Following the local elections in May, leader of Stockport Council, Cllr Alex Ganotis, looks ahead as he starts his third year in office.
“I begin by paying tribute to the work of Councillors and Council staff over the last two years to both communicate and address the challenges facing Stockport. Over this period alone, the Council has bridged a funding gap of £37million caused by reductions in the resources we receive and increasing costs. This has been achieved by making ambitious changes and reforms to address large increases in demand and reduce costs, whilst ensuring the provision of essential Council services to Stockport residents continues. The Council has risen to these challenges, delivering a record of achievement of which we can be proud.
“For example, Stockport’s first ever Council-owned Housing partnership, Viaduct, has already delivered 350 new homes; we announced the largest ever in-year investment in Schools buildings, and made progress integrating health and social care services through Stockport Together. Our £1 billion Town Centre regeneration programme has continued apace, with a successful launch for Redrock cinema and leisure complex, and progress on the third phase of Stockport Exchange, which will bring another 10,00sqft of premium office space to Stockport.
“However, we face further challenges still over the next two years which will require yet more hard work and creativity. We must bridge a further funding gap of £35million over the next two years, again as a result of fewer resources, increasing costs and rising demands upon Council services. Once more, the decisions we must take to meet these challenges will not be easy.
“Towards this we will continue to make positive interventions in the local economy to drive regeneration and growth, through initiatives such as our Town Centre Living Strategy, and renovation and regeneration of Merseyway and the Market Place. We will maintain our focus on ensuring our growing economy works for everyone, supporting local jobs and projects which encourage active lifestyles through initiatives such as Stockport Local Fund. This is one example of our innovative and joined-up approach to our budget and policy agenda, which seeks to reduce demand in Council services and encourage positive changes in people’s lives.
“I believe we can continue to overcome the challenges ahead and boast achievements which can help equip Stockport for the 21st Century. We will continue working to ensure Stockport retains the frontline services upon which we rely, and fosters growing local economies which work for everyone.”
For more information on Stockport Council and its services visit www.stockport.gov.uk