The Leader's blog

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Andrew Western

The blog of the Leader of Trafford Council, Councillor Andrew Western.

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Welcome to the Leader's blog

Blog:
The Leader's Blog
Posted:
Thursday 2nd August 2018
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Welcome to the Leader's blog

Posted: Thursday 2nd August 2018

It’s been a really interesting start to my time as Leader of the Council with lots happening since the change of administration in May. As a lifelong Trafford resident I thought I knew the Borough well, but the past two months have really underlined how much is going on locally and what a diverse and exciting place Trafford is to live.

I don’t want to use my first blog to bombard you with a list of all of the policies that we’ll be looking to implement as a new administration, but it’s fair to say that my in-tray reflects many of the things that we want to focus on: delivering the best possible frontline services; holding Amey to account; ensuring high quality provision for young people and listening to the views of residents. For me, this last point is vital. We need to do more to engage with our communities and to involve local people in decision-making processes. That’s why I’ve appointed an executive member with specific responsibility for resident engagement, and we’ll be taking action to open up the Council and making it more transparent generally. 

The importance of engaging with young people is something I am particularly keen to underline. I was delighted to welcome Annie, a 17 year old work experience placement, to the Council a couple of weeks ago. Annie talked to me about ways of keeping young people better informed and the best platforms to use to do so. She also accompanied the Mayor and I on a visit to a local infant school where we discussed our proposals to reduce single use plastic in Trafford, and where we found a group of youngsters more than happy to let us know their views and demand change! It’s vital that we reach out to young people of all ages to understand their priorities.

There'll be lots more to share in the weeks and months ahead, but I couldn’t end this blog without mentioning the plans that we have in place to consult with the community in Stretford over the next few months. You may be aware that there was a consultation with residents over the Stretford Masterplan last year and this will be the next stage in that conversation. I think we all recognise that there have been significant improvements to Altrincham, Urmston and Partington town centres in recent years, and a planning application has just been submitted to the Council affecting Sale. But it’s imperative that Stretford isn’t left behind and that we see the regeneration it needs getting underway.  We'll also shortly be sharing our proposals for an exciting 'Civic Quarter' development - an extension of the Stretford Masterplan - which would involve the Town Hall and Talbot road area becoming the heart of a thriving and inspiring public space for all. 

The connected Stretford Masterplan and Civic Quarter are two major pieces of work for the Council moving forward and we’d really like to talk to you about these and listen to your views. It’s crucial that there is plenty of opportunity for you to give your thoughts and ideas going forward and we’ll be sharing details of how you can do that very soon.

Finally, it's time to stop licking our wounds over the World Cup, and what better way than to start thinking about another World Cup round the corner? Bring on the Rugby League World Cup 2021! We've just launched our bid, alongside other GM neighbours, and with our world class sporting venues we have high hopes for success, both for ourselves and Greater Manchester generally. This is something we want everyone to support and get involved in and I'll be telling you how you can do that at the right time. 

With best wishes,

Andrew