Tameside Council Leader announces executive team as town councils are scrapped
Thursday 7th June 2018 @ 15:23 by Tom Greggan
News Tameside

Tameside’s town council’s are to be replaced little over a year since they were first introduced.

Tameside Council Executive Leader, Cllr Brenda Warrington, announced the changes at a meeting of Full Council last month. The nine town councils are to be replaced with four neighbourhood forums; north, south, east and west.

Cllr Warrington told the meeting: “Combined with changes to the cabinet will be a redistribution of power at a local level, through the creation of new Neighbourhood Forums. These forums, which take over and build on the functions and responsibilities of the former Town Councils, will allow local councillors and residents to have more of a say in the issues that affect their own communities.”

Neighbourhood Forums

The forums will incorporate multiple towns and will each be led by one local councillor.

Then north neighbourhood forum will cover Ashton while the south will cover Hyde and Longdendale. The east neighbourhood forum combines Dukinfield, Stalybridge and Mossley and the west comprises of Denton, Audenshaw and Droylsden.

The town councils has replaced the former district assemblies in a cost-cutting exercise but were blighted by low turnouts in most areas and a lack of power and budget.

It’s not yet clear how much power the neighbourhood forums will wield or if they will be allocated a budget.

Cllr Brenda Warrington explained: “In order for Tameside Council to better align with our key partners in health and the police we are replacing our nine Town Councils with four Strategic Neighbourhood Forums.

“These new Strategic Neighbourhood Forums will focus on local participation in matters which will include highways, street cleansing and community safety. My team and I also intend for them to be a vital link for community and local leaders, where plans developed by Tameside Council can be shared and discussed.

“This will allow us to build ever closer relationships with individuals and groups throughout the borough and I look forward to the work these forums will achieve.”

Cabinet changes

Cllr Brenda Warrington also announced sweeping changes to her Council leadership team at the meeting.

She told the Reporter back in April that she would be looking make changes once she was settled into the role as the Council’s Executive Leader.

At the meeting of Full Council, Cllr Warrington announced that she had made changes in four out of seven positions on the Executive Cabinet.

Cllr Bill Fairfoull

Cllr Bill Fairfoull is the new Deputy Executive Leader, replacing Cllr John Taylor. The one enforced change sees Cllr Leanne Feeley become the new Executive Member for Lifelong Learning, Skills and Employment. She replaces Cllr Lynn Travis who retired in May.

Elsewhere, Cllr Oliver Ryan has been appointed the Executive Member for Children and Families, while Cllr Warren Bray has been given the portfolio of Strategic Development and Transport. They replace Cllrs Peter Robinson and Jim Fitzpatrick respectively.

Keeping their roles on the Executive Cabinet are Cllr Allison Gwynne, who retains the Neighbourhood Services portfolio and Cllr Ged Cooney, Executive Member for Economic Growth and Wellbeing.

Cllr Joe Kitchen was also appointed as the Chair of Council Business for another year.

Addressding the changes, Cllr Brenda Warrington told the Tameside Reporter: “I’m confident we’ve got the right team in place with a crucial balance of experienced colleagues and new talent. We will be implementing changes and plans to ensure Tameside is a place everyone will be proud to call their home.

“My team and I are getting to work on our main priorities including improving the private rented sector, delivering Vision Tameside and the new Wellness Centre in Denton, driving forward the integration of health and social care, improving children’s services and working to ensure we have a clean, green and safe borough.”

Further changes have been made to the Executive team’s assistants, which can be found on the Tameside Council website.