Why am I standing?
Bury was the town that gave my family a home. After fleeing across Europe from Antisemitism almost a century ago, three generations of my family have lived and worked in Prestwich and Whitefield. Now I want to give something back.
I live with my wife, Leah, in Ramsbottom. We’re both committed trade unionists and Labour members.
Our town and our country can do so much better than this Tory government. I’m running for Bury Council because I want to help make the place we live the best it can be, a place residents are proud to grow up and grow old in. I want a Council that gets the basics right, that delivers quality services for new families and the elderly, and supports the people and businesses in our community hit hardest by Covid-19.
I believe the strength and resilience of our country depends on the strength and resilience of the places we live. As young parents (we’re expecting our daughter in a few months!), my wife and I have depended during this pandemic on the fearless and hard-working NHS staff who kept services going, and on the early years children’s services Labour fought to protect from Tory cuts.
I’ve seen the benefits of our amazing local health and social care system – one of the first integrated systems in the country – and the kindness of staff at the Jewish social care organisation who cared so well for my gran in the years before she died a few months ago.
My generation have never had the chance to vote for a Labour Party that has won power. I want to help change that, to make this country better – it starts by listening, by working with local residents to solve practical problems, and building a competent, effective, and engaged local council in these unprecedented times.
I would bring a wide range of experience to the table. I am finishing a book about artificial intelligence and social media, and how we should regulate companies like Facebook, and I work with several local community groups in and around Bury, including to care for the elderly, increase voter registration and turnout rates, and to equip our next generation with the skills they need to succeed in the digital economy.
I want to use this experience to help improve our community. This town has so much to offer – if we confront the challenges we will face over the coming years together, harness the energy and determination we showed during this pandemic, I believe we have a bright future ahead of us.
Let's make change together
To make this town and this country better, Labour needs to win in places like Church Ward, where I am running.
My campaign is built around a central idea: that councils should empower communities, to harness the activities of local residents, businesses, and community groups to improve the place we live.
That means we have to work together. Whether it's supporting local campaigns, phone banking, distributing leaflets, helping voters register and vote by post, or simply letting me know about the issues you're concerned about - every action makes a difference.
We are lucky enough to live in a democracy - change happens when we work together to achieve it.
Getting the basics right
Local politics is about local communities, the things that affect the everyday existence of local voters.
What residents most often tell me is they want us to clean the streets, empty the bins, fix the roads and make people feel safe in their environment. These are the issues that impact people’s lives and mental health on a daily basis.
I want to help make sure we get the basics right.
I will help Bury Council make better use of digital technologies to achieve practical goals like fixing potholes, work with residents to clean up our local parks and streets, and make sure local public services are properly resourced and supported, whether the police, social care providers, or our NHS.
Building back better
Our community suffered more than it had to in this pandemic.
Decades of Tory cuts to vital public services left them under-resourced, under-prepared, and under-staffed, kept going under enormous pressure only by the resilient and determination of key workers.
The austerity model has failed. It’s time to do things differently.
Over the coming years, we have an opportunity to mount a response that matches the scale of the crisis we have faced. I will fight for greater investment for Church Ward and for public services across Bury, and push to strengthen support for local public institutions – from schools, to social care, and public libraries.
We need to bring residents, businesses, and community groups together and devise a plan to build back better.
Using digital technology
I have spent my career ensuring that digital technology is used to solve practical problems.
Bury was the centre of the Industrial Revolution: the inventor of the flying shuttle was born in Bury. Bury Council have pledged to ensure all residents have access to 4G and 5G networks and full fibre broadband by 2025. It’s time to leverage that infrastructure to improve the way we do local government.
We need to build on local strengths, using the new £6 million STEM centre in Bury College due to open in 2021 to train the next generation and the new Early Years app being trialled across the borough.
But we also need to provide the infrastructure and ecosystem of innovation that enables start-up digital businesses to thrive, and make better use of technologies to address simple problems, such as by using Street Bump to help identify potholes across the borough.
Real action on climate change
Last year, Bury Council declared a climate emergency and pledged to ensure everyone was living in a high-quality carbon neutral environment by 2038.
Over the next two years, that means we must work together to co-design an ambitious programme of regeneration and improvement to build a healthier, cleaner, more sustainable community.
This means ensuring that local developments put sustainability and our environment first. I have written to the developers of the new petrol station being built on Bury and Bolton Road, to ensure its provisions for Electric Vehicle (EV) charging are not simply a box-ticking exercise.
I will fight to make sure private developers work with the Council and community groups to build a greener future for all of us.
Healthy, flourishing people
Bury has one of Britain’s first integrated health and social care systems, enabling us to pool resources of more than £600 million. Yet average life expectancy and healthy life expectancy is below the average for England, and pockets of depravation across the borough have persisted for several decades.
I will help effectively deliver the plan for Community Hubs, integrated health and care teams that deliver joined up public services in each of the townships across the borough. These Hubs will serve as a single point of access for community support, whether for children and early adult services, elderly social care, or people suffering from long-term physical and mental health conditions.
I want to make sure these Hubs are delivered with residents’ voices and concerns in mind. They should empower local charities and community groups and make Bury a leader across the country in the delivery of local public services.
WHAT I BELIEVE
Local politics should empower local communities.
My campaign brings together people from different races and places, achieving lasting change by harnessing the best of our community.
I want to hear from you. Get in touch.