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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Archive for October 2021

Ending Hate and Gender Violence in Tameside

Friday, 15 October 2021

This week is National Hate Crime Awareness Week, and we stand together to send a simple but powerful message. A message that says regardless of your race, regardless of your religion or beliefs, regardless of your disability, sexuality, gender, or trans reassignment, you should be able to live in Tameside in safety and harmony.

Of course we know that, as much as we would wish it otherwise, the spectres of prejudice and bigotry remain with us. The latest Home Office data shows that while religious hate crimes have dropped for the second year running, there has been a marked increase in sexual orientation, disability, race and transgender-based incidents in the past twelve months. We only have to look back at this summer, and at the appalling abuse faced by Marcus Rashford and other young black English footballers, to see that hate crimes can and do occur.

The aim of our activities in Tameside for National Hate Crime Awareness Week were twofold; to make people aware of what hate crime looks like and, if they are a victim to or a witness of one, to encourage them to report it rather than look the other way. To that end, our refuse vehicles carried out their bin collection rounds with “Too Great for Hate” logos and a link to the Let’s End Hate Crime webpage on their sides. In Ashton Market an awareness stand was set up so members of the public could find out more about hate crime, discuss their own experiences and just say hello. Our community cohesion officers also proactively went around the borough to support various communities and groups, especially those that help people who are living with learning and physical disabilities.
 

If you think you, or somebody you know, has been a victim of hate crime, then please do not hesitate to report it by calling the police on 101 (or 999 if it’s an emergency), via the True Vision website here, or through the Let’s End Hate Crime website here. Don’t forget that hate crime can involve verbal and online abuse, physical attacks, criminal damage, and many other kinds of offences.

But, as always in situations like this, our success or failure in stamping out hate crime will be determined not by what we do for one week, but by what we do for the other 51 weeks of the years. As the first female Leader in Tameside Council’s history, and the Lead Member for Equalities in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, I am determined to make our city region a welcoming and accepting place for all who live, work and visit here.

That’s why I’m delighted that, following extensive consultation over the summer, the Leaders of the Greater Manchester local authorities and the Mayor Andy Burnham have approved a comprehensive and ambitious strategy, brought forward by the Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes, to tackle gender-based violence in the city region. As the brutal and shocking murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa over the past few months have shown, we still live in a world where being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be fatal for many women and girls. And while these may be among the most extreme cases of gender violence, I would go as far to say that more women than not bear the trauma of harassment, physical or sexual assault and intimidation to some degree.

 

These crimes are often the results of gender biases and inequalities, both conscious and unconscious, which have developed over generations, and I’m not going to try and pretend that there’s any quick fix. But I truly believe the GM Gender-Based Violence Strategy will not only lay the foundations to protect women and girls. It will also allow us to educate the perpetrators of gender violence, most of whom are men and boys, and challenge the deep-seated attitudes that enable it in the first place.

Hate crime and gender violence remains a blight upon our society. We will only be able to eradicate them if we all take a look at ourselves and, together, resolve to make Tameside a place where the right to live without fear, violence, hostility or intimidation is defended by all of us. Let’s stand united and make it happen.  

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


Championing Inclusive Growth at Full Council

Friday, 08 October 2021

On Tuesday evening we held our regularly scheduled meeting of Full Council in the familiar surroundings of Dukinfield Town Hall. The event gave us the opportunity to begin discussing what we want life after the coronavirus pandemic to look like. 

The highlight was the announcement that the outline planning application for the Godley Green Garden Village was completed and formally submitted last week. Following validation by the Local Planning Authority – which should take place in around 2 weeks’ time – the content of the application will be made publically available for viewing and comment.

 

When I became Leader of Tameside Council, I pledged that one of my highest priorities would be to support genuinely Inclusive Growth at a local level. Housing is one of the most important elements to secure this. In crude monetary terms, it is usually the biggest spending item and source of debt for most families or individuals. But housing, and the areas in which people live, also has drastic implications for health, employment and education. While good housing is a vehicle to better life outcomes, bad housing is almost always a barrier to the same.

The Godley Green Garden Village will stand as an example for the whole country on how appropriate development can drive growth, opportunity and environmental sustainability. As well as over 2,000 new homes, a proportion of which will be ring-fenced for affordable rent or purchase, the construction process itself will deliver £25 million gross value added and 550 high-quality jobs a year for the next decade and a half. Once completed, the £9 million windfall from additional council tax, business rates and New Homes Bonus will also provide a much-needed funding boost to services across the borough.

The submission of the outline planning application is a significant step in turning our ambition for the Godley Green Garden Village into a reality. I’m confident that when people are able to see the application for themselves, many of them will end up agreeing with me on how the project will benefit all of Tameside.

 

The pandemic has made it clear that a policy of inclusive growth is required now more than ever. We’ve known for decades that the UK is among the most unequal developed countries, but coronavirus laid this injustice bare for all to see. During the first wave of the pandemic alone, in March to July last year, 12.4 more people per 100,000 died in the North than the rest of England from the virus, and an extra 57.7 more people per 100,000 died in the region due to all causes. Any recovery from the pandemic that takes us back to this inequitable status quo will not only be unsustainable, it will be unacceptable.

That’s why this week’s Full Council meeting also heard a motion, forwarded by Councillor Oliver Ryan, condemning the government’s handling of the recovery. Because of decisions such as cutting of Universal Credit, increasing National Insurance and refusing to take action (as many other countries have) on rising gas prices we are being dragged headfirst into a cost of living crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades. As ever, it will be the youngest, the poorest and the most vulnerable that will suffer the worst. For all the government’s talk of levelling up, so far we instead seem to be heading back to the worst days of austerity.

The only way forward towards a better future is to reject the logic of no alternative, and deliver a new model of economic growth that not only creates opportunity for all, but distributes the benefits of prosperity fairly to all. It is an idea whose time has come, and it is an idea that, at Full Council this week, we have committed to as the way forward for Tameside.

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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