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Cllr Nathan Evans is the Leader of the Conservative Group on Trafford Council.

Andy Burnham’s behaviour as Mayor of Greater Manchester shows just how political he is. Residents in Trafford and across Greater Manchester are to have a 493 sq mile Congestion Zone thrust upon them. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority, under instruction from Burnham, is set to implement the largest road charging area in the world, a Congestion Tax masquerading as a Clean Air Zone across the whole of Greater Manchester.

Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the additional tax due to launch in May 2022 will see vans, buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, minibuses, and heavy goods vehicles paying a daily charge to travel in GM.

The amazingly fast rollout by the powers that be (wish they could be so prompt when it came to rolling out electric charging points) of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, means that non-compliant vehicles – those that are from 2017 or older, on entering any part of Greater Manchester, be that Altrincham, Bolton, Rochdale, Bury, Stockport, Oldham, etc will see charges of £7.50 for taxis and private hire vehicles and an eye watering £60 for buses and heavy goods vehicles. Light goods vehicles such as small vans and minibuses are set to pay £10.00 daily charge for so called non-compliant vehicles.

Better yet if you fail to register to pay – you will have to pay a Penalty Charge of £120 in addition to the unpaid daily charge.

The much talked about retro-fitting of vehicles is no easy job. It is estimated that approximately 90 per cent of the 75,000 non-compliant vehicles in Greater Manchester are unable to be retrofitted, conveniently left out of all the reports, meaning small businesses such as plumbers, joiners, window cleaners, bricklayers, and carpet cleaners, etc will have no option but to go out of business or look to pay – and invariably take on the additional debt of a new vehicle.

Help is at hand we are told and if you jump though enough hoops you may be able to receive a grant; we don’t know what the small print says to obtain the mythical, up to £4,500 grant. But the government have enabled this point-scoring Labour Mayor to set a 493 sm mile trap.

I hope those who drove through Labour-run Trafford during the Party Conference in Manchester watched out for our famous potholes – the worst in the north west. Our police force, under Burnham’s leadership, is in special measures with a failed computer system and over 84,000 unrecorded crimes.

When you have a Labour Mayor running the show “King of the North” and a Conservative Government in power you can’t really expect Labour to play fair. At no point has this Labour careerist Mayor considered the impossible situation he is pushing our businesses into. In fact, businesses are the butt of Andy’s joke on the government setting businesses on a collision course with rising prices, a breath-taking grant requirement from government, and inflation in the market place of vans, taxis etc due to high demand; a mayor who just doesn’t care.

We have a mayor who blames the Government. After all no one told him how to “interpret” the original government request to clean up. Never mind that Andy Street, Conservative Mayor of West Midlands, went for a mere five mile charging area.