Getting down to business following the local elections and making the most of Trafford cultural assets

Posted: Tuesday 30th May 2023

Welcome to my first blog after the recent local elections that took place in Trafford. I want to start by thanking everyone who took the time to cast their vote. It was great to see so many people exercise their democratic right regardless of their political persuasion.

I must also praise the efforts of all the council staff and others who made sure the day went smoothly from everyone who worked at our polling stations to all those involved in the count at Lancashire Cricket Club, a massive thank you from me.

From a personal point of view I was delighted to be returned as councillor for Stretford and Humphrey Park and just as happy for to see my party retain its overall majority. I must stress though we will continue to run the authority on behalf of everyone who lives, works and visits our wonderful borough especially in these challenging times. As part of this process I have appointed a new Executive who are a talented and hard working group of councillors, and are best placed to help me deliver on our priorities for the year ahead.

Our first full Council meeting saw the confirmation of Cllr Dolores O’Sullivan as the new Mayor of Trafford. I know how much this means to Dolores and I am sure you will join me in wishing her all the best for the next 12 months.

Since I became leader, I’ve focused on giving children the best start in life so that is why I have joined calls for the government to ‘take urgent action to improve a scheme to help struggling families.' I have written a joint letter with Helen Gollins, Trafford Council’s Director of Public Health, to the Department of Health and Social Care asking for Healthy Start scheme payments to increase in line with rising food prices and to simplify the application process.

Surely it can’t be right in this day and age that some parents are having to steal baby food while others are watering down condensed milk because of the cost of food. I hope the government listens to our pleas and those of charities and other organisations working with low income families. They are seeing at first hand the struggles so many are facing.

Finally, we will soon be launching a new culture strategy for Trafford. We have so many cultural assets and events to be proud of. An example is Pride in Trafford, a celebration of identity and LGBTQ+ life. I was delighted to launch the four day event at Waterside Arts and it was fantastic to see so many people, young and old alike join in the fun.

Sports and music also play such a big part in culture in the borough and Trafford will be hosting some massive events this summer. These include Trafford Live which takes place for the first time since covid on Sunday June 18. The event is a partnership between ourselves and the cricket club. Then England men’s football team are playing North Macedonia at Old Trafford stadium the following day in a Euros qualifying match. And one of the world’s oldest cricket rivalries resumes when England play Australia in the Ashes Test match in July.

It promises to be a summer of fun and excitement.

Best wishes