An election for the North of Tyne Combined Authority Mayor will be held on Thursday, May 2, 2019. To help you make your decision each candidate has made a policy statement. This is what John McCabe, standing as an Independent, says.
'The mayoral election is a big moment for people living, learning and working in the North of Tyne.
I’ve done all three. I was born here, went to school, learned my trade, raised my children, lost my job through redundancy and now I’ve built a small business here.
I love this region and I’m proud to call it home. I’ve seen the best of the North East and I’ve experienced for myself how tough life can be when you’re working hard, trying to do the right thing and you just can’t catch a break.
I also understand why some people are questioning why we’re even having this election. This is a result of people feeling let down by politics and having no trust in politicians.
But we will elect a mayor on May 2 so we need to ask, who is the best candidate for the job? Who understands everyday life in the North of Tyne? Who will be accountable to you? And who do you want to represent your region on the national and international stage?
The choice is clear. More of the same under the Conservatives, a huge gamble on handing the North of Tyne over to Jeremy Corbyn’s Momentum wing of the Labour Party or a bold, fresh start with me as your truly independent mayor.
This election presents us with a great opportunity. The mayor will have the funding and powers to make a real difference to people’s lives. I want us to create an economy in which employers can grow their businesses protecting and creating jobs.
As mayor, I will ensure every pound invested from devolution goes towards closing the economic gap that exists between our region and the South East.
I will establish a mayoral commission on opportunity to examine issues of diversity, equality, social mobility and mental health. This will be the most comprehensive review of its kind ever undertaken in the UK and it will remove all barriers to opportunity.
We’ll have a focus on preventing anyone who wants to stay in their community, be it rural or urban, from having to move to get on the housing ladder.
A comprehensive first-time buyer strategy will ensure a supply of suitable homes is delivered and we will provide access to financial advice and will work with the finance sector to develop a more responsive approach to housing finance.
I want us to make the most of our vibrant city, our proud local communities and our wonderful coast and countryside, by making them better connected and more accessible.
And this is just the beginning. We need more investment in our communities and more decisions taken locally, and I’ll never settle for Tory and Labour politicians in London saying no. Our broken politics have divided us for too long.
I want North of Tyne to be at the forefront of restoring our ambitious, inclusive, tolerant country. If you share this vision, please vote McCabe for Mayor on May 2 and let’s get started making this happen.'
John McCabe is a 46-year-old small business owner from Cramlington.