Tom Ross has become the new leader of Trafford Council, following a vote by councillors.
He takes over from Cllr Andrew Western, who has been elected as Member of Parliament for Stretford and Urmston.
Cllr Ross has been Executive Member for Finance and Governance since 2019 and was Mayor of Trafford during 2018-19.
At an extraordinary meeting of the Council this evening, Cllr Ross committed to making Trafford ‘a place for everyone – particularly the most vulnerable in our society and those reliant on the high-quality services we provide’.
He added: “We will use every opportunity to grow our economy and to make this borough a safe, green, and inclusive home for all the people we represent.”
Commenting on his appointment as Council Leader, Cllr Ross added: “It is the privilege of a lifetime to be elected as Council Leader. I would like to pay tribute to my dear friend and colleague, Andrew Western, who has led this council with distinction these past four year.”
Building on existing council priorities to support people through the cost-of-living crisis, tackle climate change and reduce health inequalities across the borough, Cllr Ross told councillors that his early priorities included supporting children who had in many cases ‘borne the brunt of the Covid lockdown’.
He said that it was a ‘personal priority to see’ that children in the borough ‘had the best possible start in life’.
He also promised to make culture a priority, with a new strategy that would maximise the value of the borough’s cultural assets. Cllr Ross also pledged action to address the affordability of new homes in Trafford, describing it as one of ‘the great injustices of our time’.
On climate change, he said that the council’s commitments ‘must remain unswerving’ and that Trafford had the potential to “lead the national debate” given the pioneering work going on to transform Trafford Park into a greener, more sustainable, low carbon hub for industry.
Finally, he told councillors that there would be a focus on ‘getting the basics right’. This includes the small things like fixing road signs or maintaining grass verges.
He added: “If they matter, they must be done well. Our contractors need to adopt that mindset at all times - and we will be holding them to account to make sure they do.”
Cllr Ross added: “I would like to thank Members of the Council for their support. The work starts now and I will lead an administration that relentlessly focuses on creating economic opportunities, social justice and environmental sustainability.”