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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Tackling Antisocial Behaviour and Doing Our Part in Greater Manchester

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

As many of you know, Tameside Council is a member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) alongside the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, and the other nine local authorities in our city region. The GMCA meets regularly to discuss matters of common interest, such as public transport, skills, housing, economic regeneration, waste management, environmental sustainability and planning permission.

In the latest meeting of the GMCA on 10th September we heard from the new Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), Stephen Watson, as he outlined his plans to make our city region’s police service better and more accountable to residents. These plans have been encapsulated into a number of public promises, including but not limited to, reducing waiting times for 999 and 101 calls, making sure every area in Greater Manchester has a dedicated neighbourhood policing team, taking the fight to organised crime, and building public trust and confidence.

I’ve been greatly encouraged by the start that our new Chief Constable has made, and I look forward to working closely with him in the future to make our city region safer. I’m particularly concerned about getting to grips with the rise in so-called “low level” crimes such as anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Tameside.

As always, it is impossible to ignore the impact of austerity. While council teams work closely with the police and communities to prevent and resolve issues of ASB in their area, a decade of cuts have meant that it’s estimated that local authorities would need at least £2.5 billion in additional funding over the next financial year just to maintain these services at the current level.

The impact in our communities has been stark. Data released under the Freedom of Information Act has shown that the GMP recorded almost four times more noise complaints in 2020-21 than in 2018-19, increasing from 1,058 to 4,396 over that time period. Since noise complaints are by far the most highly reported type of ASB, accounting for 1 in 3 cases and being a significant factor in many others, it is clear from this data that the blight of ASB is only getting more serious. This does not even cover more serious forms of ASB that may involve drugs or alcohol.

My view is clear. There is no such thing as “low level crime”, there is only crime. For those communities in Tameside who have been blighted by such incidents for far too long, I offer you my assurances that your concerns are being heard, and that a clear and swift reaction will soon be coming.

But the GMCA also takes an interest in events taking place beyond the borders of the city region. The crisis unfolding in Afghanistan has been shocking and saddening to us all. That’s why, alongside the other Leaders of the GMCA and the Mayor, I signed an official statement at the beginning of this month pledging us to do our part to help people leave that country and rebuild their lives here in the UK. Many of those Afghans now fleeing to our shores provided valuable help to the military during our two-decade long mission. Should they be forced to stay behind, there is a very real chance that not only they, but their families and friends too, would be subject to arrest, torture and execution.

Greater Manchester has a long and proud history as a safe haven for those fleeing prejudice and persecution, however it is clear that this must be a national effort. We urge the government to ensure that every part of the country takes a share of the responsibility for asylum and resettlement schemes, and that all placements are given appropriate funding to support the individuals and communities in which they are housed. Only in this way will we be able to discharge our moral duty to Afghanistan and its people.

Our work through the GMCA ensure that Tameside has a voice on the issues that matter to our residents, whether they’re taking place in our own communities or half a world away. As we begin to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, we’re putting in the work to ensure that we all go forward together.


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