news round up
news round up
Welcome to this Winter edition of Stockton News. As you will read in this issue, the Council’s budget to deliver your important services is expected to have been cut by 40 per cent between 2010 – 2014, a staggering reduction of £38m. It is our continuing aim to provide you with the very best services possible and protect our most vulnerable residents. However, as you will read on page 52, these are incredibly challenging circumstances and more tough decisions await in the New Year. Several of our businesses, SNF Oil & Gas, Nifco, Marlow Foods and Chemoxy International have received additional funding from the Regional Growth Fund, which will support their expansion plans and help create new jobs.
HRH Prince Philip and Her Majesty the Queen meet some canoeists
Great news! We are now on site with both the regeneration of Stockton High Street and Billingham town centre. More details are on pages 6 and 12. This winter we have had our usual wide range of events to help us all celebrate this special time of the year. There was the annual fireworks display which was one of the biggest free shows in the country and drew in visitors from all over the region, boosting our local economy. We also had the new festival of light and colour on the Riverside which featured many of our local schoolchildren. They were a great success. At the end of November, Stockton Sparkles begins with a celebrity-packed launch. Further details are in the What’s On section, as well as information on a host of other free festive treats for everyone. A big congratulations to our local schools, their staff and of course, the young people of the Borough, who did so well in their exams this year. Thank you to all the communities who pulled together to support each other during the flooding which was so devastating for residents in part of our Borough. This Stockton News also has essential information to help you prepare for the coming winter. On behalf of Stockton Council all the best for Christmas and 2013.
Pure gold! Once again Stockton has achieved gold in the national Britain in Bloom Awards, this time in the Champion of Champions section. Meanwhile, in the Northumbria in Bloom competition Stockton won Best City, with Thornaby taking Gold in the Best Small City and Billingham scooping Gold in the Best Large Town category. See page 37 to read more about our Borough’s achievements.
Police and Crime Commissioner in place As Stockton News went to print people across Stockton Borough were taking to the polls to vote for their first ever Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). The new Commissioner will carry out roles previously undertaken by the Cleveland Police Authority for the next four years. It means they will be responsible for obtaining the views of local people, represent local communities and ensure the delivery of efficient and effective policing in the area. The PCC will set the Force budget and Council Tax precept (the police element of council tax) as well as making sure Cleveland Police provide value for money.
Stockton welcomed Her Majesty The Queen This summer was an historic one for Stockton as Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh made a very special trip to the Borough to officially open the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee White Water Course. The visit was part of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour and hundreds of school children and thousands of people from across the Borough welcomed Her Majesty to celebrate the opening at the Tees Barrage. The Queen was given a tour of the world-class facility which has recently benefitted from a £4.6 million redevelopment before pressing a big red button to detonate explosives which released gallons of water through the Olympic standard course. Then, after watching a flotilla of canoists and swimmers, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh listened to a performance from the multi-award winning Northern Cobweb Orchestra which had been specially written to commemorate the day. If you would like to find out more about what the White Water Course has to offer visit www.stockton.gov.uk/whitewater or call (01642) 678000.
The Commissioner will also appoint and, if necessary, dismiss the Chief Constable. To find out the outcome of the election visit www.stockton.gov.uk/pccelection
By Royal appointment Neil Schneider
Chief Executive, stockton borough council PAGE 4
Stockton gave a right Royal welcome to a very special visitor recently. Turn to Page 26 to find out all the news and see the event in pictures.
A packed audience to see the spectacle PAGE 5