Who I Am
At almost 47 years old, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve been around the block a few times – and I’m fortunate to have lived a happy, healthy and fulfilling life to date. My micro life (my immediate personal life that I live on a day to day basis) is one of a wife and two teenage daughters, some great friends and a successful business that gives me an excellent, well-balanced lifestyle.My experience now tells me that quality is better than quantity in every part of my life.
So the big question is: why does someone like me want to take on such a stressful and challenging position as Mayor of Greater Manchester, when I am contented with my lot in life?
The simple answer to this question is that my macro environment (the area of my life over which I have no control) isn’t so good. Manchester is currently living in denial, with many more people struggling to make ends meet than there are flourishing. Our local schools and hospitals are at breaking point. And it’s getting harder and harder for young people to set out and thrive in our increasingly materialistic society – to the extent that confidence levels in the 18-24 age group have never been lower. Over the next 20 years, we are now told, it is expected that as many as 750,000 extra people will be living and working in Manchester but the GMSF plan which dictates how this is going to happen would probably fail GCSE economics and geography.
I was privileged to be born into a successful, white collar home and to travel up the educational ladder to achieve a degree in management science here in Manchester. After a couple of years training as an accountant, I chose to start up a business in the blue-collar waste management trade. Having worked across all areas of Manchester, I think I now have a reasonable idea of what makes people tick. The advantage of driving a bin truck is you get the opportunity to observe the whole spectrum of society from cleaning up fly tipping in Harpurhey to decluttering houses in Hale. .
In my view, managing Manchester’s political strategy is an enormous undertaking as we seek to make 2+2 =5 with limited resources. But it can be done if the person running the show instils confidence, hope and integrity in the electorate. Success is about building strong partnerships with other cities and attracting investment into our area. Building on the intangible wealth of our city will be central to everything we do, as we strive to hold onto our best people and attract new talent in all industry sectors creating better jobs as we do.
Machiavellian methods of political control based on deception and manipulation have now been exposed by the Internet. The only way now for a new leader to proceed is to tell the truth. In my opinion, the fundamental principle of laying the foundations for Manchester's future lies in accepting the truth of where we are now, and in a clear, concise analysis of where we want to go.
The truth may hurt us in the short term, but in 15 years we may have a truly world class city if we get our best people working together. My mayorship, or anyone else's for that matter, must therefore be viewed as a long term project. I am getting involved in this election because I don't want my children's future ruined by poor decision makers and because i have opinions that are currently not reflected by any of the other candidates.