Proud of council’s financial position

Dear Sir, — I was delighted that our Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Budget passed the recent full council meeting. 
As a member of the Cabinet, I am proud of the strong financial position we’re in and the fact that for seven years we didn’t raise council tax. 
As a council we are investing £9.8m for 2020/21 in high quality services for our residents and businesses. 
The council spends just 9% of the council tax we collect on behalf of all the authorities (county council, parish and town councils and the police, fire and crime commissioner) and continues to deliver a wide range of services ranging from waste and recycling, leisure centres and parks to supporting local businesses and even crime prevention, despite challenging financial times.
I am pleased that the priorities agreed in our corporate plan — for a safer and healthier environment; value for money services; a strong economy through regeneration of towns and villages; and protecting and improving the environment and responding to climate change — were strongly reflected in our spending plans over the next four years so we’re putting our money where our mouth is to deliver for the people of the Staffordshire Moorlands.
As Cabinet member for climate change, I’ll ensure that we spend our budget in an environmentally friendly way. We want to leave our environment in a better state than we inherited. 
That’s why I am delighted that over the course of this year we will be launching our first report on climate change in the coming weeks outlining our initial strategy for this year, including the Climate Change Community Fund. 
Later in the year we will be launching our Green Infrastructure Delivery Plan and our long-term partnership with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust on recovering nature and climate change resilience. We will also crucially be releasing our carbon neutrality charter that will be the roadmap of how we aim to become carbon neutral by 2030.
I am very excited for the year ahead — a year of green action as we approach COP26. I look forward to continuing to work with residents, parish and town councils, community groups, local businesses, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and Keele University to address climate change in our local area. — Yours faithfully,

(COUN) JOE PORTER
Cabinet member for climate change and district councillor for Brown Edge and Endon.