Burnham to make ‘big things happen’ as he is re-elected Greater Manchester mayor

Andy Burnham said he would be turning his attention to housing and education.

Andy Burnham has been re-elected as Greater Manchester mayor
Andy Burnham has been re-elected as Greater Manchester mayor (Peter Byrne/PA)

Andy Burnham has vowed to “make big things happen” after he was voted in for a third successive term as the mayor of Greater Manchester.

Following another resounding victory he said he would continue to take a “place-first approach” as opposed to a “party-first approach”.

Mr Burnham said he would be turning his attention to housing and education, after local bus services were brought under public control last year with the launch of the Bee Network.

He wants to tackle the region’s “housing crisis” and provide young people from the age of 14 with the opportunity to pursue a work-related route to achieve high-quality technical qualifications.

The Labour mayor told the PA news agency: “I’m overwhelmed and humbled that so many people have again given me their support.

“I’m always conscious that people who perhaps will usually vote for other parties at a general election have lent me their support.

“It’s why I’m really serious in saying that I will continue to take a place-first rather than a party-first approach.

“We are going into a really exciting moment for Greater Manchester. We have got so many things happening in the city region and with this mandate now I can make big things happens, and I fully intend to.

“In my second term I think I have been boring people about buses quite a lot.

“We are building the Bee Network and that will carry on.

“But my attention is beginning to move towards housing and education.

“I will set out next week what I think is needed to end the housing crisis in Greater Manchester and that we have got to start thinking of radical policies to free people from the grip of the housing crisis.

“A personal mission for me in this third term will be to create an equal alternative for our young people to the university route and give all the young people growing up here a path.

“We have allowed education in England to be just basically dominated by the university route and I think that has had a detrimental impact in so many ways.

“This is the great thing about Greater Manchester – we are a city region of firsts.

“We were first to put buses under public control and we are going to be the first to create that equal alternative to the university route – the Greater Manchester Baccalaureate.

“It’s going to be a big deal and it’s going to change a lot of young lives in this city region.”

Asked what his election success meant for Labour, he said: “That it’s on course for government but I don’t think anyone is taking anything for granted.

“I feel the country needs a change of government. We need a fresh start as a country.

“I have kind of worked hard to keep Greater Manchester moving forward, even though it’s felt at times that the country has been going backwards – the trains not working as they should, the NHS in a mess.

“It’s been hard to keep that sense of forward momentum. I think we have managed it here but to have a government at our back, well God that would be a brilliant thing.

“But I think we are now set up for success.

“The support of people here means everything to me. I have loved everything about this job.

“To have the chance now to make much bigger changes happen as part of a third term, I will forever be grateful to people for giving me that opportunity.”