Congratulations to the new PCC

Following the local PCC elections last week and the taking of the oath ceremony on Wednesday, I would like to congratulate Matthew Ellis on his appointment as Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire. He has served the council well as Cabinet member for Adult Wellbeing, developing and advancing our health and social care agenda in the county as we know it.  He will bring a well refined set of skills to his new role and I trust he will provide great vision for policing in Staffordshire.

Our county is a place where people can live safely and increasingly free from crime and the fear of crime. I am sure that Matthew will continue to build on the work we have done with the Police to ensure the safety of our county and the satisfaction of the public in its police force.

At a meeting of our Cabinet on Wednesday we pledged to support the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) efforts to secure a ‘City – County Deal’ from Government.  We are working with 40 public and private partners to develop proposals and make a compelling case to the Government.

We call it 50 – 50 -10, to accelerate economic growth and create more jobs, our number one priority.  Our ambition is to create 50,000 jobs, increase the value of our economy by 50% over ten years. We want to develop key sites to allow existing businesses to expand and to attract new companies to the area. This will be supported by investment in roads, education and training to support growth and job creation.

We will work on this project to benefit the population of the whole of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in its entirety, taking advantage of our prime location in the heart ofEngland, with excellent road and rail links.

I have also recently attended some topical talks on the EU budget and its effects on the West Midlands in Birmingham. Past European Regional development Fund and European Social Fund funding have saved auto industry supply chain to enable current Jaguar Land Rover investment. Future EU funding will be locally delivered with the LEP and the promising City Deal. Every meeting has one worthwhile fact and this one was “we need to put aside feelings of prejudice and jealousy in new partnership working”.

We all have our own memories of the London Olympics. Thousands of you came out to see the torch as it past through Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, or maybe you cheered at your TV screen when Britain’s athletes won one of their many gold medals, or maybe you were lucky enough to visit London and watch the games live.  Volunteers made the Olympics the success it was, and we celebrated their success on Wednesday night at the new St George’s National FA Centre in Burton.  I met many volunteers and some of our crowning Olympians, including Anna Watkins and Lee Pearson. It was a great evening and I hope it put across our appreciation of the county’s volunteers efforts.

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