A couple of weeks ago, it was confirmed that Labour would retain minority control of Stockport Council for at least another 12 months, after the Council voted against a Lib Dem bid to oust Labour.
This is great news for Stockport. A Labour-led Stockport Council has an exceptional record on regeneration and is building more affordable housing than at any other point this century.
I am proud of schemes such as the Viaduct Housing Partnership (combining Stockport Homes Group and Stockport Council) which focusses on building affordable housing alongside creating local jobs and fostering community relationships. This kind of community-centred approach is crucial if we want to make great-quality affordable housing available to everyone.
Another fantastic achievement occurred in 2019 when the Council partnered with the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Homes England to launch the Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation. This Corporation is an innovative and totally unique project, which focusses on tackling housing need and regeneration in Stockport Town Centre West.
The Mayoral Development Corporation have produced an ambitious £1 billion programme and are in the process of delivering several projects which will transform the town centre, including the £120 million Transport Hub which will revolutionise transport connectivity in and out of Stockport town centre. This is all evidence of the tremendous work a Labour-led council can do if given the chance.
Over the next few years, it is vital that this regeneration spills out to some of the outlying Stockport districts. Reddish, for example, has incredible potential for transformation. It has beautiful open public spaces such as Reddish Vale, and we need to make sure that we continue to properly fund and protect these priceless green spaces.
There is tremendous talent in Reddish and with the right investment in transport we could really capitalise on the wealth of skills in the area. I’ve also made no secret of my desire for investment in some of Reddish’s neglected buildings, and Stockport Council have provided me with tremendous support in the various bids that I have made to the Government.
A Labour-led council is a council that takes action, and I’m beyond excited to see what we can continue to achieve over the next 12 months. If regeneration continues to sit at the heart of the work that the Council does, it will be a truly transformative legacy for the borough.