Cllr Char­lotte Haitham Tay­lor, Leader of Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS -

SEVEN months ago, I had the enor­mous priv­i­lege of be­ing elected Leader of Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil.

It was my good for­tune to take the helm amidst what the an­cient Chi­nese curse called “in­ter­est­ing times”, lo­cally and glob­ally, in­ter­nally and ex­ter­nally. This is not the oc­ca­sion for a Brexit re­view, other than to note that our area is home to con­sid­er­able in­ward in­vest­ment and many lead­ing tech­nol­ogy and ser­vices busi­nesses, with which our Coun­cil is en­gag­ing to en­sure our area’s con­tin­ued pros­per­ity, as Bri­tain pre­pares to leave the Sin­gle Mar­ket, the Cus­toms Union and the other eco­nomic in­sti­tu­tions of the Euro­pean Union.

Lo­cally we have had much to do around the Coun­cil, start­ing with chang­ing the way we work, in or­der to de­liver bet­ter ser­vices with even greater pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Ex­ter­nally we have been forg­ing ahead with the re­gen­er­a­tion of Wok­ing­ham town cen­tre, ap­proved ma­jor ren­o­va­tions to our leisure cen­tres, and fought to ob­tain more money for our area, par­tic­u­larly for this bor­ough’s ex­cel­lent schools.

We’re all look­ing for­ward to another busy year in 2018.

In the last sev­eral months as Leader I have tried to get out and about as much as pos­si­ble, talk­ing with as many lo­cal peo­ple as I can.

The Coun­cil can­not and will not al­ways get ev­ery­thing right.

When things don’t go so well, we want to have a di­a­logue with you – ex­plain­ing what’s go­ing on and what we’re do­ing to im­prove mat­ters; lis­ten­ing to you about your pri­or­i­ties and how you think we could do things dif­fer­ently.

As Christ­mas ap­proaches, I would like to men­tion the nu­mer­ous vol­un­teers in our com­mu­nity who will be tak­ing time away from their fam­i­lies over this festive pe­riod.

They work tire­lessly in our com­mu­nity, par­tic­u­larly with some of our most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple.

This bor­ough has al­ways stood on the shoul­ders of these gi­ants – they are true foun­da­tion stones.

On be­half of all coun­cil­lors and coun­cil of­fi­cers, I want to sin­cerely thank all of our in­cred­i­ble vol­un­teers for ev­ery­thing they do to make Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough a great place to live and work – as ev­i­denced again last week in the Hal­i­fax Qual­ity of Life sur­vey.

I wish you all a very Merry Christ­mas and a Happy New Year.

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