Labour's Metro Mayor Candidate
I was born and brought up in Kirkby, one of eight children. It wasn’t a privileged upbringing but I was privileged to have parents who taught me vital life lessons from an early age.
They showed me how to treat people with respect and consideration, and they taught me the value of hard work.
I left school at 16 to begin work as a brick-layer and like many people of my generation I had to leave home to find employment, travelling to The Falkland Islands to help with the post-conflict rebuilding.
Because of my own experience, I believe it’s vitally important that we ensure that in future our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to stay in the region to fulfill their potential, find the work they want and make their lives here.
We need to make this a region for everyone, and that means ensuring that we are building the right homes, in the right places and that they are attractive and affordable to all our families and communities.
As Metro-Mayor I will ensure no community, town or village is left behind.
It means having the kind of efficient, affordable and connected transport system, that brings our region together, and is so vital to our future success and prosperity.
It means ensuring that every child and young person can access the training and education they need to achieve their ambitions in life.
My parents wanted their children to succeed and encouraged us to have ambition. It was this that inspired me back into education and led me to set up my own construction business.
I believe our region is full of talented and enterprising people ready to create the businesses of tomorrow. We need to do more to nurture and support that ambition.
As Metro-Mayor I will be a champion for business and work to make us a region that once again creates world-class companies and ground-breaking technologies.
We need people making the big decisions who know and care about our region and who believe in its people and potential. That’s what devolution should mean and it’s why I am standing to be our first Metro Mayor.
For me being a politician is not a job; it’s a privilege and a responsibility. It’s a chance to put principles and values into action and it’s our big chance to shape our own destiny.