Coronavirus challenge continues to dominate our lives

Posted: Tuesday 1st December 2020

The coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate our lives and I must thank the people and businesses of Trafford for the sacrifices they have made which have led to the rates of infection falling in our borough.

However, the drop in infections was not enough to see Trafford and Greater Manchester escape being put into tier 3, which means the toughest restrictions for us following the second national lockdown.

I have expressed my frustration at this news but I can assure residents and businesses that I will be keeping a close eye on our rates and if they continue to decrease, will urge the government to review our tier sooner rather than later.

In the meantime I would urge everyone to continue to follow the rules and guidance to help our infection rates to continue to fall.

The financial challenges facing the Council are massive at the moment and we are having to make some tough decisions as we need to save millions of pounds. We want your views on some our plans and so please have your say. Rest assured our priorities remain protecting essential services for residents and businesses.

We know life continues to be a struggle for many of you and some will need more help. That is why we are working with partners like Trafford Housing Trust to raise money to help the most vulnerable and isolated people in the borough.

The Trafford Crisis Fund helps people receive basic necessities like food and medication and donations can be made be to Trafford’s crisis fund page. All money will go to the local charities and community groups that are on the frontline helping people in need.

The impact of coronavirus has also meant I’ve made some changes to a number of Executive portfolios at the annual meeting of the Council. Among them is my colleague Cllr Mike Freeman who will oversee our continuing response to the pandemic and our recovery efforts.

Elsewhere, two Greater Manchester consultations around taxis and clean air consultations are about to end this week. We are asking residents and businesses their views on plans to reduce air pollution and to introduce minimum standards for all taxis and private hire vehicles in the area.

The Government has directed Greater Manchester to introduce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) across the region, and to bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels on local roads within legal limits in the shortest time possible. To find out more and to take part go to Clean air consultation and Taxi consultation.

The borough’s new Mayor has been officially appointed following the Council's Annual General Meeting.

Cllr Laurence Walsh takes over from Cllr Rob Chilton and is promising to do all he can for a more caring and tolerant society. Watch his full AGM speech here.

I would like to place on record my thanks to my friend Cllr Chilton for his work as mayor during the last 18 months.

Finally, I know how frustrating life is under restrictions but I would urge everyone to please continue to follow the guidelines and stay safe.