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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Archive for June 2021

Honouring Our Community Heroes and Protecting Our Elderly

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Before I begin this week, I want to take the opportunity to congratulate the Tameside residents whose heroic efforts in their communities have won deserved recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2021.



Pauline Town was selected to receive an MBE for going above and beyond in her quest to end homelessness and domestic abuse in Tameside. As well as running The Station Pub in Ashton, where she has been landlady for three decades, she has transformed the building into a hub for her “We Shall Overcome” organisation. Not only does she distribute food, funding and clothing to those who need it most, she has worked closely with Tameside Council’s homelessness team to help find permanent accommodation for a number of people, many of whom have then been able to find employment and turn their lives around. She has also raised money for a variety of causes by organising benefit gigs and fundraising events.

Local Tameside councillor Vimal Choksi has also been honoured with an MBE. Elected as the first councillor of Indian-origin for the ward of Ashton Waterloo and the first Asian-origin councillor in the whole town of Ashton, he has combined this with playing a vital role in a large number of organisations within the borough. This has included, but is not limited to, translating for MPs, councillors and community volunteers, and being heavily involved in the wider Hindu community in Ashton and Greater Manchester as well as building bridges between Christians, Jews and other religious groups in the area.

A British Empire Medal was awarded to Heather Shepherd on account of the work of her and her team at the Tameside East Foodbank. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, they worked to ensure their services were still there for those who needed them by amalgamating their three centres into one hub in Dukinfield, coordinating the movement and delivery of vast numbers of items and co-ordinating with other agencies. All of this took place while guaranteeing the safety of volunteers and users.

Two local community groups, “Our Kids Eyes (OKE)” and the Anthony Seddon Fund, were recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Groups, also commonly known as the “MBE for charities”. Both organisations have worked closely with the council to put in place support, including group breaks and therapeutic activities, to improve mental health and champion disabled children.

It’s especially appropriate that we pay tribute to the work of these groups and individuals on the same week as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which took place on Tuesday. A number of events have taken place across the week, unified by the theme of purple which is colour associated with the national campaign.

 

As the Lead for Age-Friendly in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, I want to make our city region the best place in the country to grow old and be old in. And part of that mission is facing up to the unpleasant truth that abuse of the elderly can and does happen. Research carried out at the end of last year by the national charity Hourglass suggested that as many as 1 in 5, or around 2.7 million, people over 65 in the UK have been abused. While this can take the form of domestic or other physical abuse, it is by no means the only way that elderly people can be mistreated or neglected. Abuse can also take psychological, financial, or even sexual forms. Our website contains a large amount of information on identifying elderly abuse here, and our communications team have produced a powerful video here on how you can do your part to raise awareness of elderly abuse.

But if the first step in fighting elderly abuse is recognising it the second, and even more important step, is reporting it. We cannot assume that somebody else will take action, and even just one person standing up for the human rights of elderly people can make all the difference. You can contact our Adult Social Care team to share any concerns, in the strictest of confidences, at 0161 922 4888 or by e-mail at protectadult@tameside.gov.uk.

The recognition of Pauline, Vimal and Heather has shown the incredible work that can be done when we rally our communities around common values. In that spirit, let’s make protecting and valuing elderly residents in Tameside a duty that we all share. Not just for World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day, but for all of the other 364 days of the year.

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


Have Your Say on the Future of Democracy in Tameside

Friday, 11 June 2021


Over the next 10 weeks, you will be able to have your say on the future of democracy in Tameside by commenting on the plans to redraw the electoral map of the borough.

The draft proposals have been written up by The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE). This organisation has the power to conduct boundary, electoral and structural reviews of local government areas and is independent of any government or political party.

An electoral review takes a look at the current arrangements for a local authority, and decides how many wards or electoral divisions there should be, where their boundaries are and what they should be called. The review also determines how many councillors are needed, both for the borough as a whole and for each ward. Put simply, the recommendations of the LGBCE will decide which ward you vote in, the name of that ward, and how many councillors you’re represented by. It’s important to note as well that this process is separate from the recently announced Parliamentary Boundary Review, which will determine the numbers and constituencies of MPs for future national elections.

All electoral reviews are carried out by the LGBCE with the aim of making sure that the number of residents represented by each councillor is approximately the same, that all their recommendations reflect the identity and makeup of our communities, and that any final proposals support effective and convenient local government. To make sure that that any future population growth is taken into account, the recommendations are based not only on how many people are in Tameside and its electoral wards now, but also on how many there are likely to be in five years’ time.

