1/3/2024 9:54:46 AM
3 mins read
The Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, Cllr Philip Jackson, pictured, discussing the plans for a transformed Western end of Freshney Place - reflecting the ambition of the authority to move forward with a more diverse and attractive Grimsby Town Centre.
As we reflect on 2023 as a year of opportunity and challenge across North East Lincolnshire, as the Leader of the Council I look to 2024 and the future with optimism.
The last 12 months has presented many turning points for us as a local authority, all of which are set to have a positive effect on the communities within which we live and work.
The saying goes that ‘Rome was not built in a day’ and those words can certainly be applied when you look at the months of hard work, and dedication that has, and is still, being put into transformational change in North East Lincolnshire.
For almost all of 2023, and during the preceding year, this authority has been challenged with looking at how change can and will happen for our people and our place – neither one of which can grow and thrive without the other.
For our ‘place’ we were given the confidence in our ability to achieve as millions of pounds of Government grant monies was secured. 2024 and beyond will now see our plans to transform our urban heartlands in Grimsby and the resort of Cleethorpes start to become a reality. Freshney Place, Riverhead Square and our support for the new Onside Horizon Youth Zone in Grimsby and a new building for Sea Road in Cleethorpes – examples of what will be achieved.
And for our ‘people’, my colleagues and I were acutely aware of our need to invest in our young people and support the re-building of our Children’s Services team. As 2023 ends we see how that team is now hugely improved and this has been recognised in the most recent OFSTED visit. There remains a long journey ahead, and we know that challenge remains, but it is a journey we remain determined to continue. We will do everything within our power to ensure our cared for children are supported in the best way possible.
Then there is our ‘wider place’. North East Lincolnshire is a determined place with determined people. But we are a small unitary authority and to achieve the best for everyone, I believe we will be stronger if we unite with those around us and see a collective voice heard on the national stage.
That is where the proposed Greater Lincolnshire Devolution Deal comes into its own. It is a deal that I believe is the right one for North East Lincolnshire – and I say that not just as a political leader, but as a resident with family and friends who also live and work here.
This proposal does not risk this borough’s identity – indeed our council will remain the same. What it does give us, however, is the powers and money to unite with our fellow Greater Lincolnshire colleagues to make decisions at a local level about things that will make a positive difference to local people. I do urge you to get involved in the current consultation at www.letstalklincolnshire.gov.uk
All told, it has been an extremely busy year for everyone, and that will continue as our pace of change goes on. I wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved, and to our residents too, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas.
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