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From left: Cllr Wilson, Anstee

PODCAST | Lessons from the pandemic, with Cllr Elise Wilson and Sean Anstee

Stockport Council leader Wilson and former Trafford leader Anstee, now executive director at Cratus Communications, discuss how Covid-19 has impacted them personally and professionally, and what it means for the future of place making and community engagement, in this Place North West podcast.

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The podcast was sponsored by Cratus Communications and hosted by Sarah Townsend, editor of Place North West.

In a wide-ranging discussion, the trio discuss how the pandemic has disrupted the operations of the public sector, private sector, places and politics in general across the North West, but say there are positive lessons to learn from it that will help create stronger, more resilient and engaged places.

Listen on Spotify

Sean Anstee was appointed as executive director for advisory, public affairs & PR at Cratus in March, having stood down after 12 years that week as a Conservative councillor representing the Bowdon, Dunham Massey and Warburton ward for Trafford Council. Anstee was leader of Trafford Council between 2014 and 2018

At Cratus, he leads the firm’s first North of England office in Manchester, and supports the company’s work in traditional planning communications, together with local government advisory and helping the private sector navigate the complexities of the public sector.

Cllr Elise Wilson was born and raised in Stockport and was elected as a Labour councillor in the Davenport and Cale Green ward in 2014. Prior to becoming leader of Stockport Council in May 2019, she served as cabinet member at the council responsible for reform and governance.

She is also portfolio lead for business and economy at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Questions asked in this episode:

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  • What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to grapple with over the past eight months?
  • What is the role of local authorities in stimulating greater confidence among local businesses and communities?
  • How successful has the move towards digital planning and public consultation been in engaging hard-to-reach stakeholders
  • What needs to happen to ensure that local economies are resilient and well positioned to bounce back quickly from the pandemic-enforced slowdown?
  • What further collaboration is required between city regions, central Government and the private sector to drive that hoped-for recovery?
  • Aside from a vaccine roll-out, what are your top asks for 2021 that would help the region, and the country, emerge robust from a rough period?

Sean Anstee can be contacted at sanstee@cratus.co.uk. Further information at www.cratus.co.uk.

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