When I became Leader of Cheshire East Council in early 2016 it certainly wasn’t an easy time nor did it become easier as matters came to attention which, as you know, I have ultimately referred to the police for consideration; I soon came to realise that a key component of leadership is about making those brave decisions, standing up for what is right. That is what I have done and in so doing have been supported by Conservative Members. Under my leadership councillors are able to (and do) speak out. Information is shared and in spite of the headlines the governance of the Council is now alive and well.
We have a balanced budget with a responsible level of council tax, which this year includes 1% solely to assist with children services. The Council’s budget relies heavily on your council tax and the vibrancy of the economy; Cheshire East is a business like, financially independent council and whilst delivering over 500 services our focus is about enabling you, our residents, our communities. We have many award winning services, we have invested in and retained our libraries, we support our schools in achieving there fantastic performance and continue to lobby government for Schools Funding which is Fair to Cheshire East.
The numbers of young people not in education or employment or training (NEETS) continues to be one of the lowest in the country. We have retained our Children’s Centres and enhanced their reach via the provision of a mobile unit and now we are looking to expand the support available, in particular, for working families.
We have sourced major highway infrastructure funding to improve connectivity of the Borough, from Crewe Green Roundabout in the South, to Poynton Relief Road in the North. Work has just started on the much needed Congleton Relief Road. We continue to repair and maintain our roads; we are investing £4.6 million of additional government funding in highway repairs, potholes, drains and lighting.
We will continue to operate the “Little Bus Service” to support residents without access to public transport.
In Conservative led Cheshire East, services are award winning, but we are not complacent. “Our Plan” illustrates the ambition not only for our council but most importantly for you.
We are getting on with the job of leading in local government responsibly. We have a plan, show your support for your Local Conservative Candidate on May 2nd and be part of it.