Accessibility Toolbar Accessibility Statement
Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

Leader's Blog  

Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Archive for October 2018

Playing Tribute to Tameside Business

Monday, 29 October 2018

Last Thursday Dukinfield Town Hall played host to the 2018 Pride of Tameside Business Awards. Since their creation in 2011, the awards have become one of the highlights in the local calendar, an evening to celebrate the outstanding contributions that businesses have made to Tameside’s economy and community. 

I was delighted to open the awards evening in front of over 300 Tameside residents and businesses, and even more pleased to present a special award of recognition to Phill Brown. As Chair of the Tameside Prosperous Board, his dedication and effort has been indispensable in turning the Pride of Tameside Business Awards into what they have become today. That however is only the beginning of his achievements. As a businessman, he opened and grew a fantastic company in Benchmark Building Supplies, firmly rooting it in the Tameside community by dedicating himself to both buying and employing locally. As an individual, he has given his time to many local causes and groups, including serving as a mentor and financial supporter of several fledging businesses.

That was just the first of no less than 22 awards given out over the course of the evening. Not only did we record a record attendance on the night, but we also received a record number of businesses submitting themselves for an award. The sheer variety that have come forward, from technology companies to catering services, multi-nationals to family shops, reflects on the great environment that has been set up for business creation and growth here in Tameside. And the quality more than matched the quantity. I know for a fact that our judges found selecting the shortlists incredibly difficult, let alone picking the winners.

I think it’s really important to mention as well just how impressed we all were by how many of our entrants went above and beyond for their local communities. Whether it was raising money for charity, or providing young people with valuable work experience or apprenticeships, all of them have in some way helped to make Tameside a better place to live, work and invest in. Make no mistake; I firmly believe that if our borough is going to succeed, our businesses have to succeed as well. That’s why, as a Council, we have supported the growth of local companies and apprenticeships through youth employment schemes and a variety of business and trade grants. Seeing the businesses who turned up last night, and the excellence on display in their entries, proves to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that those efforts have borne fruit.  

The complete list of awards winners and highly commended entries can be found on the Pride of Tameside Business Awards website here, but I’d like to single out a few that impressed me personally here. Managed Ink Limited, a printing company based out of our business incubator in the Ashton Old Baths, walked away with the award for best New Business in Tameside. Infinity Initiatives won Health and Social Care Business of the Year for their incredible work tackling offending, substance misuse, debt, homelessness and isolation. The prize for Manufacturing and Engineering Business of the Year was awarded to Solotec Scientific Limited, whose desktop safety enclosures and fume cabinets have made possible education and testing at the cutting edge of the pharmaceutical and bioscience sectors.

My congratulations go out not just to the rest of the winners, but to everybody who went for an award or supported the event in some other way. Every business and person at Dukinfield Town Hall last Thursday brought something unique and positive to the table. This was their night, and I am happy that I was able to share it with them.  


Posted by: Executive Leader

Have Your Say on Culture in Greater Manchester

Thursday, 18 October 2018

It’s the birthplace of the Co-Op, Factory Records and the first free public library and museum. Artists, writers and sportsmen as diverse as L.S Lowry, Paul Scholes and Karl Marx made their names there. It has the second largest indoor arena in Europe, football grounds that have played host to every domestic and European competition and the most nightlife events per capita in the country. It’s Manchester, and the history and culture of this place we call home is one of the reasons why it is like no other city in the world.

Culture, in all its various forms, is not just a “nice to have”. It is the glue that holds our communities together, it gives meaning and pleasure to people’s lives and it advertises our city to the world in a unique and powerful way.  It is for this reason that the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has recently launched a consultation on the first ever Greater Manchester Cultural Strategy. From now until the 6th November all 2.6 million of Greater Manchester’s residents, including the 223,109 living here in Tameside, will get their chance to let the GMCA know what Manchester’s culture means to them and how they think it should be protected and promoted.

While the GM Strategy aims to advance and celebrate the culture of Greater Manchester for its own sake, it also looks at how it can feed into our other ambitions for a healthier and more prosperous city region. We know from research that engaging with culture in its many forms can have a profound impact on people’s physical and mental health, especially among those who would otherwise be vulnerable to loneliness and isolation. Nationally cultural activities generate more than £8.5 billion towards the UK economy, more than double what the Premier League brings in, and are a massive driver of education, training and employment. We’ve also seen many examples, both here in Greater Manchester and elsewhere, of how putting culture at the heart of plans for the environment and regeneration make places better to live, work and create in.

