Councillor for Deansgate

Marcus Johns - Councillor for Deansgate
Contact Marcus Johns

I’m Marcus and I am one of the Deansgate Councillors. I live in (and in fact, on) Deansgate with my partner Jose and our cats Kinny & Toby. 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 then went to the University of Manchester and stayed for work. I currently work in a think tank developing progressive public policy in the city centre, after a career 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.

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, protecting LBGT+ rights and facing up to the climate emergency. This has included working on affordable housing looking at 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 and to sign the Climate Emergency motion in 2019.

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

I sit on 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 because I have experience in the field, previously working in economic development and now doing economic research, and thought it was the best place for me to contribute.

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 like Lord of the Rings and Firefly 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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