New Year’s message from Malcolm Pate, Leader of Shropshire Council
May I take this opportunity to wish everyone in Shropshire a very happy and prosperous New Year.
The new year is going to be a very challenging time for the council, because the unprecedented scale of cuts from the Government are of a magnitude never seen before. It is clear that over the life of this Parliament, councils will have to become largely self-sufficient, raising their own income locally to provide the services vulnerable people need, and in addition the services that local people want.
This is a massive adjustment to the way our system works, and it’s why Shropshire Council is engaging our communities in the decisions on how public money is spent through the Big Conversation. This is an amazing opportunity for communities to influence everything that the council does. Some people may be cynical and think that everything is already a ‘done deal’, but I can promise you we are listening to everything that the public is saying. We will need your support more than ever as we go forward.
As the public sector shrinks, it is important now, more than ever, that we work together in partnership. A key solution to being able to meet the needs of our communities and deliver efficiencies with a more integrated workforce across public sector organisations. Shropshire Council will be working hard to create fantastic relationships between ourselves, other public sector organisations, the private sector, voluntary sector, town and parish councils, communities and individuals. We can build upon the long-since established resilience Shropshire is noted for.
Developing our economy is vital to bring jobs, prosperity and to increase wage levels. We will be working with the many entrepreneurs and businesses who are part of making Shropshire such a special place by creating the growth we need in the sectors and businesses that are right for Shropshire.
Our county is truly one of the most beautiful places to live and work and we need to make the most of this. Our partnership with the University of Chester will help us bring young people, new ideas and businesses for the 21st century into Shropshire.
By working together we can meet the challenges ahead, build on a great legacy and our heritage, to ensure that Shropshire continues to flourish.
Leader, Shropshire Council