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The Leader's blog, March 2013

Hello and welcome to my latest blog. Since my last post I’ve had a fantastic time going out and about meeting the council’s 26 new apprentices and I’m delighted to say they have all settled in brilliantly.

I visited our new recruits in February to find out what they were getting up to and the enthusiasm in each one of them really shone through. It’s National Apprenticeship Week from the Monday 11 - Friday 15 March and in that week we’ll be celebrating the achievements of the group so far.

It’s important that the council continue to support the local economy and we’re hoping other businesses and organisations follow by example and look at taking on apprentices too. The council’s recent work with the Warrington Skills Commission has highlighted key areas for growth and development in the town and now it’s time we come together to rebuild our economy, and helping our young people gain valuable skills and work experience is a great step forward towards that goal.

The Omega development continues to gather pace, with major investors showing interest in the site. Thousands of local jobs will be delivered in the next couple of years which will give the local economy and jobs market a huge boost. More announcements are planned for the next couple of months so keep an eye out.

In the meantime Warrington continues to reinforce its status as an economic powerhouse, being named as one of the top two local authorities in a national survey as the best place to do business in the country. From a list of 325 local authorities, this is a fantastic achievement for Warrington and I hope we keep this status for many years to come.

It’s the big budget meeting at full council on Monday 4 March, when a decision will be made on the budget for the next year. It’s an important meeting and despite difficult circumstances, the council is doing its best for the people of Warrington.

Wednesday 20 March will mark the 20th anniversary of the IRA bombing, which caused the deaths of two young boys, three year old Johnathan Ball and 12 year old Tim Parry and injured many other people.

The council and The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation have organised two special events to mark this significant anniversary. On Saturday 16 March there will be a civic event in Bridge Street between 12-12.45pm followed by a community reflection event at the Peace Centre from 2pm.

This is a time to reflect about the tragic events of that day which many of us will never forget but to also celebrate how Warrington remained united in its determination to move forward and build a brighter future and hope that as many people as possible can join us on the day.

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