A LEADING Conservative politician was in Timperley to help with the launch of the party’s local election campaign.

James Cleverly, the Tory party’s deputy party chairman, spent Tuesday with councillors and talking with Trafford residents.

During his visit, Mr Cleverly invited questions from the Messenger.

We asked:

* Could you please comment on a recent report which put the level of social care for the elderly among the worst in the country, with Trafford Council in the bottom 20 authorities, with more than 40 per cent of the borough’s care homes in need of improvement or inadequate?

“The Conservatives in Trafford have increased the funding for social care to record levels with an extra £4.9 million for social care in the next financial year. That extra money is being used innovatively, the council and the CCG have integrated to commission better care for our ageing population and those with disabilities. This will help to drive up standards in care homes that operate in the borough.”

* In July 2018, it is the 70th anniversary of the first NHS hospital opening by Nye Bevan in Trafford (Park Hospital). If he were alive today, what do you think he would he say are the NHS 's strengths and what would you say it needs to improve on?

“The NHS, of which we are all proud and passionate, is seeing record levels of investment with a series of new medical schools to train new doctors, a new three year pay offer for nurses and support staff of up to 29 per cent and a recruitment drive for new midwives. The NHS is, and will remain, a top priority for the Conservative government."

* In June 2016, this borough voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU but despite allegations of jerrymandering of the outcome by organisations linked to the Conservative Party, what is your view of the way it should proceed from here?

* Would walking away from Europe without an agreement be better than remaining in a Customs Union and the Single Market?

* There is a lot of angst amongst some residents about bringing outside bodies (arms length) to run council services eg Amey contract. Who do you think is better running council services, outside bodies or the council itself?

“On recycling and investment in the region, the delivery focused council means that the One Trafford Partnership has delivered the highest recycling rates for any metropolitan authority in the country and increasing the number of green flag parks to eight, with two more on the way.

“In addition, Conservatives in Trafford have embarked on a major £31.4 million investment in improving roads and highways in Trafford. It is only by voting Conservative in May will this investment to improve roads be secured."

* Our final question, what issues do you think matter to the people of Trafford?

Mr Cleverly said: “Talking to people on the doorstep, it is clear they are very proud of the area and love living here.

“Trafford has the fastest-growing economy in Greater Manchester and has a thriving business community.

“What is true, both locally and nationally, is that a strong economy underpins well-funded public services. The investment that Trafford council has made in supporting businesses is paying dividends locally.

“It is clear that this election will be about who is best placed to deliver good quality and good-value public services rather than national or international political issues, and that is how it should be.

"Conservatives in Trafford charge less but deliver more.”