The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham visited students at the College on Friday last week.

The former Labour MP for Leigh spent a considerable amount of time with Level 3 Public Services and HND Public Services students on his first visit to the new Centre of Advanced Technical Studies campus.

He talked about his journey into politics and becoming the first Greater Manchester elected Mayor, and chatted about a wide range of topics from his experiences of Westminster and being in the cabinet under a Labour government, to his thoughts on the state of politics now.

Andy Burnham with students behind

The Mayor answered questions prepared by some of the learners including; what changes would he implement in Greater Manchester to tackle climate change, what are his biggest pressures as Mayor and why bus travel in the area is so expensive.

He commented that one of his biggest targets as Mayor is to reduce the cost of public transport and to make it all electric with the aim of Wigan and Bolton becoming the first towns to benefit, predicted to be in the first half of 2023.

He gave plenty of advice to the learners, inspiring them to get involved in politics - if they are interested in pursuing that path, and how they should have the belief that they can do.

”I didn’t believe at your age that I could have done what I have done. You can often achieve more than you think if you keep a sense of belief and focus,” said Mr Burnham.

Second year Level 3 Uniformed Protective Services student James Simpson was particularly uplifted by the Mayor’s motivating words.

Andy talking with students and staff

"He was an inspiration to all of us and taught us that if you want to do anything in life you can make it,” he said.

Public Services Lecturer, Toni Evans added: “It was a privilege to welcome Andy to meet our students, who enjoyed meeting an influential person who was brought up in similar circumstances to a lot of them, and so they can be inspired to see that anyone with the right will and inclination can make a difference. A great opportunity for our learners."
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