DEVO DIARY: Green belter
Carl Cashman, Liverpool City Region candidate for the Liberal Democrats, is out to prove his party campaigns on more than the pro-Europe platform. Cashman has been helping green belt activists in Eccleston, St Helens, opposed to the Local Plan put forward for consultation by the council, which includes some green belt release and increasing Eccleston’s population by 51%. The next draft of the Local Plan is due to be published in the summer and the council said large brownfield residential sites will be added. Meanwhile, Cashman is clearly hoping his tweed jacket catches the eye of voters on 4 May. The Save Eccy Green Belt group called him a “cracking lad”.
The long goodbye, long hello continues for the old and new chief executives of Manchester City Council. On Monday, Day Zero of Manchester’s new order, the council released a YouTube video of Sir Richard Leese welcoming Joanne Roney to her new role. After a shaky start where he appears to be working out how to pronounce her surname, Leese gets into the familiar pattern of talking strategy, long-term planning, maintaining Manchester’s leadership role in the city region. The leader then touches on some of the more specific issues grabbing headlines today such as homelessness, housing and “getting the basics right”; keeping streets clean and repairing roads. Before finishing he flags the “difficult time” children’s services have been facing and the transfer of health and social care functions from central government, GM taking on new clinical commissioning group structures this month. If Roney can make a dent in all that in her first 100 days will Leese return to the camera to make a sequel in time for summer blockbuster season?
Potential candidates still have time to stand for election on 4 May. The cut-off for putting yourself forward is 4pm today, 4 April, by which time you must have supplied the combined authority returning officer with 100 signatures and £5,000. Take the afternoon off and do your bit for democracy. Go on.