What a great start to the week welcoming Dame Sarah Storey to Trafford in her role as the Active Travel Commissioner for Greater Manchester.
During her visit we discussed some of the active travel projects taking shape across the borough – and I also expressed my commitment to making Trafford a greener, cleaner, and safer place to travel around.
I showed Sarah the recently installed CYCLOPS junction on Talbot Road and White City Way, which is far more pedestrian and cyclist friendly since its upgrade. We also visited the improvements being made to Kingsway in Stretford.
We then cycled to Longford Park to meet members and volunteers from Simply Cycling – a not-for-profit charitable organisation that offers cycling lessons to people with disabilities.
Simply Cycling has been running for around twenty years in the local area. The organisation has a vast collection of adapted bikes so that anyone can ride regardless of their ability. For more information click here.
During the evening, I chaired a meeting of the Executive. It was a busy agenda and further information can be accessed by clicking the link. One encouraging item on the agenda was an update on our spend against budget during this current financial year. I’m pleased to see that we are keeping within budget this year and that is largely thanks to the good financial management we have in place. The overall financial challenges for local government remain critical, but we will continue to manage council funding very carefully.
On Tuesday morning Cath and I had more of our one-to-one catch ups with colleagues.
These one-to-one meetings provide an opportunity for councillors to talk about potential issues or events happing within their communities. I began organising them when I first became the Leader of Trafford Labour Group and the Council – and they have become a very important part of how I engage with members. Over the course of this week Cath and I carried out 14 one-to-one meetings with group colleagues- each one proving incredibly valuable.
In the afternoon, Cath and I visited Broadoak School in Partington, following an invitation to attend the opening of their Artificial Sports Pitch (ASP). The school has benefited hugely thanks to grants from Trafford Council and other key partners. I welcome this investment and know that the facility will be put to great use by all the pupils.
I spent much of Wednesday preparing for the evening’s meeting of council. However, in the afternoon it was great to catch up with Daniel and Jamie who are part of the first group of Trafford Council’s supported interns.
I’m so proud that we provide a Supported Internship Programme that offers young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) the chance to try out a work placement and, wherever possible, move into paid employment at the end of the programme. Further information about the internship can be accessed here.
I was so pleased to hear how much both Jamie and Daniel are enjoying their time with us. At the start of each meeting of Full Council I have the opportunity to update members as Leader. This time I had the opportunity to pay tribute to Sir Tony Lloyd and reflect on the contribution he made to Trafford; I also provided some updates on key projects happening across the Borough.
However, in light of protests that were taking place outside the Town Hall at the start of the meeting, which were connected to the situation in the Middle East, it felt it was appropriate to respond. You can watch my comments here: https://bitly.ws/3c58a
Trafford Labour Group submitted two important motions during the meeting. Click the links to read more.
- Trafford Council is to become a ‘Local Authority of Sanctuary’
- Trafford Labour called for fairer funding formula
I was proud to support both motions and was impressed by the contributions speakers made in support of each.
On Thursday, Cath and I, spent the entire day hosting once-to-one meetings, where we spent some time reflecting on the council meeting the night before.
And finally, on Friday, I spent the day working through email correspondence and reading papers in preparation for next week.
Have a great weekend.