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GMColleges Host Mayoral Hustings

Written on 25th April 2024

In the run up to the Greater Manchester Mayoral Election, we hosted a Mayoral Hustings, providing an exciting opportunity for our students to put the region’s candidates through their paces.

Held at the Altrincham Campus of the Trafford and Stockport College Group, the stage was set for an exciting debate, with 5 candidates and 200 students.

The esteemed panel consisted of incumbent Mayor, Andy Burnham from the Labour Party, Laura Evans from the Conservative Party, the Green Party’s Hannah Spencer, Jake Austin from the Liberal Democrats and Reform UK’s, Dan Barker.

Learners from across our nine General Further Education Colleges were able to ask a range of key questions covering topics including skills, crime, transport, clean air, housing, homelessness and policing.

Investment in skills was a key focus of the debate, with Andy Burnham discussing the MBacc and the ambition to create an integrated technical education city region. Issues surrounding our region’s roads and transport were also a hot topic amongst the panel, while Dan Barker recommended expanding the tram network, Jake Austin praised the use of cycle lanes and outlined an urgent need for a consistent travel strategy.

Laura Evans discussed homelessness and how the lack of affordable homes is fuelling the challenge across the region, while Hannah Spencer shared her view that 50% of new homes built should be affordable housing to help those struggling.

A subject which was clearly important to both our learners and the panel was the environment and clean air. While members of the panel discussed the region’s air quality, Dan Barker said he believed Greater Manchester has the cleanest air ever and that we should have a data led approach to clean air zones across the city region.

Michelle McLaughlin MBE, Student Experience Manager at the Trafford and Stockport College Group, organised the event and explained, “It is vital that young people across our region understand and engage with the political process, to help shape their community and ensure their voices are heard. Thank you to our panel and our fantastic host,  Alan Keegan.”

Following the event two students, Ann Fernandes from the Trafford and Stockport College Group and Mohammed Hussain from Oldham College took part in a BBC1 production where they were able to share their questions with the candidates, alongside 40 members of the public. Ann shared a question on the clean air zone, while Mohammed’s question focused on affordable housing for young people.

The Greater Manchester Mayoral election will be held on Thursday 2 May 2024.