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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

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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