Message from the Leader - Councillor Matthew Brown
We continue to build back stronger and more resilient after the Covid pandemic and support our residents, communities, and businesses through what is still an extremely difficult time for many due to the current cost of living crisis with significant social, economic and health impacts.
COVID and cost of living increases have exposed the vulnerability that inequalities in terms of ethnicity, gender, income and disability have caused, and this is something the Council continues to address going forward.
Through our partnership working with external agencies such as Public Health and the NHS, we are in a stronger position than before, as relationships strengthen, and this is of great benefit to the Council and residents alike. Through working with our most vulnerable residents, we understand their needs better than ever and have built up trust with people who have reached out to the Council to help them through difficult times. We didn't let them down and continue to support all of our residents who need help navigating through what is still a challenging time.
We continue to pursue our ambitious regeneration agenda for Preston by progressing our Towns Fund Bid projects, particularly Animate, The MET, Harris Re- Imagining project, our support for the proposed Preston Youth Zone and the renewal of other Harris Quarter assets such as Amounderness House.
We also embark on delivering Preston's £5.2m funding allocation from the government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund which will help us to invest in our communities, address the climate emergency, strengthen local business, the economy and innovation ecosystem, and support our most vulnerable residents back into employment.
We also maintain high quality services across the board including waste collection, environmental health, parks, Preston Markets, cemetery and crematorium services.
We remain committed to our ambitious Community Wealth Building Agenda to address local inequalities and put ownership in a wider number of hands.
Our work to promote the 'Preston Model', is just one strand of our Fairness Agenda, which includes important work across the city with projects and initiatives such as revising a progressive social value procurement framework, promoting a Real Living Wage, working with the Leighton Street Traveller Site Co-operative, Advancing a Shared Economy in Preston initiative, and many other community-based and co-operative and collaborative working activities.
We are proud to be progressing the Climate Change Agenda in Preston and our Climate Policy Officer continues to reach out to colleagues and our city-wide partners to better understand what role we can play to tackle the climate crisis.
We continue to face unprecedented levels of financial and economic uncertainty as we continue our pandemic recovery and tackle the current cost of living crisis. Yet despite the difficult budget challenges we have had to face in recent years, I believe that we continue to deliver high-quality frontline services to Preston's residents.
Our ambition and unfailing dedication to Preston remains high. We continue to strive for a vibrant, successful future and are proud to serve this City and of the work we, alongside our partners, continue to achieve.
Councillor Matthew Brown - Leader of the Council