Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

A Bright Future for Greater Manchester

Friday, 11 January 2019


The New Year is traditionally seen as a time for change and to become better than you were before. For some people that might mean deciding to drink less or go to the gym more.  For the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and the ten Leaders of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, including myself, it meant coming together at Westminster House in Manchester on Monday to take a big step towards securing the future of our city region for the next two decades and beyond.

The meeting saw the launch of the Revised Draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. The purpose of the Framework is simple; it aims to set out where exactly in Greater Manchester we would allow the development of land for housing and employment to take place. A single Framework for all ten boroughs in Greater Manchester means that we can begin to work at the scale and pace needed to deliver the homes and jobs that our residents need and deserve. Perhaps as importantly, it gives us the solid footing we need to say “No” to developers who may want to build in places where we would rather they did not.   Every council has identified land for the Framework, including some sites that are currently designated as part of the Green Belt. This does not mean that we have been deaf to our resident’s concerns; as well as prioritising the use of brownfield sites and town centre redevelopments the Framework also introduces significant protections for our remaining green spaces. Furthermore, it reaffirms our opposition to fracking in any part of Greater Manchester.

Hand in hand with creating homes and jobs goes making sure that the infrastructure is there to support the additional businesses and residents this will attract to our city region. One of the most important parts of this necessary infrastructure is transport. The difference a world-class transport network, especially public transport, will make to supporting economic growth, improving our resident’s quality of life and protecting the environment cannot be overstated. In particular, our ambition by 2040 is to have at least half of all journeys in Greater Manchester made by public transport, walking or cycling. To help make this a reality, our Transport Strategy commits to delivering a number of improvements across the city region over the next five years. Tameside will receive a share of this, with a significant addition being the construction of the new Interchange in Ashton as a transport hub for the entire borough.   

We also discussed Greater Manchester being recognised as the UK’s first age-friendly city.  In the past eighteen months, we’ve secured funding to help older people become more physically and socially active, held the city region-wide Festival of Ageing and worked with Transport for Greater Manchester to launch the “Please Offer me a Seat” campaign to help residents with disabilities, injuries or hidden conditions to feel more comfortable on public transport. Despite that, there’s still plenty more to do, and as the Lead for Age Friendly Greater Manchester and Equalities I intend to build on these successes, for example by improving the quality of our care homes and making our town centres more attractive places for older people to live.

I was also delighted to see the Youth GM Combined Authority in attendance, especially Jacob and Emily, the Youth members for Tameside who spoke so powerfully at the Green Summit at the end of last year. I know they were particularly interested in our early proposals to provide free “Opportunity Passes” to 16-18 olds in Greater Manchester for free bus travel and reduced entry to a number of sporting, cultural and leisure venues.

The final reports for all these plans and more will be discussed in depth in a further meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. After this we will put the Revised Draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework out to public consultation, and I encourage you all to make your views known when the time comes.

I truly believe that these proposals will set us on the right course to fully unlock the potential of our city region and make big differences to the lives of all our residents. The future for Greater Manchester looks bright, so let’s take the step into that bright future together.

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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