence,compared to London,and they work well in other countries like France.

The problem is that Labour introduced them only in London first.The one city that is not short of political influence.But this meant that the national(London) media is even more focused on ithe capital at the expense of covering elections in other cities.

Also the electors who have rejected local mayors are not stupid.They know that we are being short changed compared to them.We are not being offered what they got in London.

Plus the local politicians in Manchester and the local media have all been not very positive about change.They have not really made any effort to campaign actively for such devolution of powers.They are more than happy with the status quo.

Unfortunately we do not have a northern based political party,one that puts our interests first.Instead we have three London based national parties,all headed by men from London and the home counties.When was the last time a norther born and bred politician was the leader of any of these parties?.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
CobbydalerMay 6th 2012.

Harold Wilson...

AnonymousMay 7th 2012.

When New Labour pushed through devolution referendums for Scotland, Wales and yes unbelievably LONDON - not one northern MP said "hey what about us?" Why I wonder?

AnonymousMay 7th 2012.

David asks “When was the last time a northern born and bred politician was the leader of any of these parties [ the three main ones ]?. Tony Blair was born in Edinburgh, and while growing up lived in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Australia and Durham. Gordon Brown was born in, Renfrewshire, Scotland, and brought up in Kirkcaldy, not far from Edinburgh.

DavidMay 7th 2012.

The last Labour government was packed with Scots.During the entire government both the top jobs of PM and Chancellor were always held by Scots.
Yet this did not satisfy the Scots,they demanded more and they got more.They got devolution and the highest level of public spending per citizen.They know how to play the game,to win resources and power.
Our local politicians in contrast are weak or just impotent party loyalists like Hazel Blears.They fail to stand up for our interests.
What did we get in compensation from Labour when Brown shafted us,by overturning the supercasino decision,to appeases the Daily Mail?

Paul GregoryMay 8th 2012.

If there is ever a Greater Manchester mayor, let us hope he/she has a better grip of Salford politics and facts than Manchester Confidential does.

"Salford meanwhile had already decided to have an elected mayor through a council chamber decision rather than a referendum." Wrong, there was a referendum earlier in the year. You're thinking of Liverpool.

"No other city has anything like this majority in the UK."
I guess that depends on whether you think 89.6% (Manchester Labour) is "anything like" 86.7% (Salford Labour).

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMay 8th 2012.

Well, it's not salfordconfidential.com is is ;)

TineandtideMay 8th 2012.

I think they meant major city, not a token suburb city.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidMay 8th 2012.

If Greater Manchester is really a city region,then it is more than merely Manchester alone,which is only a fifth of its population.Without them what is Manchester itself?.Its restaurants and bars would not survive without the customers from the rest of Greater Manchester
I somehow doubt that a lot of Manchester Confidential know anything about the rest of Greater Manchester.They are just as insular,as London journalists are.

DavidMay 8th 2012.

Most of Manchesters musical reputation derives from bands like Joy Division,,Elbow and Happy Mondays,who were from Greater Manchester,rather than Manchester itself.

DavidMay 8th 2012.

Joan Davis should be extremely embarrassed,rather than congratulated.Only 13% of Manchester central voters bothered to vote at all.Of course she will no doubt take her seat and the perks that go with it.

AnonymousMay 8th 2012.

Really couldn't care less about this. Politics is broken. I'm sick of being lied to and let down by my elected officials.

It seems insane to me that I would choose to vote in another 'all new' kind of liar. What's the point? What will an elected mayor do for me that an enforced one wouldn't?

JohnthebriefMay 9th 2012.

The upshot of this is that Manchester Council continues to be effectively unaccountable. The media is compliant, the electorate apathetic, and scrutiny at a minimum.

When are they putting parking charges up again, I wonder? Next week?

1 Response: Reply To This...
DavidMay 10th 2012.

The fact that Labour is unaccountable,means you have a generation of politicians who are not used to having to fight hard to win elections.If they were challenged seriously like George Galloway managed to do in Bradford,they would struggle.
Nothing lasts for ever,not even Labour rule in Manchester.At some point a new challenger will emerge to them politically.

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