This is my first review as Deputy Leader and I look forward to providing future updates also in my role as the Executive Member for Leisure, Arts, Culture and Heritage.
However, please let me begin by saying, we have all watched the unfolding events in Israel and Gaza, with increasing shock and horror. The loss of life is unfathomable, and our thoughts are with the many innocent civilians affected by these abhorrent acts of terror.
We strongly condemn such violence and hope that a peaceful resolution is found soon to prevent further loss of life.
We know that some of our residents will have family and friends directly impacted by the ongoing situation and we want them to know that they are not alone and that we are here to help in any way we can.
We will always stand together as one community in Trafford.
Trafford is a borough with a strong historical and cultural background; however, it has been recognised that its resources and traditions need to be showcased in a bid to unlock and boost financial investment.
Therefore, I would personally like to welcome Maria Bota to Trafford. Maria has recently been appointed to the role of Director of Cultural Transformation – and has been tasked with driving the council’s newly developed Culture Strategy forward.
Maria has a wealth of experience including working on the Great Exhibition of the North hosted in Newcastle and Gateshead, in addition to holding a post as Deputy Chief Executive and Marketing Director for Hallogen Ltd, based at The Bridgewater Hall.
She will be a fantastic asset to our team – and we are very fortunate to have Maria’s skills and knowledge on board as we all embark on Trafford’s cultural journey together.
Below is a summary of our pledges:
- We will develop an inclusive approach to cultural leadership based on a set of priorities.
- We will become a creative factory driving opportunities for emerging and established cultural talent, with clear pathways for career development.
- We will champion and nurture cultural communities from the grassroots up and support more hyper-local and community-led activity.
It was great to link up with representatives from across the Greater Manchester Local Authorities during the Culture and Social Impact Fund Committee recently. After listening to inspirational feedback from community organisations delivering a cultural offer in GM, I am even more excited about the arts and culture legacy we are supporting here in Trafford. Further information can be accessed here.
Fancy a trip down memory lane? Well, a free exhibition about Cosgrove Hall, the studio responsible for shows such as Postman Pat and Wind in the Willows, is open at Sale Waterside.
A collection of props and set pieces from stop motion favourites have been saved from the skip – and put on display to the public.
Waterside are custodians of the archive and are working year-round to preserve the collection.
The exhibition runs to 6 January, in the Lauriston Gallery, and is already drawing in the crowds with almost 1,000 visitors so far.
We have such amazing talent in Trafford including the hidden gem that is the studio owned by the world-famous film and animation directors – MacKinnon and Saunders, which myself and the Council Leader, Tom Ross, were fortunate to visit.
Their most recent work garnered an Oscar for the animated production of Pinocchio.
Meanwhile, I also attended a Friends of Trafford Parks and Green Spaces Conference with my colleague Cllr Rose Thompson, Executive Member for Communities and Safety, held at Stretford Public Hall.
It was a great opportunity to hear about the amazing work that our volunteer sector undertakes – and to give them the recognition they deserve.
Their effort and commitment cannot be understated as they strive to keep our community parks and green spaces safe and welcoming. A huge thank you for everything you do.
In my role as Executive Member for Leisure, I‘m currently working closely with colleagues to promote sport, physical activity, and to make sure it is available to everyone.
Our aim is to give every resident the opportunity to move more every day.
Currently, Trafford is seen as an active borough, with 76pc of the population aged 16+ engaged in 150 minutes or more of activity per week.
But there is still more to do – and our focus is to reach those who are not active enough – as we aim to improve the health and well-being of all our residents through investment and support.
And finally, during September’s meeting of the Executive, I was delighted to present an updated report on the Council’s Equality Strategy.
The work being undertaken demonstrates our commitment to improve the lives for our residents, colleagues, and key partners.
Below is an update on just some of the ongoing work:
- A corporate Anti-Racism Policy for dealing with incidents of racial abuse is currently being finalised.
- An Activity Referral Scheme providing low-cost access to leisure centres and community activities by working with Trafford Leisure and Primary Care.
- A piloted School Street, a special pedestrian and cycle zone, at Seymour Park Primary School
I’m really pleased we are making such great progress across the board. Further information about the Equality Strategy can be accessed by clicking here.
It has been a pleasure to share some of the amazing work being undertaken with a clear and unwavering focus on improving the lives for everyone who lives works and visits Trafford.
Have a lovely weekend.