Looking Forward to 2018 – New Year message from the Leader of the Council

2017 has been a year of real progress for Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council.  That said we remain restless for continued change and for making the very best of our Town for residents.  The last couple of months have seen the Council launch a new website (www.suttoncoldfieldtowncouncil.gov.uk) and produce our first newsletter in the form of a wrap around on this paper.  I would urge residents to give us their views on both.

We have made real progress in developing our relationship with Birmingham City Council (BCC).  We make no apology for pushing Birmingham hard to treat our Town and its council with the respect we all deserve.  So many of our plans are dependent on the operational and delivery capabilities of BCC.  Capabilities that been sadly lacking in the 18 months since our formation in 2016.  The lack of a plan for working with us was a real eye opener and hugely disappointing.  We do not apologise for our approach in standing up for our Town to ensure this changes.  Over the last few months councillors and our great team of officers have been involved in many discussions and negotiations with BCC.  It does feel as if real progress has been made and we all sincerely hope that BCC will now ‘walk the walk’ and deliver for our Town – if not we stand ready to ensure that our Town is not ignored.

The opportunities and challenges for Royal Sutton Coldfield in 2018 are many and various.  The plans for a transport hub in our Town Centre should herald a long overdue revisit of the strategic future of the heart of our Town.  The Town Council has commissioned a transport model and engaged expert advice to make our involvement authoritative and informed.  As important we will ensure residents views are heard and reflected.

We await the publication of further detail around the plans to develop our Green Belt.  Our focus again is to ensure that local issues and concerns across the Town are fully reflected.  These developments will have a long-lasting impact on all aspects of our Town.  The need for transport and infrastructure to be at the heart of plans will continue to be our call.

Alongside these challenges we will make progress in our vision to improve the fabric of all parts of our Town.  The entry of Royal Sutton Coldfield into Britain in Bloom in 2018 provides us with a truly exciting opportunity to bring community groups, local businesses and residents together.  Britain in Bloom is about far more than flowers and I urge the entire Town to come together to show the very best of us.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all residents a happy and peaceful 2018.  As always please let me know if there any issues you would like to raise – simon.ward@suttoncoldfieldtowncouncil.gov.uk