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Gwynne column: 'Now is the time for unity'

In his latest Reporter column, Denton MP Andrew Gwynne writes about the change in leadership at Tameside Council and the challenges ahead.

I’m sure that many people across Tameside have seen the news surrounding the leadership of Tameside Council in recent weeks.

It’s been a turbulent time, but as the dust settles, it’s important that we celebrate the achievements which have been made in recent years, whilst looking ahead positively to the future.  

Cllr Brenda Warrington and her predecessor, the late Kieran Quinn, have done a brilliant job leading the council over these past 12 years of Tory austerity.

Our council has lost 60 per cent of its funding since 2010. Labour-led Tameside has been put under unprecedented pressure from a Government that has proven itself to be totally out of touch with local people.  

Cllr Warrington and her team have had a tough job managing this challenge and have done their best to shield the people of Tameside from the impact of Tory local Government cuts. 

Brenda and Kieran rose to the challenge, and we should all be grateful to the work they’ve done. I know that Brenda will keep fighting for the people of Tameside as she continues in her role as Councillor for Denton West.  

Looking ahead, I’ll be giving the council’s new leadership my full support as they seek to tackle the big issues facing Tameside, most prominently the soaring cost of living crisis.  

With inflation reaching nine per cent – its highest rate in 40 years – and working people being hit with the biggest tax burden since the 1940s, the council has a key role to play in supporting local people where it can. The next few months will be tough, but excellent local Government can and does make a difference.  

Beyond the cost-of-living crisis, there are many other areas where work is needed. From improving transport, to tackling health inequalities, and improving our struggling Children’s Services, I know that the council will continue with the job of improving the lives of people right across the Borough.   

Now is the time for unity, as the council cracks on with delivering the promises it was elected on. 

As the Member of Parliament for Denton and Reddish, I look forward to playing my part in helping Tameside Council where I can and being a strong voice for local people in Parliament.

I wish Cllr Cooney and his team well and look forward to seeing what more we can achieve over the coming months and years ahead.  

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