It’s a privilege to serve our community and help build a fairer, greener, better city centre. I’m excited to campaign on my record as your Labour Councillor and continue our work together. Councillor Marcus Johns
Councillor Marcus Johns

Pledges in 2021

Marcus’ pledges for the 6 May 2021 elections and his second term as your local Councillor were:

  1. continuing to campaign against the cladding and fire safety defects scandal, demanding a solution that protects residents from costs
  2. delivering new and better green spaces for our city centre, investing £30,000 in existing spaces in the next year alone, finishing construction of the new park at Mayfield, and securing green space at Great Jackson Street
  3. supporting a strong and fair economic recovery plan for Manchester post-Covid
  4. demanding climate action, supporting Manchester Labour’s £111 million climate action plan
  5. fighting for investment in city centre services, building on his success securing the first primary school in Deansgate Ward
  6. securing new affordable and social housing for Manchester
  7. tackling rough sleeping and homelessness, working with Andy Burnham, the Council and others to keep up the momentum that has seen rough sleeping more than half since 2017

Personal Bio

I’m Marcus and I am one of the Deansgate Councillors. I live in (and in fact, on) Deansgate with my partner Jose, my six-year-old son, and our cat. I moved to Manchester in 2013 at the age of 18. Manchester quickly became my home as a vibrant city made of a rich fabric diverse communities all tightly woven together. As a young, gay person moving to Manchester, it welcomed me with open arms.

I went to the University of Manchester and stayed for work in a think tank developing progressive public policy, after working in economic development.

I became a Councillor because I wanted to give something back to the community that had been so welcoming and given me a home. I love living in the city centre, and I’m proud to work towards making it an ever-better place to live and an ever-stronger community. I love serving our diverse, exciting community and fighting for our vision of the City Centre: a safe, green, and pleasant place where everyone can live their whole lives happily with good homes, good jobs, and good services meeting their needs—old or young, families with children, adopted Mancunian or not, whoever you are.

I Chair the Economy Scrutiny Committee, which looks at issues like jobs, skills, and training, as well as transport and strategies at the Greater Manchester level. I chose this committee, and was grateful to be elected by the Council to chair it, because I have experience in the field, previously working in economic development and now doing economic research, and I am passionate about building a fairer economy for Manchester people.

As a Labour Councillor,  I’m driven by a sense of fairness, justice and equality. I want our city to be a place where everyone can have a good life. I genuinely believe looking at Manchester Labour’s record that we have strived for this, and I’m proud of the achievements of Labour in Manchester. I am also a Co-operative Party Councillor because I believe a fairer economy means fairer ownership of the economy. Co-operatives play a crucial role in achieving this, alongside credit unions working to make finance fairer too.

As a Councillor, I have the privilege to further these ideas, making sure our city continues being a success—whilst working to improve on the things that haven’t gone as well as we would have liked. There are difficult decisions to be made, often between options which we would not choose in an ideal world—but that is the reality of the decade-long ideological push for austerity that the LibDem-Tory coalition ushered in. Austerity has unnecessarily, and without compassion, focused on those least able to shoulder the burden, including forcing disproportionate cuts upon Manchester . In the face of this, we are working to make change and improve life for all Manchester residents, striving for creativity in our response to difficult times.

We face many issues. Issues that I am particularly working around at the moment include housing & homelessness, standing up for LGBT+ rights and facing up to the climate emergency. This has included working on affordable housing, scrutinising S106 contributions, going on outreach with the rough sleepers team and visiting homelessness accommodation to interrogate these complex issues. I was proud to give my maiden motion on the need to make HIV history and see the Council unanimously adopt my motion calling for a full rollout of PrEP on the NHS. I was priviliged too to sign the Climate Emergency motion in 2019 and author a motion calling on Government to #EndOurCladdingScandal while protecting residents from costs.

In the wider Labour Party, I have been North West Chair of LGBT+ Labour, fighting for LGBT+ rights and representation in politics, in Councils, and in Parliament across the North West.

Outside of politics and being a Councillor, I have too many interests to properly devote enough time to! I like reading and watching sci-fi and fantasy to relax, from the classics to the trashy and terrible. I love learning languages, speak Spanish, love cooking, play video games, and try to read the paper at least once a week! I’m also a big fan of the theatre, particularly musicals, and our drag scene in Manchester’s Gay Village where we have some of the world’s best drag.

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