As I’m writing this, the sun is cracking the flags outside the office window. Great for many of us after recent wet and miserable summers but not of course great for everyone in our communities. I hope that the lovely summer we seem to be having will encourage more people to holiday in Wales this year and come and spend some time with us in Denbighshire, seeing what we have to offer and spending their money in our local businesses. You can find more information about places to see and things to do in our county by going to www.denbighshire.gov.uk/visitor
Getting Out and About
I’ve spent a big part of my time here starting to get to know the County, the Council, the local area, local partners, members and the staff who work for us. I say ‘starting’ because I have a long way to go! So far I have managed to meet most other public sector leaders across North Wales, including;
- other local authorities,
- the voluntary sector,
- fire service,
- and police.
Working in partnership is fundamental to delivering better services for Denbighshire, even more so as resources shrink and public expectations grow.
I’ll also be meeting with local business leaders in the weeks and months to come. Strong and healthy businesses are at the core of a prosperous Denbighshire and the Council has a key role in nurturing and supporting those that are already with us, supporting business start-ups and encouraging new firms to come to the area. I was reassured to find that the Council is already working really hard in this respect; and with business more widely in support of our growth deal bid. I would like Denbighshire to see a growth and diversification in our employment opportunities, both for younger and older people and across a range of sectors.
When I started here I said that I didn’t want to be the Chief Executive that staff never see and never listens. I’ve started already on a rolling programme of getting out to team meetings across the County and across all of our staff, not just those based in offices. I want to talk to them about how their jobs make a difference to everyone in Denbighshire and about how they think we could do things differently. I think that visibility and communication are at the core of successful leadership, as well as leading by example which is what I aim to do.
Starting from next month I will be spending time in each Denbighshire ward with the local Councillors, learning about what the really local issues are as well as learning more about our communities and our beautiful county. Next time I write, I will feed back about what I have found and what I have learned.
Conwy and Denbighshire Public Service Board
I’ve written above about the importance of partnership working; one way in which this will deliver benefits is through the Conwy and Denbighshire Public Service Board (PSB). The board is chaired by health but includes members from both Councils, voluntary sector, Welsh Government, fire, police and other key partner services. On the 27th of June, we held a workshop to scope out ways in which we can support community empowerment. This is a priority that the council own with the voluntary sector and is fundamental in developing the ways and means for local people and communities to decide and own what works best for them. Local services for local people is what local government is all about, after all, and one size doesn’t fit all. People no longer want the council to do things to or for them; they want to have a say and be involved in what those services look like.
Delivering Our Corporate Plan
Our Corporate Plan sets out the Council’s plans for improving life for local people based on the ‘County Conversation’ held with residents in 2016. I’m pleased to say that we well on track to implement what we promised and agreed. The Council is
- delivering more homes and to a higher standard,
- delivering more adaptations to disabled people’s homes,
- bringing empty properties back in to use and progressing with plans to build more much-needed ‘extra care’ housing.
- working to improve mobile coverage across the County
- working to improve our roads
- looking at ways we can better support carers and make sure that the right information and advice is given to those who need it.
Our local environment is important for our health and well- being but also because it attracts people to the County. We are investing in improving our environment and in protecting our properties from flood risk. Alongside this we are investing in our young people, delivering innovative projects to improve their skills, learning, and employment opportunities.
If you have any comments or questions you’d like to ask, please use the comments box or send an email to Judith.firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you.