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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

After a Year of Uncertainty, a Year of Renewal

Tuesday, 22 December 2020



On behalf of Tameside Council I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all, as much as possible in the current circumstances, a Happy Christmas and a Joyful New Year.

It’s fair to say that 2020 has been as far from run-of-the-mill as you could get. This time last year as we were all preparing to celebrate Christmas, none of us could have possibly anticipated what was in store for us in the months ahead. By the end of March, the country was put into lockdown and our entire way of life had been rendered unrecognisable. Nine months on there are reasons to be optimistic that the coronavirus vaccine, when fully rolled out, may help us take the steps to safely move into a post-pandemic world. However at the same time the news of the emergence of a more-contagious variant of the virus in the South East of England, combined with even stricter lockdown restrictions and a curtailing of the previously announced Christmas easing measures, shows that we are unfortunately not out of the woods yet. So please, whatever you choose to do (or not do) over the Christmas period, make sure you take the necessary steps to protect yourself and those around you at this critical time for our country.

Despite the uncertainties and difficulties we all faced this year, one constant light in the darkness has been the way our communities have rallied together. It shone through as residents from every possible background and profession gave up their own time to organise and deliver emergency food, medicine and other supplies to those most in need. It shone through as our incredible key workers in the NHS not only left no stone unturned to provide medical help to people with severe coronavirus symptoms, but as I write this are now going above and beyond to roll out the new vaccine as quickly and effectively as possible. It shone through in the council officers who have gone to work every day to do the unglamorous but vital jobs like collecting bins and helping the elderly and vulnerable live in dignity and comfort in their own homes. If there is one good thing to have come from this pandemic, it is that we now know the true power of our communities in the face of adversity. Whatever the next year brings, we know that we will never stop fighting for the place that we all call home.

 

I think it’s important to note as well that, despite the coronavirus pandemic dominating the year, in 2020 we bore witness to progress for Tameside in a number of other ways. Just before the lockdown began we celebrated the completion of the Denton Wellness Centre, the crown jewel of our long-running £20 million investment in leisure facilities in Tameside. While the events of the past nine months have meant that we’ve not gotten as much use out of it as we would’ve liked, I have no doubt that it will play a vital role after the pandemic to help residents take control of their own health. Later in the summer we also welcomed the opening of the Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange, which even now is supporting our commitments to unlock greater economic prosperity, increase employment opportunities and transform learning and skills by revolutionising our local transport infrastructure. It was also a year of achievement for our public services, as a number of organisations including Tameside Council, Tameside & Glossop NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund were either shortlisted for or won no less than 37 regional and national awards. Despite the difficult circumstances we’re all facing, we have continued to deliver for our residents and service users. 

My thanks go out to everybody who has rallied around this year to support Tameside in its time of need. Please do what you can to enjoy yourself and stay safe over the Christmas holidays, and when we return I hope it will not be too long before we can finally be reunited with our friends, families and colleagues. After a year of crisis and uncertainty in 2020, let’s make 2021 a year of renewal as we begin to build back better.

Posted by: Executive Leader


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