Weekly Update 4th April 2011

Nomination in – Campaigning begins

As we enter the election period, council meetings will become less frequent. So it’ll be a time to compare the records of the various parties in Trafford and give a verdict on this Conservative Government. I enjoy elections. Too many  issues affecting our day to day lives are taken by the non elected bureaucrats. Elections are an opportunity to challenge and empower. They  allow residents to make a statement on key issues affecting Trafford:

  • Should we be giving away £21m to the cricket club from the sale of land owned in the common good and as a consequence allow a Tesco to be built which by general and judicial agreement, is vastly oversized for the location?
  • And perhaps just as pertinently, even if the council sincerely believed the Tescos was appropriate, should it  have allowed itself to be so under the thumb of the cricket club, that any possibility of improvements  to community facilities were never in the frame?
  • Shouldn’t the residents of Gorse Hill be right to expect improvements to the increasingly forlorn Stretford Sports Centre to come out of this “sports-led project” at the very least.Isn’t it an insult to suggest that the community will benefit, when all they’re getting as a direct improvement is school-access to the cricket outfield when convenient to the club.Has the cricket club been allowed too much lead in determining all aspects of the project? Did they have a track record of investing wisely and project control when they were one of most affluent clubs, for the council to play such a subservient role?

Trafford Council has an increasingly poor record in its major projects. Consider Urmston Town Centre (major delays and still not complete 5 years behind schedule), Altrincham Town Centre (one U-turn after another), Partington (shops closed  ready for development but no sign of further progress). Compare this record to Labour’s in Trafford – Imperial War Museum (world renown), Sale Waterside (bringing vitality to Sale) not to mention the regeneration projects, school improvements that enhanced Trafford during Labour’s terms of office. The contrast is damning of the Tories in Trafford.  If they can’t look after the underpinning structure of our towns, no amount of tickbox service measurements will ensure future generations a place to be proud of.

Monday (and Friday)

Attendance at days 2 and 3 of a five day training course in Manchester on councillors in the community. The course has come at useful time, giving a perfect opportunity to look at things I’ve done well in my first term of office and others that could be done better. It’s a non-political course and there’s members from the two main parties from Trafford and other boroughs in the region. Monday looked at leadership and empowerment, Friday covered negotiation, small scale projects and organisation.


Nomination papers submitted. And in the evening it was the West area Community Panel of Trafford Housing Trust. Not a great attendance for this meeting at Flixton House but it wasn’t a bad evening. We learned that estate walkabouts are now ‘on demand’ rather than a regular event as they have been up to now. In some ways this is better as we can focus on particular pertinent issues and ensure the right officers are there. We will also need to produce a needs assessment for the various neighbourhoods within West area (which includes most of Lostock, but stretches out to Partington).


The turn of the Stretford Community Panel which includes Gorse Hill and the Stretford parts of the ward. Very similar to previous night’s meeting, although better attended and we received a presentation from  iCAN - Trafford Consumer Alert Network Logo Trafford’s Trading Standards.

iCAN (Consumer Alert Network) is a facility to alert members of the community to variouss scamsthat are taking place. It’s particularly useful in relation to non genuine doorstep callers. Anyone can sign up to it and it’s entirely free. You can choose how you want to be alerted. Text, email or telephone message.

Learn more by clicking  on the iCAN logo. The service is provided by Trafford.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Campaigning in earnest. Knocking on doors and talking to residents. And I went to see City v Sunderland. We’re waiting for delivery of semi final tickets but it’s looking increasingly likely we’re two of the unlucky ones to have them pinched from the post van. Ah well

. ..and for the record I don’t think Rooney should be suspended for swearing into the camera.





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