Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has told a meeting of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester that the north-west has been a victim of a centralised government system.
He told his audience of more than 100 at the Nicky Alliance Centre that the region had suffered from the promotion of owner occupation, leading to a housing crisis; focus on service industry at the expense of local manufacturing and neglect of technical education for younger people. There had also been a failure by central government to invest in the north-west infrastructure.
Mr Burnham wants to make Greater Manchester a desirable place for people to grow up - and to grow old with dignity. He has been inspired by the "person centred" approach to social care of the city's major Jewish welfare provider, The Fed, describing it as a role model not just for Manchester but the entire country.
Answering questions, he said that, together with the other northern metropolitan mayors, he wanted to establish a Council of the North which would lobby for greater devolution of funds. Key areas for development in the region would include advanced manufacturing; digital and technological developments; low carbon and renewable energy and assisted living.
He acknowledged the need for greater representation of minority groups in the police, fire and the health services.