McMahon one of most influential in local politics

Date published: 03 December 2014

OLDHAM Council leader Jim McMahon has come sixth in a poll to find the most influential people in local government.

Labour man McMahon came above Andy Burnham (shadow secretary of state for health), Jeremy Hunt (secretary of state for health), Danny Alexander (chief secretary to the treasury), Eric Pickles (secretary of state for communities and local government) and Hilary Benn (shadow secretary of state for communities and local government).

The poll, conducted by the Local Government Chronicle, put Richard Leese and Sir Howard Bernstein, from Manchester City Council, joint top, followed by Simon Stevens (NHS England chief executive), Louise Casey, from the Department for Communities and Local Government, and Sharon White, permanent secretary of the treasury.

Councillor McMahon said: “Being a council leader and a national leader of local government means you can make real change happen: more action and far less talk.

“It is ironic the secretary of state features so low in this list but it is inevitable when — faced with the biggest assault on council budgets — he focuses on weekly bin collections rather than speaking up for frontline services.

“These are testing times given the budget challenges we’re all facing, but I also do believe that in Oldham we are laying good foundations for a brighter future.”