Archive for February, 2014

Investment success and recognition

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Partnerships are such an important aspect of our work to improve the lives of Staffordshire people.

We had some fantastic news this week that demonstrated what can be achieved when we work together towards a common goal. Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent was ranked third out of 39 local enterprise partnership (LEP) areas for its efforts to attract new business investment and create more jobs.

We were also named one of the top 20 regions in Europe in terms of future economic potential by a team of investment analysts and experts, who pored over masses of data from 468 European cities and regions.

Much of this success if down to the work of our Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Inward Investment Service, which works on behalf of our LEP, with funding from ourselves and Stoke-on-Trent City Council. Their work brings councils and businesses together and strengthens the region’s economy.

By targeting companies in the industry sectors we are strong in – advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, automotive and energy security – and championing Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, the team has helped to bring more than 2,000 new jobs to the area in each of the last three years through relocation or expansion.

The new jobs created translate into better opportunities, prospects and prosperity for local people, who will be healthier and happier as a result. This in turn means fewer people need the services that councils, health partners and other parts of the public sector provide – a huge consideration in a time when our resources are reducing and we face other pressures such as the care needs of our aging population.

Creating the right conditions for business, backed up by aggressive efforts to attract new companies to invest here, will remain top of our agenda. It will support partnership work to transform public services across Staffordshire. More importantly, this success improves the lives of Staffordshire people.

Connecting Us

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

It has been a packed start to 2014, but one of the highlights has been the opportunities I have had to meet with you. Beginning with the Senior Managers’ Conference on 9 January, followed by two Staff Connect events (and a third being organised for 10 February as I speak due to popular demand!), it has meant that I have had the chance to meet with over 350 of you. What has impressed me, particularly in the exercises and Q&A sessions, is how obviously passionate you are about making a difference to local people and putting Staffordshire people first. Example after example has been shared about how you live our values and behaviours among others: doing the right thing, embracing doing different things and understanding the wider perspective to ‘deliver the difference’. I know from comments that have been made at these sessions that inevitably not everyone will always agree with the direction we are taking – change doesn’t come easy and some areas and staff will be more affected than others. Unfortunately, there is no getting around the fact that we need to make savings and if we do not start preparing now for the future, we could end up in a far worse position later on. Proposals in the MTFS budget recently agreed by Cabinet signal how we as an organisation are responding to the changing nature of how we all live.

Your feedback and comments I will take on board, and with the staff engagement survey also running, gathering your views on how it feels to be part of SCC at the moment will be invaluable in us planning for, and managing change, going forward (and if you haven’t completed the survey already,  please visit www.intra.staffordshire.gov.uk/connectingus )

This last couple of weeks, as well as meeting staff, I’ve also been visiting other councils, and it’s brought home, just how proud I am to be in this together with you, ambitious and committed for the future. Thank you.