An in­ter­est­ing year of chal­lenges

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

THE past year has been event­ful – one of change, chal­lenge and, as al­ways, in­ter­est­ing.

In May, I was hon­oured to be asked to suc­ceed coun­cil­lor Nick Rose as leader of the coun­cil.

Since then, I have been priv­i­leged to meet many Chiltern res­i­dents, lis­ten to their com­ments and see at even closer range how our ser­vices con­tinue to ben­e­fit our com­mu­ni­ties.

I am im­mensely proud of our achieve­ments, par­tic­u­larly in the face of on­go­ing bud­getary chal­lenges.

My ethos has al­ways been about team work – I live by the mantra ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’.

By pulling to­gether and con­tin­u­ing to work closely with our part­ners, we stand to tri­umph in times of ad­ver­sity.

That will be im­per­a­tive in the years ahead with gov­ern­ment fund­ing cuts ex­pected to con­tinue un­til 2018.

The world is an ever-chang­ing place and we have to be ready and will­ing to adapt.

At Chiltern Dis­trict Coun­cil that change is al­ready well un­der way, but al­ways with a fo­cus on pro­vid­ing a high stan­dard of ser­vices to our res­i­dents.

We have worked in col­lab­o­ra­tion with our part­ners and cre­atively within the or­gan­i­sa­tion, to main­tain the qual­ity and di­ver­sity of ser­vices res­i­dents de­serve and ex­pect, de­spite fi­nances be­com­ing ever more stretched.

Sig­nif­i­cant sav­ings have been achieved by work­ing with South Bucks DC, shar­ing the top three tiers of man­age­ment, and we are now well on our way to cre­at­ing shared ser­vice teams across both coun­cils.

We have also saved a con­sid­er­able sum through our joint waste ser­vice with Wy­combe Dis­trict Coun­cil and are now pro­vid­ing an im­proved re­cy­cling ser­vice to our res­i­dents.

HS2 re­mains an area of much con­cern.

We are work­ing hard to achieve the best out­comes pos­si­ble for our en­vi­ron­ment, for res­i­dents af­fected by the scheme and for our econ­omy.

The next step will be a visit by the se­lect com­mit­tee to see the area for them­selves, and a chance for pe­ti­tion­ers to state their case be­fore com­mit­tee mem­bers.

This is an op­por­tu­nity for the in­di­vid­u­als to have their say and I urge any pe­ti­tioner who has achieved lo­cus standi to use it to the full.

Look­ing to the fu­ture, we have elec­tions in May.

This will in­evitably elicit change to a greater or lesser ex­tent, but res­i­dents can be as­sured it will not de­tract the coun­cil from the task in hand – do­ing our very best for the peo­ple of Chiltern.

I wish all our res­i­dents a peace­ful and happy new year.

COUN­CIL­LOR ISO­BEL DARBY Leader of Chiltern Dis­trict

Coun­cil

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