Rutland County Council leader shares his views on his first year as leader
Looking back over 2018 and my first year as leader, it has been an incredibly busy 12 months during which a lot has been achieved.
As recently as this month, important progress has been made in relation to the future of Oakham. Thanks to a huge amount of work by the community-led Oakham Task and Finish Group, we now have an in-depth report which looks at the issues facing our county town and how we can address these.
A series of recommendations have been approved by the council and work will now take place to establish a Partnership Board that can put ideas into practice and deliver improvements.
I’m hugely encouraged about the future prospects for Oakham in light of what has already come from this collaboration and would again like to thank all those involved.
Looking back over the year, Rutland can celebrate a number of big achievements. Our latest GCSE results were among some of the best anywhere in the country – outperforming both the East Midlands and national averages across all performance measures.
Thanks to the council’s social care staff and NHS colleagues, Rutland was also ranked first in the country for integrated health and social care services that help vulnerable residents.
We also learned that our thriving tourism industry has grown once again – attracting more visitors, creating jobs and generating millions of pounds for our local economy.
These successes reflect the council’s priorities heading into 2019: supporting young people, protecting and caring for vulnerable residents and creating the conditions that enable economic growth and sustainability.
This remains challenging as the demand and costs for key services continues to exceed the funding that we received from government. Nevertheless, we will continue to work hard to provide the best possible services for everyone in Rutland.
Many of our staff will be working throughout the Christmas period – gritting roads, supporting vulnerable people and responding to urgent calls for help. I’d like to thank all those who will be taking time away from their families to help others this Christmas, whether it’s for the council, emergency services or charities.
Lastly I would like to wish everyone in Rutland a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
by Oliver Hemsley
Rutland County Council