So what does all that actually mean for Tameside? In terms of the number of councillors, the LGBCE decided that the best way we can perform our duties and represent our voters is to retain three members per ward, giving a total of 57 councillors. At the current electorate of 171,989, this means that each councillor will represent 3,017 residents on average. This will increase to 3,157 residents per councillors by 2026 as Tameside’s population is projected to rise to 179,962.

In terms of the makeup of the wards themselves, 18 out of the current 19 will be changed to a greater or lesser extent to better reflect current population densities and local communities. These are based on suggestions by Tameside Council from our knowledge of the local area and feedback from our residents, and the LGBCE have agreed with the majority of them aside from a few minor alterations. The complete list of changes can be found on the LGBCE website here. However, one of the most significant changes is finally uniting Hattersley within the Longdendale ward. This definitively ends the current situation of the town being split down the middle between the Longdendale and Hyde Godley wards.

 

The consultation on the proposed boundary changes in Tameside will run until 9 August 2021. After this point the LGBCE will analyse the submissions and form their final recommendations, with a view to publishing them no later than 2 November 2021. Once approved by Parliament, the new arrangements are due to take effect no later than the May 2023 local elections.

There are a number of ways to have your say, including on LGBCE website’s dedicated page here, by e-mailing your views to reviews@lgbce.org.uk, or posting your response to “Review Officer (Tameside), Local Government Boundary Commission for England, PO Box 133, Blyth, NE24 9FE”. All you need to do is tell them what you think and give them some details on why you think it. So don’t be afraid to get involved and help decide what democracy will look like in your community.

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


Investing in our Towns for Inclusive Growth

Friday, 04 June 2021

I’ve said several times over the past few months that our key priority for the next financial year is to ensure Inclusive Growth in Tameside. We know that, as a country, inequality is one of the greatest challenges we face. This fact was laid bare during the coronavirus pandemic, as we saw how the imbalances and injustices in our society made certain groups of people far more vulnerable to serious infection and death than others.

Adopting a policy of Inclusive growth seeks to challenge this on a number of levels. It will make sure that equality is considered as much as economics when it comes to making decisions about Tameside’s future. And when the time comes to reap the economic and social benefits of these decisions, we will make sure that they are felt across the entire borough instead of being enjoyed by a select few.

While we have a number of ongoing projects to meet this goal, we always must keep in mind that Inclusive Growth is also local growth. That’s why we are giving particular focus to our towns to transform them into the economic engines, social hubs and centres of civic pride that they can and should be. I want to take the opportunity here to explain in detail what this specifically means for a few of them. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it should help to give you a flavour of our big ambitions for Inclusive Growth in Tameside.

Ashton

 

Our focus in Ashton is the creation of high quality jobs, building on existing assets such as Ashton Old Baths and Tameside’s proud history of engineering and industrial innovation. These plans hit a significant milestone recently with the completion of the Old Baths Annex, which will provide digital incubation space for a number of start-ups and small businesses. This will be complemented by the opening up of 29,000 square metres of additional commercial space at St Petersfield, and preparation work has also begun to bring forward Ashton Moss which will create a further 200,000 square metres of employment space to support approximately 4,500 new jobs.

Hyde

 

After a number of unfortunate and unforeseen delays over the years, I’m delighted to announce that we’re putting the finishing touches on the extension to Hyde Leisure Pool. The upgraded facility boasts a new 25m, six-lane swimming pool, changing rooms and spectator seating with disabled access throughout. Work is also ongoing on our masterplan for investment and regeneration in Hyde town centre, which will be complimented by a “Streets for All” approach to improve the public realm, build new walking and cycling links, and reduce traffic within the town centre.

Stalybridge

 

In Stalybridge we have reached agreement on £1.27 million match funding for the development of the Historic England High Street Heritage Action Zone, which will provide financing to restore historical buildings while preserving their unique character and history. A further £90,000 has also been awarded from Historic England to fund a cultural programme to make the high street a more attractive, engaging and vibrant place for people to live, work and spend time.

Denton

The former Denton Pool site, which has been surplus to requirements since the opening of the Tameside Wellness Centre, is due to be demolished in order to bring forward land for housing. This will be facilitated by £1.9 million from the GM Brownfield Housing Fund, which will be used to accelerate the clearance and delivery for development of this area as well as a further site on the building footprint of the former Two Trees School.

Droylsden



At the beginning of the year we consulted on the future of Droylsden Library, with the intention of getting resident’s views on relocating the service into more modern and fit-for-purpose accommodation in Guardsman Tony Downes House.

When put together, I believe that these ambitious and far-reaching plans for our towns will lay the foundations to secure Inclusive Growth in Tameside, and pave the way towards securing better jobs, pay, skills and housing for all our residents. I intend to keep you all closely updated as they progress in the months to come.

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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