Welcome from the new Leader of Trafford Council
Posted: Thursday 5th January 2023
Welcome to my first blog as the new Leader of Trafford Council. I must start by saying what a privilege it is to have been appointed to this role, in the borough where I was raised.
It is only right that I pay tribute to my predecessor and friend Andrew Western for the hard work he has put in over the last four years, and I know I can rely on his continued support.
Like Andrew, I realise there is great responsibility in being elected as Council leader, and like him I also want to put my own stamp on the role.
As a Council we have a clear sense of purpose, based around our three corporate priorities – reducing health inequalities, supporting people out of poverty and addressing our climate crisis. While these remain, I would like to briefly outline some of the early policy themes I will address with the help of our partners over the coming weeks and months.
Ensuring the children of this borough always have the best possible start in life is a personal priority for me.
Children and young people suffered a lot through the Covid pandemic, missing out on school and the opportunity to meet and socialise with their friends and peers.
So, I want us to look again to see how we – as corporate parents – together with our schools, colleges, voluntary services, and local employers - can support our children from early years right through to school leavers.
Trafford is world renowned for being rich and diverse in sports and the arts and I want to do even more to enhance our excellent reputation in these areas. We have a new culture strategy on its way and I would like to see this embedded into our approach right across the council - from education and leisure through to regeneration and jobs.
The lack of affordable homes and the numbers of families on waiting lists for social housing is one of the great injustices of our time. This must be an urgent priority for us.
When it comes to the most pressing global issue of our time – climate change - our commitment to act will remain unswerving.
Finally, I want to see a focus on what I’m simply calling ‘getting the basics right.’ Everything we do as a council matters – from gritting roads, fixing road signs, or maintaining grass verges. And if they matter, they must be done well. Our contractors need to always adopt that mindset - and we will be holding them to account to make sure they do.
We will use every opportunity to grow our economy and to make this borough a safe, green, and welcoming home for all of you.
And we will continue the work of integrating our health and social care services to help improve outcomes and reduce health inequalities.
I look forward to leading a council committed to making Trafford a place for everyone – particularly the most vulnerable in our society and those reliant on the high-quality services we provide.
Best wishes Tom