Monday, 3 June 2013

Working in partnership in West Sussex

Time flies as they say, and that is how it feels as it is already one month since the County Council elections.

So much has been going on at County Hall, in particular induction and training sessions for County Councillors. Attendance has been good, with lots of interest in all aspects of the Council’s work. The cycle of meetings such as Scrutiny and County Local Committees starts shortly and the formal work will begin in earnest.

As I regularly mention, the majority of what the County Council does is in partnership with others. Building strong working partnerships has been and continues to be a priority for me. So it was good to meet with the Leaders and Chief Executives of the county’s District and Borough Councils on Friday. There was a broad discussion on the changes to local authority financing, and of course reflection on further reductions in funding following on from the Government's soon to be announced Comprehensive Spending Review.

We looked at examples from across the country on pooled budgets and sharing services. This was very informative and allowed us to think about how and where we can continue to work closer together to drive out additional costs.

This is just the start of a series of on-going meetings with partners. This coming Friday we have our meeting with the West Sussex MPs. This is a chance to have a good discussion about the challenges ahead and how we best work together to ensure we get maximum value for our Council Tax payers.

Sunday 2 June was the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation. At the age of 27 the very heavy crown was placed on the Queen’s head, and the very heavy responsibilities that go with the role fell on her shoulders where they continue to sit to this day.

She has borne her duties and responsibilities with dignity, grace and great skill. The world when she was crowned is very different in so many ways from the world we now live in. The Queen and the monarchy has adapted and moved with the times. She listens to the people she serves and who serve her, respecting their collective voice while maintaining and underpinning the important traditional values of the monarchy.

Her commitment to her role and sense of duty is outstanding, the finest example to all who hold public office, and second to none in the world. Long may she continue.

Best wishes,

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