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By North East Lincolnshire Council Leader

Philip Jackson is the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council

As we say goodbye to 2022, we do so with a determination to enter the new year grasping the opportunities we have here in North East Lincolnshire.

However, we remain realistic of the challenges we must overcome to ensure our adults, young people and families are equipped with the skills and aspirations they need to live good lives. To achieve what we want and need, we must continue to balance our regeneration and industrial agenda with that of investment into our people.

With regards to the former, we have much to be optimistic about. Our success in achieving central Government grant funding means plans for the re-invention of the western end of our main Freshney Place shopping centre in Grimsby are progressing well. We are hoping for more good news early in 2023 when we expect the national LUF Round 2 bids to be announced – a successful outcome will bring further monies to support our ambitions.

Thanks to ring-fenced funding already secured, the reshaping of Riverhead Square in the centre of Grimsby will also begin in early 2023. In addition, our plans for the town centre include introducing modern homes and the diversification of use to attract new and different audiences.

Meanwhile, our young people will be served extremely well thanks to the national charity Onside, which is developing its new Horizon Youth Zone in the same area.

As our adults of tomorrow, such young people will continue to be a priority for us. In recent years, we have experienced rising demand and well-documented pressures with children’s social care.

However, our hope is for real change in this vital area in 2023. With a new and extremely well-regarded Director of Children’s Services now at the helm, our service is going through a major improvement journey linked to our most recent Ofsted report. There is no-one within the council who does not recognise these issues and the support that is required to achieve continual improvement.

Fortunately, we have support. Our colleagues at Lincolnshire County Council, an ‘outstanding’ Children’s Services authority, are helping, and our relationship with health sector partners is extremely strong. We work together and will continue to do so.

On a wider regional level, North East Lincolnshire Council along with its counterparts in North Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire County Council have confirmed their intentions to take the next step towards devolution. Following approval at their respective councils, the wish is to enter talks with Government on the possibility of a Greater Lincolnshire devolution agreement. There is a long road ahead and much to discuss on this issue as we seek to achieve the best possible outcomes for our communities.

As those discussions move forward, North East Lincolnshire will not forget its industrial links with the Humber estuary and the force we have as an economic powerhouse. Our renewables sector continues to grow strongly, along with the carbon zero agenda and our more traditional seafood processing offer. We believe that we can succeed in growing those strong Humber bonds, whilst taking steps that could lead to the creation of a Greater Lincolnshire devolved administration.

Finally, can I thank all of our partners, our stakeholders and the people of North East Lincolnshire who are working hard to effect positive and lasting change. I wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas and look forward to the new year.

Philip Jackson is the North East Lincolnshire Council leader

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By North East Lincolnshire Council Leader

North East Lincolnshire continues to face unprecedented times. The uncertainly that this dreadful pandemic has brought with it has affected us all to a greater or lesser extent. However, as individual communities, we have united and have explored new ways of working, new ways of living and new ways of coming together.

What we have also achieved is a fresh determination to find ambition and opportunity, despite the significant hurdles we have faced and will continue to face.

Over the last 12 months in North East Lincolnshire we have seen many opportunities come our way and that will continue into 2022 and beyond as we look to support our communities – both the people and the businesses. These opportunities will allow us to provide a better future for our young people and families, which we need if we are to continue to develop and grow.

Twelve months has seen tremendous change in some parts of our borough, proof of a willingness to ‘make things happen’. Working with partners in the public and private sector, the transformation of Grimsby Town Centre has begun and will continue.

Our first Festival of the Sea was held across the town centre and showed just how we can blend our maritime past with our future to create a cultural extravaganza. Keep your eyes out on social media and the news for details of the event this summer along with others in Grimsby town centre.

Work hasn’t stopped there, and 2022 will see our urban transformation continue as money secured from various Government and private sector funds is invested.

Alongside this, work will start on the Grimsby Youth Zone in the heart of our town centre, located in the West Haven Malting, a Grade 2 listed building that has been derelict for a generation. This project is representative of this borough’s drive to invest in our children and young people. They are our adults of tomorrow, and we are determined to overcome the challenges that we have within areas of our community to improve the opportunities for them.

With Cleethorpes fast becoming the jewel in the East Coast’s crown, we have plans to further invest in the resort and were delighted to welcome the internationally known Wayne Hemingway to lead the development of a visionary masterplan.

Within all of the above we are threading the environmental and green agenda. As a world-leading hub for renewable energy, North East Lincolnshire hosts some of the leading ‘green’ firms – taking advantage of our unique positioning along the South Humber Bank for their operations and maintenance activity.

Myenergi, a Lincolnshire-grown company leading the way in the design of renewable energy products, has its new headquarters at our multi-million-pound Pioneer Business Park. This stands alongside our award-winning ecological mitigation site Cress Marsh. Such activity is attracting new business and projects of international importance, all of which continues to push our area to the fore.

The re-invention of North East Lincolnshire and our main towns of Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Immingham will be determined by our ability to succeed on an industrial, commercial and social level. It will not be easy, and we must overcome challenges that will continue into 2022 and beyond. But our desire to work with our partners and our community is real and we will continue to push for positive change.

Philip Jackson is the North East Lincolnshire Council leader

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