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The Leader's blog - August 2013

Hello and welcome to my August blog.

July has been a great month. Warrington was taken over by festival fever when the Happy Mondays kicked off this year’s Warrington Music Festival. Headlining on the Friday night, the popular band were followed on the Saturday and Sunday by a whole host of local bands and crowds flocked to various venues around the town centre to enjoy the music.

Also in July we celebrated 100 days to go until the Rugby League World Cup comes to Warrington . To mark the occasion a charity gala dinner was held at the Halliwell Jones Stadium and all proceeds went into a legacy fund which will be used to support future sports projects. The night was excellent and I would like to send special thanks to Jan Souness and Paul Gallon for their hard work spent organising the event. On the night over £4,000 was raised for the legacy fund which is fantastic.

On 15 July Warrington Means Business was officially approved and adopted by the council. This is the framework which sets out the plan to maximise economic growth in the town and I am proud to endorse and support it.

And whilst we look to the future opportunities for Warrington it’s just as important to celebrate what we already have. We enjoyed another great night at the Warrington Business Awards last month, which the council supports. On the night we celebrated the fantastic achievements of local businesses and the success that has been achieved over the last year.

With the UK economy not growing as hoped, austerity measures must continue. In the 2015/16 spending review further cuts nationally of £11.5bn were announced. Although we face these challenges we will continue to put the needs of residents first and be innovative to create solutions.

At the end of the month I attended the launch of the Brompton Dock folding bike hire facilities, which are now in service at three of Warrington ’s railway stations. The excellent new facilities mark a step forward in providing sustainable transport for people who live or work in Warrington , or who visit the town.

I was also lucky enough to visit Callands Children’s Centre to see a new graffiti arts project that young people in the area have been working on. The youngsters showed real passion and motivation and through the project learnt design skills, project planning, how to use a spray can to create images, and how to add detail to graffiti art and the results are brilliant – they have completely transformed the centre and they should be very proud.

Work on the Omega development is progressing extremely well, with Brakes, Hermes and Travis Perkins all on the North site and construction work is currently taking place. The site only has two development plots left, both of which have occupier interest. There is also interest in Omega South and works will begin in August for site preparation including a new access road.

There has recently been a consultation to seek resident’s views on the proposed railway station at West Warrington. During the last four years, total passenger numbers at Warrington ’s six railway stations have increased by 22%, and housing developments in West Warrington , and a much larger employment base at places like Omega and Lingley Mere, mean much higher demand for public transport. We had a very positive meeting with Network Rail to discuss the plans and hope it becomes part of making Warrington a better place to live, work and visit.

The council is currently recruiting another round of apprentices. The jobs will cover a range of roles, in parks and gardens, vehicle and plant mechanics, in office administration, in finance and accountancy, catering and information technology. There are currently 15 vacancies open so if you think you’re right for the job, make sure you apply. It’s all about investing in Warrington ’s young people to invest in the town’s future.

If you are looking for activities to keep the kids busy this summer, check out the Families Information Service or the council’s website for the latest goings on and events. I hope everyone has a lovely summer holiday and a well deserved break.

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