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The Leader's Blog - June 2015

Hello and welcome to my June blog.

I have a lot to tell you about this month as there is so much going on in Warrington.

Firstly, I am extremely proud to be re-elected as Leader of the Labour group for the next four years, and subsequently elected as Leader of the Council at the annual meeting. Labour retained all it seats in the local elections in May and we will be pressing ahead and working hard to achieve our ambitious plans.

I am delighted to announce that I am now chair of the Cheshire and Warrington Sub Regional Leadership Board and Cheshire and Warrington Economic Prosperity Board. Both boards are collaborations between public sector partners in the region. They are all about identifying and discussing opportunities for economic growth, transformation of public services. I am looking forward to continuing to put Warrington at the forefront of all these discussions and developments so that we can benefit from what is achieved at a regional level.

We are continuing to make sure that Warrington plays a major part with regard to transport for the north and in the HS2 debate.  I attended a meeting in Leeds on Monday, 1 June of all Northern Local Authority Leaders and Chief Executives with HS2 Ltd and the Secretary of State, Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin, who addressed the meeting.  The meeting was also a chance to network with all the northern leaders and I was able to ask a question about connectivity across the country – currently it is quicker to travel to London by train than it is to get to Leeds!

The fire at Mr Smith’s last month was devastating and I know many residents in the town will miss the historic building. On that day, our emergency planning process worked extremely well when Mr Smiths was on fire, with officers going well beyond the call of duty. I want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to them and all the emergency services that assisted.  A debate on a site for the youth zone will take place in the next few months.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Warrington Wolves Foundation and there will be a celebration of the work going on in our communities as well as delivering rugby league development in the town. You can find out more about the foundation by visiting its website.

Following on with our sporting success I must say well done to Warrington Town FC who won the Doodson Sports Cup after a penalty shoot-out last month. This was a great end to the season which follows their success in the FA Cup when they put Warrington on the footballing map beating Exeter - hopefully they will achieve promotion next season!

It is still full steam ahead when it comes to delivering our ambitious regeneration plans for our town. The Business Incubator is nearing completion. The building structure is nearly finished and we are on track for an opening in the autumn. The start of the Times Square demolition last month was a pivotal chapter in the Bridge Street Quarter regeneration journey and the site is nearly cleared. The UTC is set to start on site this month and the extension of Skyline Drive on Omega set for an August opening. The new Warrington West Station planning application is due to be submitted in the near future with a view to it opening in the Spring of 2017.

And that’s not all there is still more to come! We are moving closer to being able to carry out a public consultation exercise in relation to the bridge across the Mersey connecting the Chester Road to Centre Park and just last week plans for £16million Great Sankey Community Hub were announced by Livewire and the council is involved in this innovative project.

There are so many fantastic projects and initiatives happening across our town and we are committed to realising our vision of working with residents, businesses and partners to make Warrington a place where everyone can thrive!