Lib Dems respond to hypocritical GMCA press conference


The Liberal Democrats have responded to the hypocritical Greater Manchester Combined Authority's press conference, which took place this morning.

ON BREXIT:

Manchester Liberal Democrat Leader, John Leech, said:

"Andy Burnham claims he is putting young people at the heart of Greater Manchester but he is stabbing them in the back by refusing to give them a final say on this Brexit mess and refusing to back a People's Vote.

"In fact, it took an audience member to bring up Brexit before Andy was forced to give an answer on it, and even then it was just more of the same.

"Labour and Tories are putting party politics before our city's future, before young people's future, and it's a shameful place to be.

"Only the Liberal Democrats are fighting to give the people the final say."


ON HOMELESSNESS, AFFORDABLE AND SOCIAL HOUSING:

Manchester Liberal Democrat Leader, John Leech, said:

"Richard Leese talked about the number of cranes we can see on Manchester's skyline and he's absolutely right, it's almost all we can see. But what are they building, because they sure as hell aren't affordable and social homes.

"All we've seen is luxury apartments that absolutely no one in Manchester can afford, pushing the least well off out of sight and worsening the homeless crisis. 

"I will wholeheartedly support any plan to dramatically increase affordable and social housing, but frankly, Manchester Council's record so far has been appalling; in fact, it was not long ago that Richard Leese claimed there was a lack of demand for social housing in Manchester!


"Coupled with his deeply insensitive comments about Christmas being "peak begging season" and voting against affordable home quotas, you might forgive me for not having much faith in his recycled PR words today.

"If the GMCA is serious about tackling homelessness, rough sleeping and the dire lack of social and affordable housing, they must halt the construction of thousands of unaffordable apartments, stop allowing developers to ditch the affordable quota and stop pushing people out of sight.

ON FRACKING:

Liberal Democrat Planning Spokesperson, Greg Stanton said:

“The GMCA have said that at this time they do not support fracking, however, that's simply not true. In October last year, the Liberal Democrats revealed that Labour councils in Greater Manchester were investing £1bn into the fracking industry.

"Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face and rather than leading the fight for our environment, councils in Greater Manchester are investing in the most unpopular, dirtiest and most damaging industry imaginable.

“Imagine the difference this £1bn could make if redirected into renewable and clean energy.

If they GMCA are serious about stopping fracking, I look forward to them asking all Greater Manchester councils to pull out of the £1bn dirty investment."

ON AIR QUALITY:

Liberal Democrat Planning Spokesperson, Greg Stanton said:

"In September 2018, the Liberal Democrats revealed that Manchester hit the highest levels of air pollution anywhere in western Europe. 

"We laid out clear plans on how to tackle air pollution in Manchester including more air pollution monitors, greater Metrolink coverage, increased cycle routes, cycle provisions for all new housing, making public transport more affordable and an Oyster Card-style payment system.

"We called on leaders in Greater Manchester to work across parties to implement our plans to fight back against air pollution but our ask for something as simple as more air quality monitors were ignored.

"We do, however, look forward to working together to implement progressive policies to tackle this global crisis."


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