Salford’s City Mayor has reshuffled his team to fill key posts and bring more women into his cabinet.
Councillor Tracy Kelly (photo right) will take over the role of Lead Member for Housing and Neighbourhoods which was held by Councillor Paul Longshaw who sadly passed away last month.
Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “Paul was a great inspiration to myself, the Mayoral team and Salford City Council. Tracy will continue the excellent work he did.
“Paul was a strong supporter of anything which made housing better for local people. He fully backed selective licensing, pioneered by Salford in 2007 and extended to new areas this year and was keen to work with landlords to drive up standards in the private rented sector while taking firm action against rogue operators. He also fought for better services for the homeless and for setting up our own Salford City Council housing company to build affordable and social housing.
“His philosophy was that the local authority shouldn’t just sit back and watch as the market failed to provide the housing we need. He was an idealist, a visionary and an asset to our city.
“Finding a replacement was always going to be a difficult task, but Tracy Kelly’s talent and commitment leaves me in no doubt that Salford City Council will continue to lead the way in Greater Manchester and amongst local authorities across the country on housing provision.”
Councillor Tracy Kelly said: “Paul was an inspirational councillor and a fantastic Labour politician. These are big shoes to fill but I am determined to do my utmost for the people of the city and to do justice to Paul’s amazing legacy.
“I will work to help the homeless and ease some of the housing pressures in our city. Earlier this year a new commission was launched to tackle homelessness, with people who have lived on the streets sharing their experiences and stories and influencing how we shape and deliver our homelessness services in the city. One of the main priorities will be to work hard to make sure we have genuinely affordable homes for people.
“Over the past six years in Salford, we have brought almost one empty home back to life each day to help cope with our housing pressures. This is the fifth highest reduction in empty homes in the country.
“What we’re talking about is co-produced, community-led responses to housing issues and homelessness with a clear lead from the council.
“Those are the kinds of policies Paul Longshaw would have wanted to see and it is an honour to be bringing them into reality.”
Councillor Kelly’s move has led to a re-shuffle in cabinet. Councillor Gina Reynolds now becomes Lead Member for Adult Services, Health and Wellbeing, the position Councillor Kelly previously held.
Her appointment increases the number of women in cabinet roles, a massive priority for the city council.
Councillor Gina Reynolds said: “It is a great honour to take on this health role at a more strategic level. Nothing is more important than peoples’ health and wellbeing. A lot of great work is going on in Salford but there are still health inequalities which we will work to address.”
And former backbencher Councillor Robert Sharpe from Little Hulton will be a new addition to the Mayoral team – taking the position of Executive Support for Social Care and Mental Health to support Councillor Gina Reynolds. At 28 years old, he is the youngest member of the cabinet.
Councillor Robert Sharpe said: “It’s a big challenge to fill the gap which has been left following the sad death of Councillor Paul Longshaw and I wish Councillor Kelly the best of luck stepping into her new housing role. I’m very happy to take on a challenge of my own and step up into the cabinet working alongside and supporting Councillor Gina Reynolds who has already done such great work around health and well-being.”