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Everything needs improving, that is my general philosophy. We should all strive for better; we should all push ourselves to be better. It is with this mindset that I found myself on Boxing Day evaluating the homeless project I manage called Change4Good. What can we do better in 2018? What lessons have we learned?

Unfortunately, my evaluation led to one conclusion; we are wasting our time trying to fix the Manchester homeless issue on our streets.

“WE ARE WASTING OUR TIME TRYING TO FIX THE MANCHESTER HOMELESS ISSUE ON OUR STREETS.”

The only solution to this tragedy is Manchester City Council. It is as simple as that. Only the Council has the power, money, resources and responsibility to make a real difference to the lives of the most vulnerable in our city.

So, how do we get the council working smarter, better and achieving the results we all want? The answer is simple. The homeless community needs a voice in the council chamber, someone with the experience and knowledge to get things done.

I am not one to back away from a challenge, especially when I know I am right, therefore I have thrown my hat into the ring and will be standing for election on the 3rd May in Manchester city centre as an Independent candidate. I have never stood for election before and never had any intention of doing so.

I have the experience and knowledge to make a real difference, ranging from a decade’s worth of experience working inside the Council, over a decade supporting street homeless, 7 years running a multi-award-winning charity, and 3 years running a rough sleeping project that helped 48 people off the streets in 2017.

It is time for change; we can no longer continue to do the same things expecting different results. The situation is getting worse on the streets and the scary thing is we are all getting used to it and beginning to accept it is a normal thing in Manchester.

I cannot and will not accept that seeing my fellow citizens living in squalor on the streets is normal and the way it has to be. We need to hold all of our elected representatives to account. That is why I am only standing for 1 term, and if I have not had a huge impact on this issue in 4 years’ time, then I do not deserve to be elected again.

To improve homeless services, I have devised a 5-point manifesto based upon what people on the streets told me they wanted me to improve:

None of the above costs any more money; it just needs new passion, new ideas and a new vision for Manchester if we are to be called a compassionate society.

My campaign is called Nick4Homes and I have social media accounts and a website which explains the manifest in more detail: nick4homes.co.uk

If you want to help me be the change that is needed, then please get in touch and be part of the solution in Manchester.

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Nick Buckley is the CEO of award-winning homeless charity Mancunian Way, which employs 17 people across Greater Manchester and North London. With over a decade’s experience working inside Manchester City Council, he is now standing for election to represent Manchester’s homeless community. In 2016 he won ‘Inspirational Person of the Year’ at the Key103 Awards. Follow Nick and his campaign on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.