An interesting year of challenges
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