I’m very proud to be Leader of Coventry City Council; it’s an honour to serve this great city at a time of challenges and opportunities.
The Council has an overall budget of £233million a year to deliver hundreds of services across the city. But this year we have £95million a year less in central government support than we did in 2010. By the end of the decade this will rise to £120million a year; the equivalent of £234 less to spend on every person living in Coventry.
These government spending cuts are, of course, a major challenge to us and will mean we will have to make some difficult decisions about services over the coming months.
But despite this we remain absolutely committed to improving the quality of life for Coventry people. We will continue to provide opportunities for local people, work with private and public sector partners to deliver more jobs and economic growth to the city and make sure we focus increasingly limited resources on the people who need our support the most.
Coventry is a city of opportunities, too. International companies like Jaguar Land Rover and the London Taxi Company are continuing to invest here, building on our long and proud history of manufacturing excellence, and we will continue to work closely with companies like these (and many more) who have chosen to make their home here and who bring jobs and economic growth to Coventry and the wider region.
We will also make sure that Coventry benefits from the shift of powers from Whitehall to the West Midlands. The creation of the West Midlands Combined Authority means councils across the region, rather than central government, can now make decisions about issues like transport, regeneration and skills. The combined authority has already agreed to support investment in our city centre and we’ll make sure this investment continues.
Coventry also has a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase the assets and talents of this great city to the world. We’re proud to be part of the bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 and the support for the bid from so many organisations, businesses and people is very impressive. It’s clear that Coventry people are very proud of their city and want to spread the word regionally, nationally and internationally!
Our determination as a Council is to innovate so we can make lives better – as far as we can – for the people we represent. The Council Plan details some of the priorities we’ve agreed that will help us do this.
Councillor George Duggins
Coventry City Council