You may have heard about the new One Stockport borough plan, developed by the Council in partnership with all sort of other organisations, including the local NHS, the police, housing providers, charities, the fire service, school and college leaders, and many others. 

It’s still in draft at the moment, but it’s a vision for how local communities and groups can make life better within the borough over the coming decade. One of the elements that I think will be most important is protecting and celebrating the things that make each area of the borough so special and unique. There’s so much to love about both Reddish and the Heatons – including the sense of community, volunteering and Reddish Vale country park – that need to be recognised and made part of planning for the borough’s future.

At the same time, we need to secure real improvements in a range of different areas, such as housing, education and transport. Particularly important will be tackling the huge inequalities across the borough. As you’ll all be aware Stockport is a borough of real contrasts – perhaps more so than any other in Greater Manchester – with both very affluent and very deprived areas. In fact, there are great inequalities even within the relatively small area covered by this newspaper.

The gap between the richest and poorest Stopfordians is stark and this is naturally reflected in education and health outcomes. Sadly, Covid has only made this worse and addressing these issues will be key to the new plan.

I am optimistic about the future of Reddish and the Heatons – and Stockport more broadly. If Covid has shown us anything, it’s how passionate people here are about their community and the lengths they’ll go to for one another, and that’s exactly what’s needed to achieve the aims of the One Stockport plan.

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