I will be reporting on the following at the upcoming General Meeting and pleased to take any questions on the night:
Since the Summer I have continued to meet regularly with Cllr Louis Stephen of the Greens to ensure our relationship develops into an open and honest one to form the basis of our approach to governing the City. Indeed we recently went on a fact-finding visit to Bristol to learn about the latest technology and environmental approaches to city governance.
We have expended this to launch the City Plan which has been compiled by all 3 Leaders so that we can see consistency, stability and development for the City over the next 5 years, whoever is in control.
Louis and I have continued to meet with representatives from the Football Club in an attempt to find the most suitable location to bring the Club back to the City.
I have also held routine meetings with the Leaders of the South Worcestershire District Councils as well as all the Districts and County Council leadership teams.
I remain on the Board of Worcester Live and the City’s Business Improvement District and Lynn Denham (portfolio for community safety) and I met with the city’s Police Chief, Kevin Purcell to discuss a range of matters.
I opened the Festival of Business on the High Street.
I have also met with the Vice Chancellor at the University a couple of times, and was part of the reception to send off the locally-based Wheelchair basketball Teams to the Paralympics, along with our Labour Mayor, Paul Denham.
At Cabinet we have committed spending and development in skills and the economic strategy; to support the 10k Run which was a brilliant event; to develop the pipeline of affordable social housing; to do essential maintenance at the Commandery; to develop a Tourism Strategy; to further invest in the development of Cathedral Square; and to agree anew timetable when traders can put waste out in the city centre area for collection.
There has been a certain amount of unfounded bad publicity about litter – allegations from the Tories that service standards have dropped since May are false. There has been no alteration in the existing service that we took over in May but the Tories are trying to say so. They are deliberately misrepresenting the truth and using apples to compare pears. As usual, they cannot be trusted to get that story right.
Over the coming months we now face difficult decisions and strategies over the budget which will see the overall Government grants reduce over the next few years to zero This is a challenging budget for 2017/18 and we will need to get it right – for our staff, our residents, our partners, and for the City’s future. You can expect more discussions on this at future party meetings