West Suffolk Annual Report 2016-17

Foreword from the Leaders

We have a real success story contained in the pages of this annual report. The words on these pages represent real deeds and achievements that directly benefit not only current residents but our future communities and businesses.

There is no doubt that by working together we have seen a step change in how we are delivering services and working with our individual communities. With joint working now as second nature to us, we have been able to give extra focus to the issues that really matter to our residents and businesses. We are now more commercially minded, strategically managing growth and tackling the challenge of providing much needed homes to meet the needs of our communities while delivering high quality services.

But we and our communities have challenges ahead that we must face. We now need to build on these successes and that of sharing services. They give us a golden opportunity to use this stability to look at the next step of our relationship together going forward to reach our ambitions and meet the challenges we face now and in the future, for example, against a backdrop of reducing public finances, we need to find new ways to remain financially resilient, while still improving the quality of the services we provide to an expanding and increasingly ageing population.

To remain democratically accountable to our communities and small enough to work with them on initiatives tailored for our residents in village or town, urban or rural. But large enough to have a strong unified voice to drive strategic change and growth to further bring prosperity and jobs to our area. We are an attractive area to live in and for developers and business to invest in - uniquely positioned with good networks and are an internationally renowned area with a range of industries from racing to agriculture to high-tech.

Now we need to build on those successes outlined in this report and look what that next chapter is for the West Suffolk story.

James Waters, Leader Forest Heath District Council

Councillor James Waters

Leader Forest Heath District Council

John Griffiths, Leader St Edmundsbury Borough Council

Councillor John Griffiths

Leader St Edmundsbury Borough Council