The current leader of the Borough Council of Wellingborough, Cllr Martin Griffiths has been unanimously re-elected and will continue to lead the ruling Conservative group for the fourth year.
At the annual council meeting on Tuesday 21 May, Cllr Tom Partridge-Underwood was also re-elected as deputy leader and will continue to support Cllr Griffiths.
Speaking about being re-elected as leader of the council, Cllr Griffiths said “I am honoured and privileged to continue to lead this council as we move forward with a really exciting period in the borough’s history.
“It has been a pleasure to be part of the success of this council over the last 12 months as Stanton Cross develops further and our other large urban extension at Glenvale Park begins to take shape. Both of these developments will provide much needed housing but also schools, medical facilities and leisure provision, and both will feature large areas of accessible green open space - something that we know is important to our residents.
“Work is starting now on the rebuild of HMP Wellingborough, a project that will not only provide an estimated £80 million boost to the local economy, but also 850 long term jobs and a large number of apprenticeships in the construction stage before its final completion in 2021.
“At present there are more businesses in our borough than ever before in its history and in the months ahead we will see more business and job growth. Our town centre Tresham college campus will be extensively redeveloped and will provide students with a new curriculum and the skills that they need to further their careers and improve their life opportunities.
“The council has experienced a challenge when it comes to homelessness as have many councils nationally, but we have significantly reduced the numbers from over 100 down to 47 by delivering numerous projects. These include, purchasing temporary accommodation, now let with Corby Borough Council as managing agents and also working collaboratively with Greatwell homes on available lets and creating more affordable homes.
“We are working with other local councils to share our best practice, and have been successful in receiving government funding for the Rough Sleeping Initiative to employ an Outreach Worker, as well as Rapid Rehousing Pathway funding to employ a further two officers to work with the housing options team to support local residents.
“Earlier this month we celebrated the 40th International Waendel Walk, which welcomed a record number of people taking part all enjoying the stunning countryside and villages of our borough. There is simply no other international event like this anywhere else in the country and long may it continue. We’re also continuing with Party in the Park, the Beach and the Christmas Lights switch on.
“We have plans to improve the offer in our town centre as our growth continues and we will be improving our leisure facilities including our first 3G pitch at Redwell leisure centre. Along with Parkwood Theatres will be making considerable improvements to our wonderful theatre and with those improvements will come bigger and better shows so watch this space.
“We will continue to ensure we provide what the residents need and deliver on our current commitments to things like free car parking for as long as we retain our sovereign status as the Borough of Wellingborough.
“The coming years will be an exciting time that’s for sure and I am particularly proud of the support we receive from the opposition group of this council to put the resident first and foremost.
“We will continue to work with our excellent team of officers to tackle our challenges and to provide high-quality and good value for money services.
“As we prepare for significant changes to local government in Northamptonshire, with the introduction of two new unitary councils in the North and West of the county, we will continue to ensure that residents are at the heart of everything and that includes putting the final touches to the creation of a new town council for Wellingborough to ensure local democracy is maintained.