Trafford Council's recent assessment of its corporate priorities has sparked concern among Councillors and residents, who are critical of the Labour-led administration's claims of success. At a December 11th Executive meeting, Trafford Council, under Labour Leader Tom Ross, highlighted three main priorities: 'Reducing health inequalities,' 'Supporting people out of poverty,' and 'Addressing our climate crisis.'
However, the Councillors argue that instead of Labour celebrating their achievements and awarding themselves a 40% pay rise, the Labour-led Council should acknowledge its failures during its time in office.
**Reducing Health Inequalities: A Failing Grade**
The Conservative Councillors contest the Council's success in reducing health inequalities, citing an increase in the prevalence of adults with depression from 10.1% in 2015/16 (under the previous Conservative administration) to 15.4% in 2021/22.
**Supporting People Out of Poverty: Falling Short**
They also express concern about the Council's efforts to support people out of poverty, noting an increase in the proportion of children in poverty from 11.5% in 2015/16 to 12.4% in 2021/22. Additionally, school readiness, which saw improvement under the previous Conservative administration, has declined to 71.6% in 2021/22 under Labour.
**Addressing the Climate Crisis: A Comparative Analysis**
Comparing Trafford to similar local authorities, the Conservative Councillors present data suggesting the Council has made insufficient progress against the targets they set for themselves in addressing the climate crisis. The number of electric vehicle charging points per 100k population is lower in Trafford (49.2) than the similar authorities' average (66.7) as of October 2023. Furthermore, properties with a Domestic EPC rating of A, B, or C in Trafford lag behind the similar authorities' average (36.7% vs. 46.8%). CO2 emissions in Trafford stand at 1442.1 kilotonnes, higher than the similar authorities' average of 1163.4 kilotonnes.
Cllr Nathan Evans, Leader of the Trafford Conservatives, comments, "On their self-proclaimed top priorities of health inequalities, school readiness, and climate change, Trafford Council is falling short. School readiness is impacted by insufficient school places, and the Council's failure to address this north-south divide requires urgent attention."
Evans continues, "The rise in depression and the lack of action on reopening the Altrincham Minor Injuries Unit demonstrate Labour's neglect of care provisions in the south of the borough. Additionally, the Council's failure to meet domestic EPC rating targets and its contradictory approach to then build all over our green spaces raise concerns about its genuine commitment to combating the climate crisis." Cllr Evans says once again we see this Labour-run council at its best in one breath calling a climate crisis, meanwhile building all over our Greenbelt! Labour do need to get a grip.”
In conclusion, the Conservative councillors urge residents to be vigilant about the risks associated with voting for Labour in upcoming elections.