We are now a month into the new year and already 2019 is shaping up to be a momentous one with the exciting commencement of the new BCP Council on 1 April.
A time of significant change can bring a level of uncertainty into people’s lives but embracing the change and remaining informed on the future will ensure our transition into the new council will be a seamless one. Poole’s ethos will remain the same – we will continue to deliver our services to the very best of our abilities, whilst striving to be successful as a combined council. We remain committed to respecting and retaining each town’s history and heritage, so that every area can succeed in its own right as part of one team, one Council, unified.
I have been the Leader of Poole Council for nearly four years now, having been a councillor since 2007. Over the years, it has been a pleasure to see Poole prosper and flourish into the vibrant, multicultural town that it is today. Our achievements over the last four years continue to highlight our commitment to improving Poole and marking its status on the map.
Words of thanks must go to the Members and Officers who have worked tirelessly over the last four years to deliver our Corporate Strategy during a period of significant financial challenge. Our achievements – detailed in Poole’s Performance story – include the major transport schemes that continue to improve access in and around Poole, with the most recent Hunger Hill / Townside improvements receiving very encouraging feedback. Our parks and open spaces continue to attract and delight visitors every year, and in addition, Poole has achieved the highest ever recycling rate, in excess of both the UK and EU targets, showing our increasing awareness for the environment and pride in the town we live and work in. Achievements for us all to be proud of and growth that has been my privilege to have overseen.
In the coming months and years, our town centre regeneration work will see the development of the new cinema complex at the Dolphin Centre; a new bus station and better connectivity to the railway station; over 400 new homes; a new hotel; a leisure centre and swimming pool; and attractive public spaces with improved pedestrian and cycling facilities. This is all part of our ‘Poole Progress’ vision for a prosperous future, attracting more people into our conurbation to live, work and visit, whilst retaining and celebrating our unique heritage and culture. These improvements will make Poole a leading town within the South West, which will be of benefit to all.
Our budgets are balanced going forward which is a huge achievement as our ambition through our Poole2020 financial strategy was to deliver sustainable budgets that rely less on the use of reserves, and we have been committed to ensure this happens.
The next Shadow Executive Board will be a busy one with many key decisions being taken before the formation of the BCP Council. The BCP programme is on course for inauguration on 1 April, and has most recently concluded the recruitment for the Tier 2 Director posts with an experienced and robust team leading Poole into a strong and sustainable BCP future, which is something I am looking forward to experiencing alongside you all.
Thanks for reading,