Delivering on our commitments in 2022

Posted: Thursday 3rd February 2022

The first month of the year has flown by in a flurry of activity, with 2022 showing every sign of being as busy as its predecessor – but hopefully less due to Covid this year and more about delivering on our priorities.

That said, Covid hasn’t gone away, and although cases have thankfully fallen significantly since Christmas, rates are still pretty high in Trafford and across Greater Manchester. As ever, to keep moving in the right direction and keep infections at bay we are reliant on vaccine take-up - and continuing with the other measures that we know make a difference, such as face coverings and ventilation in busy indoor spaces. If you haven’t yet had a first, second or booster jab, please do come forward. All are still available and it’s not too late to protect yourself.

Life in our NHS and social care settings is always pressured, and never more so that in in the depths of winter, so this feels like a good time to thank colleagues working in these areas once again. Your hard work and commitment does not go unnoticed or unappreciated - and we are immensely grateful for everything you do here in Trafford.

Our own big challenge which is facing us is the Council budget – and after many years of cuts in our funding it gets harder and harder to balance. It means some difficult decisions have had to be made. Nevertheless we are determined to ensure that we retain and indeed improve the services our residents and businesses rely on and value. We are also investing where we can and our priorities for the coming year are outlined in our refreshed Corporate Plan, and if you haven’t read this yet please do take a look.

This year has already seen a highlight that will be hard to beat – the completion of the first new social housing in Trafford for over 10 years at Bowker Court in Timperley. I was incredibly proud to join Hazel Bowker, wife of the late Cllr Ray Bowker, after whom the development is named, and Trafford Housing Trust’s Chief Executive Larry Gold for the official opening last month. This scheme will go some way towards meeting the huge demand for social housing in the borough, and is the first of others we plan to open as part of our commitment to help solve the social housing crisis.

And on the subject of goals, we hope to see a few at Old Trafford this year when England take on Austria in the opening match of the Women’s EURO 2022 tournament! I’ve been really impressed by the effort the organisers are making to ensure that the event has an impact throughout the whole year, producing some excellent resources for schools and bringing the Lionesses out and about to meet young people and inspire the next generation. Leaving a legacy of participation in sport and exercise is so important to the physical and mental health of all our residents, and that’s why we’ve approved a multi-million pound investment in Trafford’s leisure centres. It’s an exciting time for sport in the borough, so please do take a look at the proposals.

Wishing you all the best for 2022.