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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

A New Era For Tameside and Greater Manchester

Friday, 18 March 2022

At the start of this year I promised that 2022 would be remembered as the beginning of an era of Inclusive Growth for Tameside. In the face of the double challenge of austerity and the cost of living crisis, we want to create a borough where everybody has the opportunity to start well, live well and age well. This week I attended two events that will help make that vision a reality.

The first took place in the heart of Manchester at Mayfield Depot, where I joined the other Leaders of the Greater Manchester local authorities and the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham to discuss our post-pandemic ambitions for the city region. Our view is simple; since the government is dragging its heels over “Levelling Up”, we’ll just step up and do it ourselves. This includes the development of the Eastern Growth Cluster, which brings together investment and regeneration projects in Tameside such as the Godley Green Garden Village, the regeneration of Hyde and the Ashton Mayoral Development Zone to support local businesses and meet our economic challenges.

 

The meeting also saw us agree a number of radical but deliverable new policies for Greater Manchester as a whole. Following the completion of the final legal hurdle, I’m delighted to announce that Greater Manchester has now taken back control of its bus services. For the first time in 30 years, this vital element of our public transport infrastructure will be run for people, not profit. As part of this, fares will be capped at £2 for adults and £1 for children across the city region. The first publically controlled buses will run in Wigan and Bolton by autumn next year, with Tameside and other parts of Greater Manchester joining in no later than the end of 2024.

In addition, all ten Greater Manchester councils, including Tameside, publicly and formally committed to paying our social care workers the Real Living Wage. These people have been the front-line of our response to the coronavirus pandemic over the past two years, and it is simply unacceptable that they too often remain underpaid, overworked and disregarded. I am delighted that Greater Manchester has agreed to collectively take action on this vital issue, and I intend to do whatever is necessary to make good on our promise with all possible haste.

The second event took place a little closer to home in Tameside, as I met with the borough’s Registered Providers to launch our new Housing Strategy. If we really want to improve the lives of our residents and foster Inclusive Growth, a high quality and affordable local housing offer is a non-negotiable requirement. Every piece of research and evidence has made it clear that while good housing can be a vehicle to better life outcomes, economic growth and community wellbeing, bad housing is always a barrier to the same.

 

The Tameside Housing Strategy sets out our approach to achieving these broad ambitions over the next two decades, but also lays out the practical steps we have to take here and now. This includes taking into account the fact that our housing offer must accommodate the diverse needs and requirements of our residents, accepting that more must be done for those in our communities who require specialist or supported housing, intervening where required to guarantee security and quality within our private rented sector, and ending once and for all the scourge of homelessness. This will be supported by quarterly meetings with Registered Providers to discuss our progress, and the creation of an online tool to gain a better understanding of housing development across Tameside.

I truly believe that these events will be remembered as the moment where we took the bold first steps forward in a new era for both Tameside and Greater Manchester. Not just in building a borough and city region equipped to thrive in the 21st century but, more importantly, ensuring that every resident can share in the rewards of Inclusive Growth and investment.

 

Posted by: Executive Leader