GM bus consultation – our councillors’ response

The public consultation on proposals by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to bring the region’s bus services back under public control has now closed. The three Whalley Range councillors (Angeliki Stogia, Mary Watson and Aftab Razaq) are all strongly in favour of the plans – you can read their submission to the consultation here.

Whalley Range Labour candidate Assia Shah says “Angeliki, Mary, Aftab and I will continue to push for the improvements we all need to our public transport infrastructure, including better buses. We’re looking forward to hearing about the outcome of the consultation and the next steps in this process”.

Buses for people not profit – have your say now

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority have published their proposals to change the way our buses are run, putting the needs of the public ahead of the bus companies’ wish to maximise their profits. As part of this process, they have launched a formal consultation open to everyone.

Assia Shah, who will be Whalley Range Labour’s candidate in 2020, says “The big bus companies will be fighting back and lobbying hard, so it’s vital that the rest of us make our views known if this change is to become a reality. Even if you’re not a regular bus user at present, a ‘London style’ bus franchising system can bring many environmental and social benefits for the whole population – including reduced traffic congestion”.

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Assia Shah – Labour’s new candidate for Whalley Range

Mary and Assia

As many people know, Councillor Mary Watson has decided to stand down from the City Council next May after fourteen years of service to all the people of Whalley Range. She says “Although I will no longer be a councillor, I’m not going anywhere – I hope to remain involved with Whalley Range groups and meeting local people here for many years to come”.

At a packed selection meeting on Tuesday 17 September, Labour members in Whalley Range chose Assia Shah to be their candidate to stand in Mary’s place in the next local election to be held in May 2020. Assia, seen in the photo chatting with Mary, is a social worker with a long career in the public sector and many voluntary roles, and has a particular interest in promoting community cohesion. She says “I am so pleased to be have been selected, and delighted to be joining Mary, Aftab and Angeliki. I’m really looking forward to meeting as many people as possible in Whalley Range in the next few months”.