HDC leader Sarah Conboy writes for The Hunts Post

Executive leader of the new joint administration at HDC, Cllr Sarah Conboy.

Executive leader of the new joint administration at HDC, Cllr Sarah Conboy. - Credit: HUNTS POST

It is a privilege to be writing my first column for The Hunts Post as the executive leader for the new joint administration at Huntingdonshire District Council.

Our community-focused councillors will work in cooperation towards a greener, fairer Huntingdonshire as we set a new strategic direction for the council.

We have inherited a difficult financial position that means we must continue to work hard on cost savings and value. With the most drastic cuts on services in years, we will have to find new ways to ensure we have a sustainable Medium-Term Financial Strategy.

We have had a global pandemic, we have a cost-of-living crisis, people have had a tough two years already and, sadly, according to expert predictions, they are more difficult times ahead.

While the decisions we take will be made with the financial context in mind, we must be a council that takes time to listen and to really understand where people need the help and support to make a real difference to their lives.

At a council meeting on July 20, I set out the council’s corporate priorities for the remainder of the financial year. The priorities this year are tackling climate change and caring for the environment, enhancing employment opportunities and supporting businesses, supporting the needs of residents, improving the housing situation, and strengthening our communities.

Cllr Conboy addressed fellow councillors at the HDC meeting on July 20.

Cllr Conboy addressed fellow councillors at the HDC meeting on July 20. - Credit: HUNTS POST

The needs of our residents are at the forefront of our decision making. The cost-of-living crisis will be a focus of our work in the immediate months of this administration.

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We will be working with our voluntary and community groups to ensure that we are offering support where it's needed most and are listening to our communities.

We will also be looking at opportunities to focus the resources we have on helping those who are most financially impacted by the crisis and ensuring those needs are well-known and understood to those who can assist in Government.

Working together will be an overarching principle for the council. Central to this is communicating regularly with residents, meaningfully engaging with them in the widest possible aspects of our work and listening and responding to concerns in shaping policies and priorities.

The public wanted more transparency about the decisions being made and the current scope of projects and progress to date and we will focus on making this happen,

We have 52 councillors who all care passionately about their communities. We may have differences of opinion about how we will do this, but this administration will draw on insights from councillors of all political persuasions.

We will work together when we can to ensure that the council provides good services and good value, while considering social value as a priority.

It is by doing these things that we will create a better, greener, fairer Huntingdonshire for all.