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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Laying the Foundations to Build Back Better

Friday, 06 November 2020

On Tuesday evening we held an online meeting of Full Council, one of several that take place every year. As we move towards a second national lockdown, it gave us a valuable opportunity to discuss what it means for Tameside and how we’ve laid the foundations to build back better when this terrible pandemic is finally put behind us.
 

Since the previous meeting of Full Council a number of teams in the local authority and our key partners have won national recognition in areas such as supporting our armed forces community, excellence in our customer services, investment in our markets, care and social care and human resources. A number of officers also took home awards for outstanding work in their field of expertise. Thanks to the efforts of these individuals and others like them we can say with confidence that, despite the incredibly challenging circumstances, we are still delivering for Tameside’s residents.

Through the coronavirus pandemic myself, the other nine local authority leaders and the Mayor of Greater Manchester have always put the health of our residents first. However, in the past few weeks we’ve seen that the government seems to think that residents and businesses in the North of England are worth less than those in the South. During the meeting of Full Council I reiterated my belief that the only road to an effective response to coronavirus is to build on solid local foundations, bringing councils and residents on board in a spirit of mutual trust and cooperation. We need a seat at the table, not crumbs from the table.

One of the most important issues discussed was the approval of the final draft of the Greater Manchester’s wide-ranging Plan for Homes, Jobs and the Environment, also known as the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF). We have a legal duty from the government to build a certain number of houses to meet our needs, and the GMSF is the planning document that will help to make this happen in a way that is best for Tameside and our residents. But after the economic shock from coronavirus, it has become so much more than that. It is a key plank of our “building back better” strategy, paving the way to build high quality and affordable homes connected by environmentally sustainable transport links. Subject to approval by the other Greater Manchester local authorities the GMSF will now go out for an eight-week public consultation beginning on 1 December, and I intend to discuss it in far more detail on this blog at that point.

 

The meeting of Full Council also passed two motions about issues that will have a significant impact on Tameside. The first, presented by Councillor Leanne Feeley and seconded by Councillor Teresa Smith, called on the government to support Marcus Rashford’s campaign to end Child Food Poverty through a second vote in the House of Commons. In Tameside we committed to provide families entitled to free school meals with supermarket vouchers over the half-term holiday, and we will extend that support to the Christmas holidays if it becomes necessary. There is no reason for any child in this country to go hungry, and we call upon the government to do the right thing.

The second motion from Councillor George Newton drew attention to the proposal to extend the Bredbury Parkway Industrial Estate on the border between Tameside and Stockport, and adding our voice to objections made by local residents and politicians such as Andrew Gwynne MP and William Wragg MP. Our shared belief is that the development as it currently stands would have severe negative effects on the Tame Valley and our nature reserves at Hulme’s Woods, Hardy Woods and Haughton Dale., as well as contributing significantly to traffic issues and air pollution on the A6017 Stockport Road. The motion also appealed to the Secretary of State to delay planning permission, should it be passed by Stockport Council, until a full public enquiry on the scheme is launched. 

Make no mistake. This is a critical time for our country as a whole. At Full Council this week, we committed that we will never apologise for being a strong voice for Tameside. No matter what the next few months bring, we stand together to protect lives, secure livelihoods and build a better tomorrow. 

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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