Supporting Trafford residents and businesses through tough times

Posted: Thursday 6th October 2022

I know how much the cost of living is worrying so many of you especially as the weather gets colder. Here at Trafford we are working closely with our partners to see what support and help we can provide residents and businesses.

While we can’t pay people’s bills, we are looking to help in a number of ways. A project group has been set up to coordinate support for people in the borough. It involves working with a range of partners including the Community Hubs, Citizens Advice Bureau and housing providers. We are looking at various things, including providing places where people can go to a free, safe, warm and comfortable space over the autumn and winter.

We will also be signposting people to where they can receive help and advice with their bills and we will be communicating the support available over the coming weeks and months.

Financial challenges

While I know money is tight for many of you and business owners, we are also facing our own financial challenges at the Council. The effects of Covid and rising inflation mean it is becoming even more difficult to balance the books and provide the much needed services so many people rely on.

We are also planning to lobby for a fairer financial settlement. The way the government calculates the money it gives councils uses a formula which is outdated and unfair on Trafford. It means we receive the lowest grant per person out of all the other local councils in Greater Manchester and miss out on millions of pounds. That is something we want to change.

However, I have to be honest and fear some of the rhetoric from the new Prime Minster and her cabinet. We have seen their disastrous so called mini-budget which has been widely condemned as being irresponsible. I am worried councils like ours will be become scapegoats and we will be targeted for cuts in public spending to help the government deliver on its promised tax cuts.

Sporting excellence

On a more positive note, Trafford remains one of the country’s top sporting places as it will play host to the delayed Rugby League World Cup 2021 final in November. And thousands will also take part in the Manchester Half Marathon this Sunday. Good luck to everyone in the race which starts and finishes in Trafford.

Paying respects to the Queen

Finally, I must mention my sadness at the death of her Majesty the Queen. She has been the monarch for most people’s lives and it is a strange feeling knowing that she is no longer with us. We had events in the borough to mark her reign during the period of mourning and I would like to thank all my colleagues at the Council who helped organise these fitting tributes. We have a new monarch and I wish King Charles III all the best in his new role.