Theresa May paid a flying visit to a local school today – and we were there to ask her about two of the most pressing issues for Altrincham residents: potholes and bin maintenance.
Fresh from dealing with the resignation of Home Secretary Amber Rudd over the Windrush scandal, the Prime Minister helicoptered up to Greater Manchester and visited Brooklands Primary School as part of her campaign ahead of the local elections on Thursday.
Altrincham Today was allowed two questions to ask May for her response to concerns from many local residents about the condition of the roads – despite a recent injection of funds from Trafford Council – and the maintenance of public bins, especially around Altrincham town centre.
Our exchange is detailed below:
Altrincham Today: Prime Minister, the roads around here are terrible, the potholes are awful and work only seems to happen just before an election. What would you say to people who are worried that any spending will dry up on Friday?
Theresa May: Trafford Conservatives have been very clear – they recognise the importance of the state of the local roads and they’ve allocated money to improve the local roads. That’s why I say that Trafford Conservatives are a council that actually recognises the issues that matter to people, not just roads, but keeping regular bin collections and keeping council tax low, the lowest in Greater Manchester.
Altrincham Today: But people do actually blame the deterioration in services such as road maintenance and bin services on the private partnership with Amey. People on the doorstep say it’s been an utter disaster – what would you say to them?
Theresa May: I think if you look at what that has been provided, we see this borough as I think having some of the highest recycling rates across the area and the country, and that’s important. Look at what Labour councils are doing with regular bin collections – they’re actually extending the period you have to wait to have your bin collected. Trafford is ensuring that it’s providing good quality services and keeping the council tax low.
We’re at Brooklands Primary School, where the Prime Minister Theresa May has just arrived on a local election visit pic.twitter.com/qC49zBSLtO
— Altrincham Today (@altrinchamtoday) April 30, 2018
She added: “When people come to vote at the local elections on Thursday, they’re going to be asking themselves who is going to provide good quality local services and lower council tax, and that’s what Trafford has shown a Conservative council will provide.”
May was also challenged about recent reports that reports of ‘high-harm’ and sexual offences have nearly doubled in Trafford in the last three years, from 2,627 in 2014 to 4,668 last year.
May said: “We’re very clear that the Home Office has recently published a document on a serious violence strategy because we see this as an area we do need to work with police forces to deal with.
“Of course here in Greater Manchester the Police and Crime Commissioner is the mayor, Andy Burnham, and he and the chief constable will be making operational decisions about policing, but if you’re going to deal with things like knife crime, it’s not just about policing, it’s actually about a whole range of other issues.
“It’s about encouraging other people that if they carry a knife they’re more likely to be the victim of a knife crime. It’s about ensuring that we’re dealing with those wider issues like drugs as well.”
May refused to respond directly to suggestions that she too should resign in the wake of the Windrush scandal.
She said: “These people are British, they are here, they are part of us. They have a right to be here. What some of them don’t have is documents that show that, and this is an issue that has come up in individual cases over a number of years.
“What the Home Office is now doing is it has put a team in place and we’re reaching out and anybody from the Windrush generation who is anxious about this should get in touch with that team – they can help them to ensure that they have the documents that are necessary and can get that citizenship that we’ve been clear is available.”