Christmas message from the Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Harvey
Christmas is a time of reflection and, as I look back, it's clear that 2017 has been a year of challenges but also a year of opportunities.
Over the years, the continuing cuts in central government funding have become a way of life for this and every other council, and we have become adept at finding new ways to fund our wide range of front-line services.
Perhaps our biggest achievement this year has been to build on the success we have had in investing in commercial properties. These generate ongoing revenue streams which are used to help tackle the cuts and protect services. We think that this strategy keeps us ahead of the game and I can assure you that we will always look to reduce any risks by calling in the right expertise at the right time.
Of course it is not just your Borough Council that has to do more with less, Surrey County Council services are also under pressure.
In the winter Bulletin we are seeking to highlight the cuts the County Council are set to make, particularly those which could affect Borough services. These are ultimately decisions for the County Council to make, but we, as the Borough Council, will be using whatever influence we can to protect the services that are important to our residents. We can't promise to plug the funding gap in every instance but I will work hard to fight Spelthorne's corner.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank the residents of Sunbury-on-Thames who had to be evacuated from their homes during the Police investigation into the Parson's Green explosion in September; your patience and co-operation was very much appreciated by all the agencies involved. Thanks also to the Spelthorne staff and Staines Rugby Club for pulling out all the stops at very short notice. Residents are reminded to stay vigilant and report any concerns to the Police.
On a lighter note, I am very proud that Shepperton has been named as the most courteous town in the UK by officials from the National Campaign for Courtesy, a registered charity which promotes good manners and respect. I am sure we all agree that these are important values at any time of the year.
My warmest wishes to you for a happy Christmas and a blessed and contented New Year.
Cllr Ian Harvey
Leader of the Council.
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