Back to school, back together and planning for a better future

Posted: Thursday 16th September 2021

So much of the last 18 months has been about battling Covid, and of course the virus has not gone away, but thanks to vaccination protection it does feel like we’re genuinely in a position to start to learn to live with Covid and focus on the future.

It’s therefore timely that we’ve just launched a public consultation on really exciting plans for development and improvement in Stretford. I would encourage everyone who lives or works in Stretford to spend some time at and find out more about our vision for this area. Boosted by an award of £17.6m from the Future High Streets fund earlier this year, the Council, in partnership with Bruntwood Works is now in a position to make really positive changes in Stretford, which will transform it as a place to live, work and visit. It was great to see so many people joining our first in-person public consultation last weekend at Stretford Mall so please make sure you have your say.

We also have some fantastic plans in the pipeline for Altrincham. The regeneration that’s taken place in the town over the past decade has brought national praise and recognition, and the latest plans will enhance it still further. Go to to find out more and let us know what you think.

This month has seen another ‘first since the pandemic’ moment with a well-attended in-person Trafford Partnership event at Stretford Public Hall. Those attending had their first sight of the newly renovated Ballroom – a truly impressive space – and spent a productive morning considering recovery and renewal in Trafford via a series of workshops and presentations. Thanks to all who attended – it felt good to get together in person again to share thoughts and ideas about how Trafford can flourish as we emerge from the pandemic.

Another welcome dash of normality has been to see schools reopening for the autumn term with less restrictions on students than before, which will hopefully mean an uninterrupted academic year coming up for our young people. As ever, the caveat is that Covid is still a concern, and our Public Health team has been working closely with schools to ensure that we are doing all we can to keep them as safe as possible for students and staff.

One key factor in reducing the spread of Covid in schools will be vaccinations. The government has just announced that Covid jabs are shortly to be made available to children aged 12-15, and we are already vaccinating young people aged 16-17. Covid vaccinations remain the best way of keeping a lid on the virus, so whatever your age, if you’ve not yet had the jab, please do consider doing so. As we move into autumn, we need to do everything we can to keep illness to a minimum and hospitalisations as low as possible - and getting vaccinated is the surest way to protect us all.

Finally, it was great to see so many youngsters taking part in our Summer of Sport which we organised with our partners to offer free multi-sport sessions for all ages. We even got the thumbs up for our efforts on social media from Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford so thanks to everyone who made that happen.

Best wishes Andrew