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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

Leader's Blog  

Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Archive for February 2018

Looking Forward to the Work Ahead

Friday, 23 February 2018

Welcome to my first blog as Executive Leader of Tameside Council.

It goes without saying that to be appointed as the Executive Leader, and the first woman to hold the post, is an honour and a privilege. But it is also an occasion tinged with sadness, given the tragic death of my colleague and friend Kieran Quinn. Over his seven years as Leader, and before then as a Councillor and community leader, Kieran was a tireless servant for the borough he loved. To follow as Leader a man of his integrity and skill makes the honour and privilege all the greater, but it also means that we have an equally great responsibility to continue his work for Tameside.

Over the past month there have been an incredible amount of tributes from family, friends and colleagues who loved and respected Kieran as a friend, as a comrade and as a man. There’s only so much I can add to what has already been said, but I want to bring up some things that particularly stuck with me.

Most of us remember Kieran as a politician and a colleague, but first and foremost he was a family man, the oldest of ten children and a proud father of two. My thoughts therefore go out to all his family, but especially his wife Susan and sons Matthew and Liam, who were at his side when he passed away. I can only imagine how much of a comfort that must have been to him in his final moments. At a time where cynicism about politics and politicians has never been higher, I challenge absolutely anybody to look at what Kieran said and did over the course of his life, and then say that politicians can’t make a difference. The decisions that he helped drive forward have led to investment and opportunities for business, education, transport and leisure. His legacy is plain for all to see. Make no mistake; in Tameside we are all living in the house that Kieran built.

But his legacy extends far beyond the borders of Tameside as well. The current form of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, most significantly the Mayor Office’s and the ground-breaking series of devolution deals, owes a great debt to him and his work. His record of encouraging economic growth in Tameside was such that, when the call came for a Lead in Finance and Investment for Greater Manchester, he was on a shortlist of one for the job. For my own part, it was a testament to the working relationship we had that he was fully supportive of the work I undertook on the integration of health and social care services, establishing strong partnerships to make sure that people could access the care they needed, when and where they needed it. On a national stage, he was perhaps best known for his visionary stewardship of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, and his crusading work on using the power of pension funds to drive investment and promote responsible business practices.

However you knew him, I know that Kieran will be greatly missed, as an exceptional politician and an exceptional man. If he was here though, he would be the first person to say that the job of making sure that Tameside and its residents grow and prosper is far bigger than any one man or woman. The show must go on, and we owe it to Kieran and to everybody in Tameside to make sure that there is no easing off on our ambition or our effort. Over the next few months, on this blog and elsewhere, I will be laying out how I intend to build on the strong foundations that Kieran has left for us, starting next week, where I will set out the council’s plans and budget for the coming year.

In my brief period of Leader so far, I’ve realised that the challenges in front of us aren’t getting any easier, but I also know that we have the resolve and resources within this borough to make a real difference. Let’s look forward to the work ahead.


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