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Trafford Council leader chosen as Conservative candidate for GM mayor

Trafford Council leader Cllr Sean Anstee has won the race to become the Conservative candidate in next year’s Greater Manchester mayoral election.

The region’s youngest – and only Conservative – town hall leader, Cllr Anstee was selected ahead of Stephen Woods, chairman of Wythenshawe & Sale East Conservatives, last week.

The 29-year-old described the forthcoming election as a “game-changer” and has vowed to put up a decent challenge to the frontrunner for the position, Labour MP Andy Burnham, with his experience of negotiating the region’s devolution deal.

“Many people in our region used to feel that Labour represented them, but that’s no longer the case,” Cllr Anstee said in response to his selection.

“What they need is someone who will – and that’s what I’m going to try to do. This is about bold, fresh civic leadership for a city on the verge of something special.”

Cllr Anstee added that should he win, he wants to see “a new bolder Greater Manchester” equipped to compete internationally as a city for national investment and global trade.

His priorities to achieve this if elected would include getting the long-term unemployed back into work, seven-day-a-week GP services, gaining a £3bn transport fund to pay for public transport improvements, and a greater focus on children’s services and high-level apprenticeships.

Cllr Anstee explained: “I know how the Greater Manchester Combined Authority works, how to make a difference and secure positive change for people. I have been part of the team that has put forward the case that we can have a better, stronger Greater Manchester by taking decisions locally.

“People expect Andy Burnham to win but that doesn’t have to be the case. This campaign is not about how people have traditionally voted. It’s about doing something new.”

Cllr Anstee was elected as a councillor for Bowdon in 2008 and became Trafford Council leader in 2014. He previously served as vice-president at the Bank of New York Mellon in Manchester from 2009 to 2014.

The other candidates contesting Cllr Anstee and Burnham for the role of Greater Manchester mayor next May include his fellow Trafford councillor Jane Brophy, a Liberal Democrat; Ukip’s Shneur Odze, and former chair of Manchester Green Party Deyika Nzeribe.

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