I am 43 years old. Since I was 16 years old either in a professional or voluntary capacity all I have ever done is try to help people and improve their lives. My most recent is a ten year stint working with homeless people in the cities of Liverpool, Preston and recently Manchester. I have helped hundreds of the most disadvantaged people you could ever imagine.
Everyone would agree if you end up homeless you are vulnerable. If you are homeless you are vulnerable to all sorts and am afraid yes including death. We live or we all try to live in a civilised society. And I believe most people would do anything within their remit to help others if it meant protecting somebody from harm.
Helping homeless people has always been close to my heart. I have many elderly friends now In Swinton and I help them sometimes with basic things like shopping etc even though they have families of their own. They lead busy lives.
So what is it I am trying to say ? I believe MOST/the majority, the vast majority of people have a heart. Most good people care. We are the majority.
Therefore, if a Leader of the Council said as in Salford recently they are going to cut homelessness services as they have done - consequence more homelessness on Salford streets or if the Leader of the council said he on behalf of the council is going to close three day care centres for the elderly, as Salford Council has done recently and the Council and this Leader constantly concentrated any cuts in services on the most disadvantaged in our community - would US the majority of the good people with a heart in this city tolerate such decisions with the devastating consequences this would have to homeless families and to our elderly in this city ? We would not. We would vote the Leader out.
Unfortunately, the system of local government we have in this city we cannot vote the leader out. The reason - we do not elect him. The leader is protected by his colleagues in Council who hold him in position. It would take a seismic shift over many elections to do it in the current system.
A directly-elected mayor is elected by the people for the people. For the majority who have a heart. An elected mayor who doesnt do the job we ask or does things we the majority do not like they get voted out by US the majority.
Thats why I believe under an elected mayor system the most vulnerable will be protected. Because the majority of us who really care would not tolerate an attack on the most vulnerable where at present services to the elderly are being cut and there is very little we can do about it.
This is another reason why I support an elected mayor system of local government.