Delivering strong public services by growing local economy

I know I am in danger of repeating myself but growing Staffordshire’s economy is a vital part of our plan to deliver strong public services and care for the vulnerable as we look to the future.

We know that from 2020 local councils will have to pay their own way, without Government help and this means raising funds from the collection of things like business rates and council tax.

Our economy is second only to Birmingham’s in the Midlands, the number of people seeking work in the county has reached record lows and we continue to lay the foundations for future expansion through multi-million pound infrastructure projects.

Our overall economy has grown by 20 per cent, and the manufacturing sector by 50 per cent, both since 2009. We’ve created an extra 18,000 jobs in the area since 2011 and are continuing to focus our efforts on increasing skills levels so people are able to take on the better paid jobs of the future.

We are in a good place because of the hard work we have all put in to get here.  I will now be asking cabinet colleagues to consider our economic report at our next meeting on 16 March.

Good news for Newcastle too with proposals for the new £15.4 million civic hub in the centre of the town moving a step closer.   Plans got the go ahead from planners at the start of the month and the four storey building, which will stand to the south of Queens Gardens, is scheduled for opening in June 2017.

It’s exciting times for the town and will certainly be one of the biggest developments in Newcastle for a generation.  Bringing together staff from the Borough and County Council, along with the Police under one roof will not only make accessing services easier for the public but will save taxpayers millions of pounds over time.

The Hub, along with the new Ryecroft projects, new bigger retailers, several hundred students and workers will also help boost the local Newcastle economy which as I’ve have just mentioned previously has never been so important.

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