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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

Leader's Blog  

Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Archive for June 2021

Response to the Findings of the Marmot Report

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

The findings of the Marmot Report, which has highlighted the declining life expectancy and deteriorating social conditions in the most deprived areas of England, are unfortunately as unsurprising as they are shocking.

Local leaders such as myself have been raising the alarm for over a decade about the devastating consequences that austerity has wreaked upon the fabric of our communities. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated many of these long-standing issues, but there is no vaccination for inequality, and no lockdown that can resolve over ten years of entrenched underfunding and disadvantage.

A society that does not protect the most vulnerable, the most deprived and the most at risk is not a society that any of us should accept. We can do better, and we should demand better.

Our local public health teams have done incredible work over the past few years to address the worst of these inequalities and Tameside, along with the rest of the Greater Manchester, is leading the country in the integration of health and social care. But until the government recognises the scale of the problem, and puts in place the funding and political will that any solution will demand, they are fighting against a rising tide.

The issues highlighted in the Marmot Report will not be resolved by big ticket and headline grabbing infrastructure projects. They will be solved by looking deeper into what residents in places like Tameside and other parts of the country actually need to be happy and healthy.

That starts with making sure that everybody has access to both physical and mental health and social care, but it also must look at ending zero hour contracts and poverty wages, investing in businesses and jobs rooted in their communities, fixing our broken housing market, protecting our shared environment and putting our young people first.

If that sounds like a big ask, that’s because it is. But as a country, we have the resources to fulfil all of these ambitions and more if we truly put our mind to it.

It will be a profound tragedy and an unforgivable neglect if we do not seize this opportunity following the end of the pandemic to create an economy and a society that works for the people, and not the other way round. Let’s build back better, but more importantly than this, we must build back fairer.

Posted by: Executive Leader

Saluting Our Armed Forces Veterans

Friday, 25 June 2021

This time of year is when we traditionally show our support to our armed forces veterans, both past and present. Due to the extension of the latest lockdown measures and the ongoing fight against new variants of the coronavirus, we have unfortunately been unable to resume in-person public events as we would have hoped. However, thanks to the hard work and creativity of our residents, communities and Cultural Team, we’re set once more to celebrate Armed Forces Day in the virtual world.

As always, we’re indebted to the efforts of the Tameside Armed Services Community (TASC) for helping us put on a schedule of events in these challenging circumstances. TASC is a group formed from the local armed forces community with direct links to military charities and other veteran’s organisations. In cooperation with the Council and our partners, the TASC organises a variety of trips and events for veterans, as well as supporting us in fulfilling our obligations under the Armed Forces Covenant to ensure that we meet our moral obligations to armed forces members and their families.

From the beginning of this week, a series of Facebook and Twitter posts have been highlighting the proud history and heritage of the Armed Forces here in Tameside, from the Lancashire Militia in medieval times, to the Manchester Regiment that fought in the World Wars, and the modern day forces that have done their part in Iraq, Afghanistan and the other battlefields of the 21st century. By digging through the impressive collections held by our Museum Services and Local Studies and Archives Collections, and combining them with personal and local stories of armed forces veterans and their families, we’re painting a vivid living history not just of Tameside’s military heritage, but the country’s as well. While public events are off the table at the moment, Wing Commander David Archibald from TASC also marked the beginning of our build-up on Monday by raising the Armed Forces Day flag outside Denton Town Hall.


This activity stepped up today, on Armed Forces Day itself, where we released half-hourly tweets and posts from 9am featuring more stories from our local Cadet Forces, TASC members, and many of the other men, women and families in Tameside who have served or are serving their country. The day culminated with the release of a specially-made short film featuring some of the highlights of Armed Forces Day celebrations from previous years. In addition, we want to hear more stories from our armed forces personnel. If you fought in World War 2, were called up during the days of National Service, have been a veteran more recently, or are in uniform in the moment and want to share your experiences, please contact us on 0161 342 4144 or e-mail

But as I always say during Armed Forces Day, our commitment to our veterans is really shown in how we look after them the other 364 days of the year. One of the major projects that the TASC have rolled out is the Veteran’s Allotment. Based on the Rose Hill Allotment site in Denton, this green space offers a spot for current and former armed forces personnel to relax, unwind, and meet up to have a cup of tea and a chat with fellow veterans and volunteers. Once the coronavirus pandemic is finally put behind us, we hope that it will be used more fully by veterans groups, schools and other professional agencies. If you want to get involved in this or any other activities put on by the TASC, you can become a member or find out more by emailing

My thanks go out to everybody that has helped make this year’s Armed Forces Day celebrations happen. I pledge that we will never cease in our efforts to make Tameside the best place in Britain for looking after armed forces veterans and their families, every day of the year.

Posted by: Executive Leader

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

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, 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.



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.



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.



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.


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.


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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