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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Archive for December 2019

A 2019 To Remember for Tameside

Thursday, 19 December 2019


It’s that time of year again. On behalf of Tameside Council I would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Joyful New Year.

As I do every year, there are certain people whom I would ask you to keep in your thoughts over the Christmas period, those less fortunate; the residents who may be spending this time of year alone, or who are homeless, sick or vulnerable. Over the past few weeks we’ve been appealing to our residents to donate to our Christmas food bank collections, and many of you have been very generous indeed. By dropping off food at libraries, customer services, children centres and workplaces, you’ve helped us to fill up and distribute over 50 boxes to local foodbanks to support people in need. While I still despair of the fact that food banks exist in the fifth richest country in the world, the hard reality is that many people, including some residents in Tameside, need our help here and now. I’ve always believed that the strength of our communities is judged by how we treat those who most need a helping hand, and your charity and kindness has shown that Tameside’s community is strong indeed.

Another group that we should keep in our minds over the next couple of weeks are the people for whom Christmas is just another day on the job. While we sit down to our turkey dinner, the amazing professionals working in all areas of our NHS, our police, our fire and rescue services will keep ensuring that any emergencies are dealt with quickly and effectively. Please think as well of all the other workers, such as those in the care sector and the armed forces, who will also be spending their Christmas Day keeping many of the health and security services that we depend on running.

 

The end of the year is always a good time to look back at the triumphs and challenges of the previous twelve months. I think that 2019 will be remembered as the year where many of the seeds of investment and development we’ve planted in Tameside started bearing fruit. Tameside One has brought world-class customer service and learning facilities, along with thousands of staff and students, into the heart of Ashton-under-Lyne. Construction on the Denton Wellness Centre, the jewel in the crown of our £20 million transformation of our leisure services, is expected to be completed later this year, and building is well underway on the Ashton transport interchange, which will provide a state-of-the-art hub for public transport for travel within Tameside and beyond. Over the summer we applied for, and successfully received, formal accreditation as a Co-Operative council. This, combined with our ongoing progress in integrating health and social care in Tameside and Glossop, means that we’ve got a fantastic opportunity as we enter a new decade to transform how we design and deliver the vital services that so many of our residents rely upon.

A great example of how we’re doing this right now is the ongoing “Tameside Loves Reading” campaign. Since its launch in February, Tameside Loves Reading has brought together council officers, volunteers, schools and community groups to help to improve literacy levels in our children, giving them a solid foundation to achieve their potential in education and in life. We’ve now got over 180 volunteers reading with children in 46 schools. To mark the success of Tameside Loves Reading so far, we’ve put together a special festive video featuring local schoolchildren and frontline workers – from bin men to firefighters and police officers to midwives – to show how anyone, at any age, can enjoy reading for pleasure. You can watch the video on our YouTube page here, and I’d encourage anybody who wants to see the power that can be unleashed by ordinary people coming together for an extraordinary cause to watch it. 

My thanks go to everybody who has helped make our progress and success in 2019 possible. Let’s enjoy our Christmas holidays, and then come back with recharged batteries and new enthusiasm to make 2020 another year to remember in Tameside. 

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


Join In Our Budget Conversation and Have Your Say

Friday, 13 December 2019


Welcome back to my weekly blog, following a brief hiatus to comply with the pre-election laws. As the people of Britain had the opportunity to have their say on our country’s future this week, it’s only appropriate that I start these blogs again by offering you the chance to have your say on Tameside’s future.

From now until 15th January, we’re inviting every resident in Tameside and Glossop to join in our Budget Conversation for 2020-21. As with last year, we’re asking you to think about both the services provided by Tameside Council, and the work in health and social care done by the Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group. You can give your views on our website here. We’re only asking two questions and you can write as little or as much as you want 

Every year the Council and Clinical Commissioning Group spend £935 million on the vital services that many of our residents depend on. While around 18% of this comes from your council tax, the vast majority of the rest of our funding comes directly from the government. Over the past six years, we’ve had to find savings of over £160 million. Since we’re legally required to deliver a balanced budget, it’s estimated that a further £33 million in savings and cuts will be required in 2020-21.

That money pays for many of the services that you expect us to deliver; collecting a quarter of a million bins every week, resolving 33,000 visits to our customer services and 179,000 phone calls a year,  and keeping Tameside moving by maintaining 26,000 street lights, 45,000 road gullies, 1,155 kilometres of pavement and 758 kilometres of carriageways. But it also does so much more as well. It helps us visit 2,470 new mothers to offer help and advice, and at the other end of life, it allows us to provide support for 2,900 residents to live in comfort and dignity in their own homes. That isn’t even including the health services provided by the Clinical Commissioning Group, including 37 GP practices, Tameside Hospital and community-based services such as district nurses and mental health support.

 

We want to provide you with as much information as we can to help you find out as much as possible before you fill in the consultation. Our website contains a number of infographics here about the Council and local NHS, including our main areas of spending, more examples of the services we provide, and how we’re addressing the challenges we face in Tameside and Glossop by finding new ways to invest in services and deliver for the future. We know as well that a lot of residents, especially more elderly ones, may not be as comfortable with using the internet. That’s why council officers will also be hosting a number of drop-in sessions either side of Christmas at libraries, community centres and market halls. The complete list can also be found here, so try and pay us a visit if you happen to be out and about.

All the replies we receive will be carefully recorded and used to inform our annual new Budget, which will be debated by the Full Council at our meeting in February. So make sure you have your say before 15th January. I’d also ask to spread the word about it to any of your family, parents, friends or neighbours who live in Tameside and Glossop as well. There really is no such thing as a stupid answer, and the more replies and information we get the better we will be able to deliver for you, now and in the future.

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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