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The leader of Lichfield District Council has used his Christmas message to speak of his “honour” at holding the role during 2019.
Cllr Doug Pullen replaced long-standing leader Cllr Mike Wilcox at the helm of the local authority earlier this year.
And his Christmas message picked out highlights of what has been a busy spell in charge.
“What an eventful year it has been, I was honoured to be chosen as the new leader of the council and have been working hard with my appointed cabinet and with all councillors from across the district wards to focus on what matters to our residents.
“We were all impressed with how passionately local people felt about Friary Grange Leisure Centre, and as a result we have committed to investing up to £695,000 in repairs and maintenance to keep it open while we work on plans for a new facility.
“I’ve now signed up for membership, and we hope the new year will see increased use of the leisure centre everyone who fought to keep it open.
“Our campaigns to encourage our residents not to put contaminated waste into their blue recycling bins has been really successful with local people upping their recycling game.
“We’ve also been promoting our Waste Less Plastic campaign, in a bid to produce and use less single-use plastic, which we know is a big concern for our communities.
“We have started our local plan preferred options consultation and lots of people have attended our drop-in sessions and given their views, showing how much people care about the future development of the district.
“Our festive Cosy Homes campaign urges anyone who is struggling to heat their homes this winter to contact our energy advice line for help on 0800 677 1543.
“Christmas is a time to look out for people who are more vulnerable and need help, which is why we will be working with Churches Together to hopefully provide an emergency night shelter for anyone who is sleeping on the streets between January and March.
“We are also progressing work to help homeless people with complex needs into housing.
“Looking ahead to 2020, we have lots of exciting projects coming up, not least the improvements works to the Birmingham Road site, which are expected to get underway in January.
“This work will make the area safer and more attractive before our long-term plans come forward.
“January will also see our Lichfield city centre masterplan public consultation start. This will shape the future growth of the city centre, and includes plans for our Birmingham Road site.
“We hope lots of local people, visitors and stakeholders will read the draft masterplan and give us their views once the consultation period is open.
Work on our Strategic Plan, that sets out our vision for the district up to 2024, is underway and we will be holding focus groups to make sure we have selected the right priorities.
“We are also looking forward to launching our new Lichfield Community Lottery later in the year, which will raise thousands of pounds to support local community groups, clubs and charities.
“In the meantime, there is always so much to look forward to at Christmas across the district and I would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.”Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council