Posted by: westlancashirerecord | March 24, 2017

Chief Executive’s Council Update

 The last two weeks have seen a focus on civic functions, the Council’s role in Lancashire and beyond, and increased work on election planning in the run up to the Lancashire County Council Elections on 4 May 2017. On Monday 13 March, together with the Mayor, Councillors, armed forces veterans and pupils from Ormskirk Church of England Primary School, I attended the Commonwealth Day ‘Fly the Flag’ event and an act of remembrance marking the centenary of World War One. Thanks go to Sue Griffiths, Principal Member Services Officer and Steve Kent, Leisure Operations Manager, for their involvement in the arrangements for the event.

Cabinet met on Tuesday 14 March and made decisions on a number of matters including the Council Plan 2017-18, Corporate Performance Management 2017-18, developing an Ormskirk Business Improvement District, and Homelessness Strategy 2017-2022 (Consultation draft).

On Thursday 16 March I chaired the regular meeting of the Lancashire Economic Development Officers’ Group, and it was good to receive updates from around the county on the range of economic projects in the pipeline, and to discuss a Lancashire response to the recent Industrial Strategy Green Paper. Also on Thursday 16 March, together with Tom Lynan, Electoral and Administration Services Manager, and Susanne Malmgren, Senior Electoral and Administration Officer, I met with Detective Inspector Geoff Hurst, who is our single point of contact for the forthcoming elections, to touch base on, and discuss arrangements for ensuring the integrity of the election.

On Friday 17 March, together with Councillors and other officers, I attended the planned meeting of the Edge Hill Forum. The Forum amongst other matters received updates on Electoral Registration, the Economic Development Strategy and the Local Plan Review. Also on Friday 17 March, I met with Brian Bailey, Director of Strategy and Funding, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, to talk about the approach Blackburn with Darwen have taken to economic development, and how others in Lancashire might benefit from a similar approach to project development in the future.

Tuesday 21 March saw the Shadow Lancashire Combined Authority meeting, together with the usual pre-meeting of Lancashire Chief Executives. I was also pleased on Tuesday 21 March, together with Terry Broderick, Borough Solicitor, to meet with Stuart Ibbs and Stephen Garvey, the Council’s Independent, and Reserve Independent Persons, to touch base and thank them for the important role they play.

We were deeply saddened, on Wednesday 22 March, to hear of the terrible events in Westminster, and to learn of the impact of these on students at Edge Hill University. The Council joined government departments and others in lowering the flag in front of the Council’s offices to half-mast, and observed one minute’s silence on Thursday 23 March, as a mark of respect and commemoration. Our thoughts are with the individuals affected, and their families and friends.

Finally, today, Friday 24 March sees the start of the ‘Purdah’ period in relation to pre-election publicity, and the publication of the ‘Notice of Election’. The Lancashire County Council Elections take place on Thursday 4 May, with verification and the count taking place from 10 am on Friday 5 May at Burscough Sports Centre.

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