Jean Stretton became Oldham Council Leader on January 27, 2016, succeeding Jim McMahon who she had served as Deputy Leader since 2014.
In June 2016, she was given the newly-created Fairness, Equalities and Cohesion portfolio in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) following the devolution of more powers from a fourth agreement with Government. Cllr Stretton's remit includes the Inclusive Growth agenda.
Jean believes everyone who lives and works in GM should be able to benefit from our growing economy and transformed local services – and that there are big challenges which need tackling to improve life for people in every part of our city-region.
She was raised locally on Alt Estate and educated at Alt Primary and Hathershaw Comprehensive schools. She has an MBA from Bolton Institute.
Jean has lived in Hollinwood since 1989 and was first elected as a ward councillor for the area in 2003. She has held several Cabinet Member posts covering a wide range of areas that include housing, health and well being, town centres, culture and tourism and regeneration.
In 2013, Cllr Stretton was named ‘Community Champion of the Year’ at the C’llr Achievement Awards organised by the LGiU for what judges called her “inspiring work to help her community in Oldham recover following a gas explosion” in Shaw. Married to John, she has two step-children, five grandchildren and a great granddaughter but describes herself as “a very, very young great granny”.
Amongst her other duties, Jean is chair of Oldham Credit Union, on governing bodies at Oasis Academy and Limehurst Primary and has served on the Contour Estate Board since 2003. She is also a keen supporter of Oldham Foodbank. Jean was re-elected to her Hollinwood seat in May 2014 with a 281 vote majority and 50 per cent of the votes cast.