Leader's Winter Message 2017Published Thursday, 21 December 2017
Featuring news on the council’s recent ‘peer challenge’, the way forward for our core strategy, the future of our refuse collection service and an exciting development in our communications function.
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s peer challenge, led by Chris Millar, leader of Daventry Borough Council, took place in November.
We are awaiting the challenge team’s findings, but during the review the team said it thought we were a highly-motivated, well-run and financially-managed council, with a clear sense of direction.
The team made suggestions, which we will consider fully, when we see the final report.
In an era when county councils face weakened financial positions, the role of borough councils will be strengthened and in 2018 we will be working towards greater representation on the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, as well as a greater role in the Northern Powerhouse.
Our strong financial position will enable us to avoid following other councils that have been forced into collecting household waste every three weeks, charging for green waste and no longer collecting waste paper and card.
I am determined that we will not change our present system of weekly refuse collections and absorb £430,000 cuts in recycling credits from Lancashire County Council.
The last five months have seen much activity at the council, with a new corporate strategy, the creation of a new economic development committee, a new tourism policy and a heritage and tourism trail on the cards.
Next year will see the start of the five-yearly review of the council’s core strategy and we hope to include policies to revitalise the borough with small developments in some villages, identify commercial sites for development and consider the adoption of the community infrastructure levy on newly-built homes.
We will continue to see new homes built for our young people, whether for rent, first-time buyer discount sale, or at market price. In parallel, we will encourage job creation for young people to become a more sustainable community.
Through our public health policy, we plan to become a dementia-friendly council and see more bungalows built for the retired.
To promote all this, the council’s communications group is planning a new web site and we will be rebranding Ribble Valley with the slogan “amazing spaces, people and places”.
On behalf of the council, I would like to wish our residents and visitors a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.
Ken Hind, leader
Ribble Valley Borough Council