The Leader's blog


Andrew Western

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

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A year of change

Posted: Wednesday 19th December 2018

It is that time of year when we reflect on the previous 12 months. Personally, the highlight of 2018 was becoming Leader of the Council. I was born and raised in the borough so it was with great pride that I accepted the role. However, I am also well aware of the responsibilities that come with the job and the high expectations of residents and partners.

One major area of responsibility for the Council is that of a corporate parent of children in care, something we take very seriously. I am pleased to say in the last year there has been a 400% increase in adoptions and a 28% increase in children placed with foster carers. These are great statistics but more importantly it is the story behind the numbers. They are children who have now been placed into safe homes and will be enjoying Christmas as part of new families, and that is something to be welcomed.

However, for some in the region the festive period is not an enjoyable time as it will be life on the streets. In this day and age we shouldn’t have people sleeping rough, that’s why I am proud of Trafford’s involvement in A Bed Every Night initiative.

The campaign aims to provide every person sleeping rough in Greater Manchester with accommodation for every night throughout the winter months.  And we have welcomed the first people at a supported housing scheme in Old Trafford which is being used as part of the initiative.

While this campaign is providing temporary accommodation, one of our objectives as a Council is to help provide good quality, affordable housing and that is an agenda I will be pushing during the coming 12 months. I want young people to be able to afford to live in the borough and not have to move away to rent or buy a home.

While there are still plenty of financial challenges to deal with, 2019 does promise to be an exciting time for the borough. Sara Todd joins us as our new Chief Executive, and I am looking forward to working with her and driving our vision to make Trafford an even better place to live and work.

Finally, all that is left for me to say is that I hope everyone has a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas and I wish you all a Happy New Year!