We will support Ukraine as they escape the horrors of war

Posted: Friday 25th March 2022

Over the past four weeks the horrific situation unfolding in Ukraine has been dominating the news and is shocking for us all. Rest assured we will do everything we can to help, including offering the necessary support to those Trafford residents among the many thousands of people who have responded to the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme. Our thoughts continue to be with the people of Ukraine who find themselves facing unimaginable horrors.

 Closer to home, the recently agreed Council budget for 2022/3 has been our main focus, and we have committed millions of pounds to our schools, roads, towns, businesses, social care and leisure centres to ensure we are investing in our future and driving recovery after the pandemic.

 We are also delighted to have been able to increase spending on local parks and introduce improvements to cycling and walking routes – as must as we continue to address the climate crisis. The investments are part of an overall revenue budget spend of £192.57m in Trafford and an £80m capital investment programme.

 In terms of leisure centre development, we now have an excellent blueprint for how to get this right in the form of move Urmston, which is a hugely impressive facility offering amazing health and wellbeing experiences. It was great to finally attend its official opening this month – due to the pandemic a full two years after it opened – and learn just how successful move Urmston has been in this time, despite the challenges of Covid. The centre already has the highest all-time number of fitness memberships in Trafford Leisure’s 20 year history - quite a feat and a great testament to the centre’s popularity!

 It is now two years since the first Covid-19 lockdown, and while thankfully things now feel very different, unfortunately the virus is still a part of our lives, with cases again on the increase. Our advice remains to exercise caution and common sense and keep using the measures that we know can keep Covid at bay – testing if you are visiting anyone vulnerable, handwashing frequently and maximising ventilation by keeping windows and doors open as much as possible especially as the warmer weather approaches.

 The last two years have also been immensely challenging for our town centres, so it has been pleasing to see two potentially transformational developments take important steps towards fruition. Outline planning approval has been granted for the Stretford town centre masterplan while significant investment in Altrincham town centre has been confirmed with a number of public realm improvements. These exciting projects will make a huge difference to our town centres and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to helping Trafford’s high streets to thrive.

 Finally, we all have a very special event to look forward to in the form of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at the start of June. We know many residents are planning street parties and other celebrations on this unprecedented occasion – and it will be a wonderful opportunity to mark an historic milestone for our country and much-loved monarch. We do hope our younger residents will take part in our ‘design a Jubilee card’ competition – with the winning entry to be sent to the Queen on behalf of Trafford!