Candidates face off in Granada Reports' Greater Manchester mayoral debate

  • Debate hosted by ITV Granada's Political Correspondent Hannah Miller

Three candidates vying to become the next Mayor of Greater Manchester have faced off in a fiery debate hosted by Granada Reports.

Andy Burnham (Lab), Laura Evans (Con) and Simon Lepori (Lib Dem) were quizzed on issues around policing, housing and transport.

Next month, people across the city region will go to the polls to select the candidate they want to see running key services across Greater Manchester.

What is a Metro Mayor?

  • The Greater Manchester Mayor will be the directly elected leader of the Greater Manchester combined authority.

  • They'll be responsible for matters in Wigan, Bolton, Salford, Trafford, Bury, Manchester, Rochdale, Oldham, Tameside and Stockport

  • Transport, policing, housing, fire services, waste management and strategic planning all fall into their brief.


Whoever wins this election will be responsible for policing in Greater Manchester. That includes hiring and firing Chief Constables and holding officers to account. It comes after a difficult few years for the force, which has seen a change of leadership.

We now have a new Chief Constable that has turned round a force that was in real difficulties. We've got the right person to lead Greater Manchester Police force and that is my responsibility. I've stood up to that responsibility, we've got the right leadership in place.

Andy Burnham, Labour

I think it needs new leadership. I think it needs a fresh start. We don't even know what's happened to Ian Hopkins, whether he was pushed under the bus, or whether he resigned, or whether he's still being paid at this moment in time. We need to make sure that all the areas of concern that we've got, the computer system that's failed, police officers going into buildings not knowing whether there are weapons inside because they can't get the data off those computers. That's what we should be looking at.

Laura Evans, Conservative

There are tonnes of good police officers in Greater Manchester who just want to serve their community. We need to get back to community policing again. I think we've lost that. Over the past 20 years there's been that disconnect.

Simon Lepori, Lib Dems

Greater Manchester Police officers in 2020

The force has had to cope with losing around 2000 officers since 2010.


The number of people sleeping rough on Greater Manchester's streets has fallen in the last four years. But for many people, finding a safe and secure home remains very much on their mind.

There were plans to build thousands of home around the city region on green belt land, but that was voted down by councillors, including Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.

It means the city still has a huge lack of social housing.


people on social housing waiting list

We voted against the plan to build executive four bedroom houses that we're going to be sold for £400,000 each on green belt land. We didn't vote against social housing because there wasn't that much in it. We need to get rid of land banking that's happening, and say we're going to build social houses here. Some of these areas have been left derelict for years, and nothing has been done about them.

Simon Lepori, Lib Dems

Green space is essential for every community. We have a plan. 30,000 zero carbon homes for social rent. Council homes. That is our plan. But also we need to improve existing homes. We have too many unscrupulous landlords. We're going to bring forward a Good Landlord Charter.

Andy Burnham, Labour

We should make sure we do build those affordable homes in the right places, and look again at the green belt scenario. Don't build on the green belt, not until we have a full brownfield register.

Laura Evans, Conservative


Greater Manchester is destined to become the first place outside of London to take control of it's public transport system.

So how exactly will it work?

  • Tickets will be able to used on all buses and trams

  • Passengers can tap in/tap off on every journey (London style)

  • There'll be a single source of information for all public transport

  • Buses will still be operated by private companies, but the Greater Manchester Combined Authority will be in charge of fares, timetables and routes

  • Buses will all look the same

  • The changes will take place in three phases

£135 million

the cost of a fully integrated 'London style' public transport system

It's hoped that by making transport more connected, fewer cars will be on the roads, bringing air pollution down.

We need to have good clean air around Greater Manchester. I just wouldn't want to do it in a 493 square mile congestion tax. I want to do have bus corridors, I want to incentivise companies to move over, I want to make sure that we have enough election charging points. In Greater Manchester we have less less charging points than they have in Wandsworth, and Wandsworth is only 13 square miles. We really haven't seen a Mayor that's been progressive.

Laura Evans, Conservative

It's exactly like the Tier 3 debate last year. The government is imposing something on us, a clean air zone, and it's not giving us the support we need to support our business. Give us the funding to get the clean taxis, give us the funding to get the clean vans. It's an exact replica of that debate that we had last year. I want to clean up the air. I'm not opposed to bringing in a clean air zone but let's do it so that we help businesses to change their vehicles, and actually those vehicles are cheaper to run.

Andy Burnham, Labour

The Liberal Democrats are talking about a more green and more caring society. We've talked about a sovereign green investment fund nationally. The government should have gone further to actually give us the money to give grants to businesses to adapt and change their vehicles.

Simon Lepori, Lib Dems

A full list of candidates standing on the 6th May