As campaigning for the Manchester Mayoral election enters its final stages, the Liberal Democrat candidate aims to capitalise on this summer’s expected revival of her party’s fortunes.
Jane Brophy has been a Trafford councillor in Timperley for over ten years, and works in the NHS as a part-time allied health professional. She believes that she has a real chance of successfully convincing voters to back her as the Greater Manchester region’s first Metro Mayor.
She styles herself as “the only proudly passionate pro-European candidate” in the Mayoral election, and describes her top priority as halting what she sees as the Government’s aggressive Brexit agenda, claiming that it threatens jobs, trade and business within the city and beyond.
Speaking at a debate organised by the Manchester Publicity Association, Brophy laid out her vision as Mayor.
“I’m the only candidate that has got a background of working on the front line of the health service. I come to you as a local councillor and a grassroots politician,” she said, citing her ability to bring citizens and public services together at the negotiating table.
“I want our city to be open, democratic and diverse – one that serves to unite people, and remains as a place where citizens want to live and work.
“When people look at me as the Mayor, what they should see is somebody who has a genuine love for the city, and its spirit. I want to build on its creativity here and to make people feel that they have a purpose as a member of our city.”
The event aimed to quiz the candidates on how they would prioritise the management and development of Greater Manchester’s Creative, Media and Digital community, it being one of the city’s fastest growing industries with over 300,000 currently employed in the sector.
“I think we can learn from how the creative and digital industries work,” Brophy told MM.
“We need to listen to their needs and maintain an international outlook. Being the most pro-European candidate, I’m the one who is shouting from the rooftops for continued partnership between the EU and Manchester post-Brexit.”
— Jane Brophy (@JaneBrophyLD) April 12, 2017
Whilst centrist stalwart Andy Burnham remains the clear frontrunner in the race, Brophy hopes to use Labour’s confused position on the EU against him, attracting voters who feel unsatisfied with the weak opposition provided by the party during the Brexit Parliamentary debates.
“I strongly believe that, in light of the challenges brought on by the climate of Brexit, we need to maintain the closest possible links with the European Union,” Brophy maintained.
In the wake of last year’s vote, Brophy hopes to unite the diverse and often highly divided regions of Greater Manchester under a banner of progressive politics and transparency through key investment in local public services.
“I want to reach out to all people of our city – one of my strengths as a candidate is that I have a lot of experience working with all types of people, in both my council and health service roles.”
MORE ‘MEANINGFUL’ LIFE
As well as targeting Manchester’s social care and transport services as key points of development, Brophy was keen to outline her policy towards the city’s increasingly worsening problem of homelessness.
She called for greater attention on the development of affordable housing in the city region, and emphasised the need to consider the complexity that lies at the root of an issue such as this.
“It’s not an easy quick-fix solution,” Brophy said. “Having worked in public health all my life, I have seen first-hand how there are a lot of contributing factors that lead to people ending up on the streets.
“My priority would be to invest in services that deliver a real outcome for homeless people. Government criminalisation of the Spice drug hasn’t helped. We need to tackle the root causes, rather than vilify the people who are finding themselves addicted and isolated.
“Only then can we start working with them towards obtaining a more meaningful life.”
The Liberal Democrats are also focusing much of their attention on the recently announced June 8 General Election.
Commentators are pointing to the possibility of Manchester gains from both Labour and the Conservatives, coming largely from supporters of the party’s pro-EU platform.
When asked about their political outlook in June, both locally and nationally, Brophy was optimistic.
“Since the General Election was called the Liberal Democrats have seen a massive surge in membership and donations,” she said.
“We are resonating with people who are opposed to a hard, destructive Brexit. We believe we will make substantial gains across Greater Manchester.”
Image courtesy of Jane Brophy via Twitter, with thanks.