Your guide to the May elections: here’s how each party is dealing with student issues

We’ve even told you how they’re approaching drugs


It’s that time of year again, another month of May and another set of elections.

On 3rd May, Manchester will go to the polls. But this time, we will be armed with three votes. Boundary changes mean every one of the town hall’s 96 seats is up for grabs.

The current makeup of Manchester City Council

Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and the Conservatives have released manifestos specifically for the city, and here’s what they’re saying on the issues we care about.

Rent and Landlords

Labour:

-Build 500 units of ‘social and other secure, decent housing for rent.

-Pledges 10,000 new homes this year – a third of which, it says, will be made available to families on low incomes.

-Promises to pilot landlord licensing in order to drive up rental standards.

Liberal Democrats:

-Guarantee safe and affordable housing for the teenagers making the transition from foster care to adulthood.

-Enforce at least 20% of all houses built in developments are affordable.

-Crackdown on dodgy landlords and below-standard student and social accommodation with enforced and enhanced council inspections.

Green Party:

-Set up a not-for-profit letting agency to help people looking for places to rent.

-Introduce landlord licensing across the city.

-Support new housing co-operatives.

Conservatives:

-Talks mostly about the Conservative Government which is investing £44 billion to reach an average 30,000 new homes per year – though this is a national statistic.

-Wants greater transparency from the council.

-More engagement through social media residence groups on housing issues.

Safety and Policing

Labour:

-Labour promises to push for more police officers.

-Pledges to demand ‘a 999 and 101 service that works in return for a council tax increase.

Liberal Democrats:

-Plans to increase council tax on richer people to raise £40m which it would use to hire 200 more police officers patrolling hot spot areas tackling what the party calls a 'distressing' rise in sexual assault.

-Offer business rate relief to bars, clubs and restaurants that successfully adopt the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme, which aims to provide people with a safe alerting procedure if they feel threatened or intimidated while on a date.

-Supply funding for Local Homewatch groups and ‘community police officers’ to provide a link between the police and residents

Green Party:

-Introduce teams focused specifically on anti-social behaviour.

-Set up new public forums so people can more easily communicate their concerns about crime.

-Set up domestic abuse support drop-ins across the city.

Conservatives:

-No mention of police

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Homelessness

Labour:

-Promises to spend £14m buying up housing in the city so that families currently living in temporary private sector accommodation have somewhere permanent to live.

-Pledging to ensure there is a bed for every rough sleeper every night.

-Promises to put £3.5m into its homelessness budget too, a sum that has already been allocated in the council’s 2018 budget.

Liberal Democrats:

-Demand an end to homelessness by launching ‘an investigation into all emergency housing applications to make sure that no one slips through the net’.

-House every rough sleeper in council-owned properties before approving any more city centre developments.

-Make sure every homeless person has an ‘administration’ address which means they can begin applying for jobs.

Green Party:

-Consult with homeless people on policies for housing provision.

-Advise and assist groups of homeless persons to make proposals about the use of empty property, and to put those proposals into effect.

-Support bringing back into use empty private sector homes in Manchester.

Conservatives:

-Talks mostly about the Conservative Government which is investing £44 billion to reach an average 30,000 new homes per year – though this is a national statistic.

-Wants greater transparency from the council.

-More engagement through social media residence groups on housing issues.

Transport

Labour:

-Promises to work with Greater Manchester Mayor to make the city more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly.

-Parking policies that ‘prioritise the needs of local residents and businesses’.

-Discouraging commuter and non-resident parking in residential areas.

Liberal Democrats:

-Introduce a young commuter’s price cap, so students and young people will never pay more than half the hourly living wage rate to commute to work.

-A dedicated cycle highway, introduce new electric car charging points and campaigning for expanding Metrolink across the city.

-An Oyster card-equivalent and a London-style cap on maximum daily and weekly spends.

Green Party:

-Promotes integrated transport, cycling and walking.

-Bring public transport back into public ownership.

-More bike storage on trams and trains.

Conservatives:

-Will push for better transport planning.

Brexit and EU Citizen Rights

Labour: No mention

Liberal Democrats: Pledge to fight for a referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal and guarantees EU citizens’ rights to stay.

Green Party: No mention

Conservatives: No mention

Drugs

Labour: No mention

Liberal Democrats: End imprisonment for possession of illegal drugs for personal use and instead focus on treatment and education. They will introduce a legal, regulated market for cannabis permitting it to be sold through licensed outlets to adults over the age of 18.

Green Party: No mention

Conservatives: No mention

Democracy and Reform

Labour:

-Include citizens in decision-making.

-Pushes for more powers under devolution.

Liberal Democrats:

-Promises ‘professional, fair and transparent politics for a Manchester together’.

-Performance reviews of councillors.

-Demand the declaration of councillor interests before taking office, as well as the publication of their tax receipts and political donations.

-Proportional voting system for local elections.

-Votes at 16.

Green Party:

-Wants ‘genuine’ devolution based on the results of a public consultation.

-Regular ward consultations on council services.

-Argues for ‘a system where power is shared across the council rather than being controlled by the leader of the council.

Conservatives:

-Campaign for clarity on developments happening in Manchester.

-Encourage more engagement through social media residence groups, flyers, and bringing public consultations to apartment blocks whenever applicable.