It is important that we get the views of our residents now, as the next few years are likely to be incredibly important for the protection of culture in both Greater Manchester and Britain as a whole. Like everywhere else, artists and cultural organisations in our city region have had the funding which they depend on to do their work decimated by over eight years of austerity. To give just one example, in January the Arts Council England (ACE) announced that its budget, and therefore the amount to money it has available to distribute, would be cut by over £156 million over the next four years. The completed GM Cultural Strategy, which will be based on the findings of the consultation and will run from January 2019 to December 2024, will give us the information we need to do more with less, and channel what funding is available to the places where you’ve told us it will have the greatest impact.

You can find the complete GM consultation document on the Combined Authority website here, and the link to the online survey to give your views can also be found here. The Combined Authority will also be holding events across the city region, including Tameside, in the near future to discuss the consultation in greater depth and address any questions and concerns. With your help, we will maintain and further develop Greater Manchester’s culture, inspire our residents to make their own unique contributions, and protect our history and heritage both now and for the future.    


Posted by: Executive Leader

Taking Stock and Looking Forward at Full Council

Friday, 12 October 2018

This Tuesday evening the familiar surroundings of Guardsman Tony Downes House in Droylsden played host to the penultimate Full Council meeting of the year. As always, it allowed to take stock of what has gone before, and to look forward to what the last few months of 2018 have in store for us.

It was also the first time we were able to formally welcome Tameside’s newest Councillor, Pauline Hollinshead. Councillor Hollinshead joins us after a successful by-election in Ashton Waterloo last month, following the sad death of Cath Piddington. Anybody who remembers Cath knows that she’ll be a hard act to follow, but I’m totally confident that Pauline is up to the task and will make her own mark on the area.

Following the publishing of the latest feedback letter from Ofsted after their recent monitoring visit, it was only natural that children’s services were a major topic of discussion. At the meeting, I accepted Ofsted’s conclusions in full, and pledged that they would serve as a focus for the next steps in our improvement journey. Councillor Ryan, the Executive Member for Children, also informed us about the work undertaken by the Tameside Youth Council and the continuing progress of improving the quality of children’s homes in the borough. Our appreciation was also expressed to everybody in our Children’s Services, who have been working tirelessly to drive forward real and lasting change. As a Council we will be unwavering in our commitment to give them the support they need to finish the job.

We also took the opportunity to move forward on our campaign to protect our shared environment for future generations. It’s easy to be sceptical about what a place like Tameside can do in the face of a global issue like climate change, but I firmly believe if residents and businesses all commit to making small changes in consumption and lifestyle it will build up to a big impact. There are several things we’re working on to make this happen. At the end of last month we joined the nine other Greater Manchester councils and Recycle4GM to support the 2018 edition of Recycle Week, raising awareness of the importance of recycling and engaging residents in fun and innovative ways to make them think about their own use and waste. You can expect to hear much more about our plans for a Green Tameside in the very near future.

A number of motions were also debated and passed on a series of important local and national issues including combating anti-Semitism, and toughening the stance of the council and our partners on raising awareness of and preventing modern slavery. Our commitment to the environment was reinforced by pledging to end the council’s use of disposable and non-recyclable plastics whenever it can be avoided, encouraging our residents and partners to do the same, and writing to the Environment Secretary to request the strengthening of legislation against plastic pollution. We also recorded our opposition to the closure of yet more high street banks in the UK and Tameside. Nearly 3,000 across the country have shut since 2015 – a rate of almost 60 a month. These banks are an important part of our local communities, especially for elderly people who may not be comfortable with online banking or travelling long distances.

My thanks go out to everybody who attended Full Council or followed it online or on social media. We should be proud of what we’ve all achieved so far this year, and prouder still that we did it by drawing once more upon the shared values of Tameside; our respect for each other, our belief in the power of our communities, and our determination to see a job through to the successful finish. It is these values that have carried us to the progress that we’ve made so far. It is these values that will continue to drive us further still.


Posted by: Executive Leader

These entries were filed under the Executive Leader's Blog. You can follow any responses to these entries through the RSS 2.0 feed.