Christmas message

Firstly  I would like to wish all my blog readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I would particularly like to send seasonal greetings to the many Staffordshire County Council staff for whom Christmas Day is a working day.

These include many of our care workers who help deliver vital services. We will also have gritting crews on 24-hour standby in case we do get a white Christmas. They are all heroes, and I would like it to be known that I am grateful for all they do.

To say the last 12 months have been busy would be an extreme understatement. In fact 2009 has been the most memorable year during my time in politics.

June’s election success was obviously a highlight. It brought the people of Staffordshire their first Conservative led county council administration for almost 30 years. We were voted into office with a manifesto that promised to improve front-line services while keeping council tax rises low. Those are still the principals that will guide us throughout 2010.

We have already boosted investment in our roads by £30 million. We are improving the scrutiny of health and social services and taking steps to make highways safer, particularly outside schools.

Locally we have begun consultation on proposals for Stafford’s western access route. We also overhauled proposals for new office accommodation in Tipping Street and made them fit-for-purpose. The new buildings will rise in 2010, providing better value-for-money for taxpayers and will giving Stafford town centre a major economic boost.

The recently published Oneplace report gave the public a view of services across the county based on the findings of key independent. The verdict is that services in the county are good.

Finally 2009 was the year of the Staffordshire Hoard, the most remarkable archaeological discovery for decades. There will be some exciting announcements about the Hoard’s future in 2010 so please do keep posted.

Merry Christmas everyone and best wishes for 2010.

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