Dear Kenny... You're absolutely correct. From the housing crisis, to the spiralling cost of living, to the growing chasm between the richest and poorest, our city faces a range of issues that urgently need addressing.
As the Budget approaches we await the details of deep cuts in welfare spending, but the fact that they are coming is beyond doubt. Every sinew is being strained in the cause of deficit reduction. Or is it? Largely absent from public debate to date is the more than £100billion that goes each year into tax reliefs - lower taxes for particular groups or activities.
We need a Leader who knows what challenges ordinary people face day to day, and who is committed to helping them. And as I see it, there are six major challenges that politicians need to get to grips with... That's why I'm backing Yvette Cooper to be the next Leader of the Labour Party. As a working mum, she understands the pressures on modern family life.
Tory guru Steve Hilton has had a revelation: low pay causes poverty. From one Steve to another, welcome to the real world. But as your party is about to unveil its first full blue-blooded Tory Budget in 19 years you need to think a bit more about what - and who - drives poverty in this country... The scale of cuts - the deepest yet to our public services and benefits - will hit all but the very wealthiest. Women, the disabled, the low-waged, those not in work, those who need help with ever-spiralling housing costs and children will not be spared.
Every day, dairy farmers Andrew and Jane Charlesworth lose £130. They're not even close to making a profit. "Milk has become a throwaway commodity," says Andrew. "It's cheaper than water." The Charlesworth's story is typical. Dairy farmers up and down the country are struggling.
It's not just about qualifications. It's not just about education or background. How do I know? Because I didn't excel in either of these areas - instead, I actually put my own success down to something called soft skills - the vital skills such as communication, teamwork and time management which everyone needs to succeed at work and beyond.
Amid the flurry of pre-election pledges made by each party, the Conservatives' 'Tax-Free Minimum Wage' attracted a curious mix of attention... Rather than a trivial tweak, the implications of this policy are potentially substantial and could lead to additional tax cuts, which could be announced as early as at next week's Budget.
Economic success is generally measured in terms of growth rather than positive outcomes for people and places. Although the key metric of growth, 'Gross Domestic Product' (GDP), is increasingly recognised as a poor proxy for human progress, it continues to drive fundamental decisions about the way we manage and grow our economies.
In times of austerity, such policies inexorably exacerbate the already alarming issue of inequality. Britain is currently the only G7 country with wider inequality than at the turn of the century. Right now, the top ten percent own over fifty-four percent of Britain's wealth and Britain's five richest families own more wealth than the bottom twenty percent.
Somebody should also remind Newsquest that newspapers have not been money making machines on the whole for years and that they simply buy the owner power both socially and politically and if the management board are in this for the profit then they are the ones that should be dismissed for being in the wrong industry.
If competition ends up as being a fight to the finish, then we need a new way of thinking about economic success.
This Budget may be likely to reduce the growth in the size of the state. But the Government will still wield huge power to create the conditions in which clean, green enterprise can flourish.
Today's Progress Report from the Committee on Climate Change highlights that we are entering a critical phase in the UK's transition to a low-carbon economy. A lot has been achieved in recent years, from increased innovation in low-emission vehicles to the significant deployment and cost reductions of renewable energy technologies.
Now that the safety net of local welfare support has shrunk and we face many more ominous cuts, who knows what the current state of poverty looks like now or what these figures will be by 2020? All I can say for sure is so long as this constant level of need remains, we will continue to provide for those who need support most.
The only sensible way forward is to cancel the Greek debt (or at least substantial swathes of it) and for the international community to support Greece's democratically elected government to rebuild its society and its economy. I ask my fellow Labour leadership candidates to echo this call to the Prime Minister, and for him to heed this call. It is in our own interests to do so. Let's use this as an opportunity to remake a Europe of solidarity.
Britain has become less collective, citizens and consumers feel more empowered and many individual rights - through equal marriage for instance - are better recognised. But - and this is the bad news - much of our economy, society and politics remains thoroughly illiberal and conservative.