Marc Levy: “Devo Manc” and the Jewish Community

On Thursday 4th May 2017, Greater Manchester will be electing their first Mayor.  The newly elected Mayor will be tasked with implementing the agenda set out in the “Devo Manc” agreement, reached between the Combined Authority and Government in 2014.  The new Mayor will effectively become the 11th Member of the Combined Authority joining the Leadership of the 10 Greater Manchester Councils.

When elected, the Mayor will have far reaching powers that directly affect the Jewish community.  These include housing, transport, policing, health and justice.  Like all groups, the Jewish community has specific needs.  Along with our member organisation, the Representative Council of Greater Manchester, we have drafted a detailed and comprehensive manifesto to be handed to the candidates.  This has been done following detailed consultations with stakeholder members from our community.  The manifesto contains detailed analysis of the issues currently faced by the community along with a series of pledges to be adopted by the successful candidate.

I have met with all the leading candidates standing for election ahead of them attending a Jewish communal Hustings Event.  The event will take place at King David High School on 2nd April 2017 commencing at 7.30.

I have stated previously, the pride the community should have that our organisations are beacons of good practice.  I have therefore arranged for the leading candidates to engage with our member organisations.  Both Andy Burnham and Sean Anstee have met with The Fed to look around Heathlands Village and understand the community’s response to issues surrounding social care.  Andy has taken time out of his busy schedule to engage with CST.  The needs of the community are also fully understood by the UKIP candidate Shneur Odze who is a member of the Charedi community residing in Manchester.

As stated above, the Mayor will become an additional member of the established Combined Authority.  I have met with the Leadership of all ten Councils who make up this body. The Council Leadership have all been happy to engage with the Jewish community and share our concerns surrounding the rise in antisemitism.  Those with Universities within their Councils have also fully committed to looking after Jewish students on Campus.  It should also be noted that every Combined Authority Council held an event to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

The Jewish community of Manchester are fortunate that we will be well looked after irrespective of who is successful on the 4th May 2017.  They will be working in conjunction with the Leadership of the Councils who have given cast iron guarantees supporting the welfare of their Jewish constituents.  As a result, we can look forward to the Jewish community continuing to thrive in Greater Manchester.