As the new leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, I’d like to welcome you to my very first leader’s column in the Bridlington Free Press.
These columns will provide an opportunity for me to keep residents and businesses updated on council projects, operations and the latest news.
For this first column, I thought it would be a useful to outline the vision I have for the East Riding and explain some of the ways I think that the council – working with residents, businesses and partner organisations – can achieve this.
For me, there are some fundamentals which we have to take care of if we want to continue building on the all the successes which the East Riding has enjoyed over the past 23 years under the excellent leadership of my predecessor Stephen Parnaby OBE.
Well-managed finances and a sound financial strategy have enabled the council to deliver high-quality services year-after-year and to keep investing in superb facilities for our residents and visitors.
Without that solid financial foundation, so much wouldn’t be possible. The challenging economic climate means that the council still needs to make savings of £39million by 2023, which is no mean feat.
It’s a huge challenge but one that I’m very confident can be achieved – and achieved without making huge cuts to the detriment of services and communities.
Key to this will be continuing to deliver on our very strong economic strategy and by attracting more and more investment from both the private sector and from the Government into the East Riding.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of its staff, the council continues to attract record levels of investment when compared to other local authorities.
A strong economy creates opportunity in all sorts of ways, from prosperity for our businesses to increased career options and many other benefits for residents.
The East Riding is already a fantastic place to live, work and visit and I’m passionate about making the most of every opportunity to make it even better.
We can do this by embracing technology and by being innovative and ambitious so that we are working as efficiently and effectively as possible now and also in the future.
We can also be more commercial as a council, to increase revenue and then re-invest that extra income in not only protecting services – to ease the pressure on crucial areas such as adult and children’s social care – but also constantly improving what we already do so well.
There is so much for us to be proud of in the East Riding.
Our residents are the best recyclers in the country and we have some brilliant services and facilities.
Perhaps most importantly, the East Riding is a place of thriving communities and it’s important to recognise and promote the strengths of our towns and villages and to help them flourish for many, many years to come.