Ed Miliband commended Trafford Council and leader Andrew Western on its approach to the climate crisis – but called on central government to do more to support it.

The Shadow Climate Secretary made the comments ahead of talks with Cllr Western, who is also the lead for clean air on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

According to Mr Miliband, who was leader of Labour Party from 2010 to 2015, one of the reasons for his trip to the town hall was to influence the manifesto for a general election.

He told The Messenger: "I think [Cllr Western] has shown he is a great lead on the climate emergency with his record, not just in Trafford, but also in terms of Greater Manchester.

"I am here to talk to him about what he has done so it can then influence the manifesto."

Although Mr Miliband commended the approach of Trafford Council to the climate crisis, which includes a commitment to achieve net zero in the next 15 years or so, he called on the Conservative Government to do more to support it and other councils across the UK.

He said: "A lot of councils want to do more. But they're saying hang on, we have gone to the max in terms of what we can do. Unless central government works with us and gives us the resources to make this happen, we're going to struggle to do what we need to do.

"This has got to be a partnership between central government and local government."

Asked about the contentious Clean Air Plan, which no longer includes a charging Clean Air Zone under proposals revised by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Mr Miliband stated his backing for the scheme.

He said: "I agree with the direction that is being taken. I think the incentive way forward is the right way forward.

"The public want to come with us on this transition. The key for us it to make sure it is in their interests to do so."

This article was written by Jack Tooth. Jack is the reporter for The Messenger and covers anything and everything from within the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford.

To contact him, email jack.tooth@newsquest.co.uk or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.