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GREENS: Potholes aren't mentioned in the Green's manifesto.

IT'S that time of year again - when local election candidates fill our letter boxes with pamphlets, pledges and promises.

On May 3, Manchester will go to the polls. This time, we will all have three votes, because boundary changes mean every one of Manchester City Council's 96 seats are up for grabs.

So far Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens have released manifestos specifically for the city.

We have not been able to get hold of a Conservative manifesto for Manchester.

Here, we run down what the parties are proposing on each key issue.

HOUSING LABOUR: The party is promising to build 500 units of 'social and other secure, decent housing for rent at a level that can be fully met by housing benefit' over the next year, which fits with the council's existing strategy.

It does not say how that will be funded, although previously it has promised to use money from developer contributions brought in through the planning process.

Labour says it will 'continue to build more homes than any other comparable city', pledging 10,000 new homes this year - a third of which, it says, will be made available to families on low incomes.

Labour is also promising to pilot landlord licensing in order to drive up rental standards - which the council is in fact already doing in Crumpsall and Old Moat in Withington - 'with a view' to rolling it out across the city.

Previously the council has said it would take up too much resource to do this city-wide and the manifesto does not specify the cost of doing so.

LIB DEMS: The Lib Dems flag up the fact Manchester council, under Labour, has not been building any affordable homes in the city centre, despite the town hall's policies saying 20pc of any development of more than 15 units should be affordable.

It says it would enforce that rule and take a tough line with developers who say it would make their projects unviable, forcing them to publish the proof.

'Safe, affordable housing' for teenagers leaving foster care is also promised, possibly a nod to criticism from Ofsted in its last inspection of the council's children's services. The Lib Dems also promise a 'full independent review' of all fire and insulation safety on social housing in light of the Grenfell tragedy.

GREENS: The Greens are promising to set up a not-for-profit letting agency to help people looking for places to rent.

They also pledge to introduce landlord licensing across the city, explore the introduction of rent caps and support new housing cooperatives.

The Greens want tenants to have representation in 'arms-length' management organisations that oversee social housing, for all empty social housing to be renovated and all homes sold under 'right to buy' replaced.

Like the Lib Dems, they also specifically refer to the responsibilities of developers to build affordable housing, promising to 'argue against' them waiving that duty.

HEALTH/SOCIAL CARE LABOUR: Labour bosses are pledging to hire more home care workers - a pledge that is understood to relate specifically to 'reablement', the help people receive at home once they have left hospital.

Pay for adult social care staff will also be set at the 'Manchester Living Wage', a move that was confirmed by the council in this year's budget.

The party is also promising at least 200 specialist social housing units for older people.

And it is promising to invest more in community mental health, a move that is understood to include more grant funding for particular local projects, as well as a commitment to increase the proportion of the city's overall health budget on mental health.

The manifesto does not put a figure on the investment. LIB DEMS: The party promises to provide a mental health bed for every patient in the city needing one, so nobody would have to go miles away for care - although it does not clarify how much that would cost or how it would be funded.

They would also call for 'rapid assessment, intervention and discharge' teams at A&Es to help people in crisis.

The Lib Dems believe contraceptive services in the city are 'lacking', arguing their opening hours mean working women have to use their holidays to access them.

They promise to work with the mayor of Greater Manchester to introduce outpatients clinics across the city with bookable appointments.

GREENS: The Greens want a 'properly funded' health devolution deal and to 'encourage' greater mental health spending - plus a review of services and outcomes for disabled people, to ensure they are not discriminated against.

They promise a crackdown on new takeaways near schools and in areas where there are already high numbers, as well as setting up more cookery classes to promote healthy eating.

The party also wants more publiclyaccessible toilets and a city-wide insulation scheme in homes to cut damp and cold making people ill.

They would also use not-for-profit providers where at all possible.

DEMOCRACY LABOUR: Labour uses its manifesto to promote its 'Our Manchester' strategy, which aims to include citizens in decision-making.

It cites the city's homelessness partnership as an example of where that has worked, by including homeless people in designing services. More council staff will be trained in this approach over the next two years, it says. It is also pushing for more powers under devolution, including to build social housing.

LIB DEM: The Lib Dem manifesto promises 'professional, fair and transparent politics for a Manchester together.'.

They want a 'full audit into the working practices and if they aren't meeting the requirements needed we would support the overall reduction of councillors from 96 to 64'.

The party wants regular performance reviews of councillors and all members to declare their interests before taking office, as well as the publication of their tax receipts and all political donations.

GREENS: The party wants 'genuine' devolution based on the results of a public consultation.

Its manifesto calls for regular ward consultations on council services and powers for the public to ask questions at scrutiny meetings.

And it also appears to suggest the effective scrapping of the council leader, arguing for 'a system where power is shared across the council rather than being controlled by the leader of the council.'.

TRANSPORT LABOUR: They are promising a 'comprehensive set of parking policies' that 'prioritise the needs of local residents and businesses', including 'discouraging commuter and non-resident parking in residential areas'. It is unclear whether this will happen through the introduction of charges, fines or new restrictions.

The party also promises to work with Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and his cycling guru Chris Boardman to make the city more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly.

LIB DEMS: They slam what they call Manchester's 'overpriced and economically uncompetitive' transport network. They propose using the council's dividend from its stake in the airport - which they estimate to be PS50m a year - to create a 'smart' transport fund, aimed at lowering carbon emissions by increasing cycling, while also introducing new electric car charging points. They demand a 'shift' in strategy to make the conurbation's transport network better integrated - as well as an Oyster card and a London-style cap on maximum daily spend. GREENS: They also want to promote integrated transport, cycling and walking.

They want public transport brought back into public ownership, more bike storage on trams and trains, the redesign of unsafe junctions and better disabled access to transport.

LABOUR: The party promises to continue its current PS100m road improvement programme in order to 'reduce the blight of potholes and over time get all our roads to a good standard and keep them there'. LIB DEMS: The Lib Dems flag that 42pc of Labour's PS100m road improvement budget has already been spent in the first year.

It says repeat resurfacing work, as well as the number of potholes, is on the rise.

The party promises to demand a 'spot inspection' of road resurfacing to check whether the quality of contractor work is up to scratch.

"If the quality does not meet basic requirements, we will make the council seek alternative contractors," it adds. GREENS: Potholes aren't mentioned in the Green's manifesto.

HOMELESSNESS LABOUR: They are promising to spend PS14m from the council's existing capital programme buying up housing in the city so families living in temporary private sector accommodation - including B&Bs - have somewhere permanent to live.

The party is also pledging a bed for every rough sleeper every night, not just when temperatures dip below freezing. It has not published the details of how that will be funded. It is promising to put PS3.5m into its homelessness budget too, a sum that has already been allocated in the council's 2018 budget.

LIB DEMS: Are demanding an end HOMELESSNESS in their manifesto, promising to launch 'an investigation into all emergency housing applications to make sure that no one slips through the net'.

They would also house every rough sleeper in council-owned properties before approving any more city centre developments - and would make sure every homeless person has an 'administration' address, meaning can apply for jobs.

GREENS: They promise to consult with existing homeless people about housing provision and help them move into empty properties.


Local elections are on May 3
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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 25, 2018
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