At the recent local elections in England, IPM Fellow Joe Barratt was elected as a local councillor in his home ward of Bredbury and Woodley, Stockport, Greater Manchester. He becomes the first Labour representative to win the ward in a generation.
Joe’s campaign placed a strong emphasis on securing improvements to the local precinct, with a Community Police Hub proposed in a vacant shop unit to connect residents up to their Neighbourhood Police team. This idea aligns with national Labour Party policy to make the high street a safe and accessible space for reporting and addressing community issues.
Joe also partnered with students from the Manchester School of Architecture to explore what a future vision for the area could look like and hopes to use these ideas as a foundation to build on in the years to come. Following his appointment as the new Shadow Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Sport, Joe will also be working to ensure that Stockport makes the most of its Greater Manchester ‘Town of Culture’ accolade for 2023/24, recently announced by Mayor Andy Burnham.
Speaking about his campaign, Joe said:
Becoming a councillor was never about personal ambition, it was about making a difference to the people and the place that I care about. Now, with the new Shadow Cabinet responsibility I have been given, I’m keen to ensure we take a place-based approach to tackling the big issues facing our community, from rising crime to declining mental and physical health. As local councillors, we have a duty to ensure that our area’s social fabric doesn’t continue to unravel.
Joe and Rosemary Barratt at a community meeting held in the Civic Hall.
Joe’s mother, Rosemary Barratt, was also elected to the Council, becoming the second Labour councillor to represent the traditionally Liberal Democrat area of Bredbury & Woodley. She will work alongside Joe to represent the interests of local residents and will sit on the Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel.
Following the election, Joe has been inundated with casework and believes more IPM members should be putting themselves forward to serve their local area:
As members of the IPM, I believe we have a unique opportunity to apply our understanding of how to improve places in a direct, impactful way within local government. Our commitment to inclusive partnership working and professional place leadership needs to be deeply embedded within our communities and that starts at a local level.