The Granada Debate: What should we make of the North West's local election results?

Labour MP Mike Kane, the Liberal Democrat's Parliamentary Spokesperson Antoinette Sandbach and Conservative Councillor Martyn Cox join political correspondent Lise McNally on May's installment of the Granada Debate.

On this episode, the panel discuss what we should make of the North West's election results and what should be done to help people in our region who are living through the cost of living crisis.

On the panel for May's edition of The Granada Debate:

  • Mike Kane, the Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East

  • Antoinette Sandbach, former Conservative MP, now the Liberal Democrat's Parliamentary Spokesperson in Eddisbury, Cheshire

  • Martyn Cox, Conservative leader of Bolton Council

Credit: ITV News

It is two years to go until the next General Election, and politicians have been given a little taste of what the North West could serve up to them.

Earlier this month (May 2022) the region went to the polls choosing nearly 500 councillors in 24 of our councils. 

Before polling day, Labour controlled 16 of these, the Conservatives held one, and six were under no overall control, with various parties running a minority administration.

On the face of it, today's picture looks very similar - Labour won one seat in the elections but then lost one, leaving the colour of the region's political map largely unchanged. 

But drill down into those results a bit more and the locals certainly did still deliver some moments of drama - and national politicians will have been watching closely.

The rising cost of living

One issue all our North West councils will have to grapple with in the coming weeks and months is the rising cost of pretty much everything. 

Last April, consumer prices were increasing by 1.5% a year, but as the economy unlocked inflation took off, it is now at 9%.

This is highest it has been since 1982 and well above the Bank of England's 2% target.

Gas and electricity bills in particular have soared - the price of gas is 95% higher than in April last year, with the average price of petrol and diesel up by a third. 

This week, a minister in Boris Johnson's government said people struggling with the cost of living crisis should consider 'taking on more hours at work or moving to a better job.'

But with warnings of "apocalyptic" rises in food prices too, some are asking: is the Government going far enough, fast enough?