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Leader of Worcester City Council in pledge to young people
THE leader of Worcester City Council says he is determined to improve the plight of young people – and insists voters will have “clear targets” to measure him by come election time.
Councillor Adrian Gregson, who took over in May, says despite tough financial times the city can become a better place.
A new blueprint has been revealed which highlights the key aims of his administration, which focuses on regenerating the city centre and boosting youngsters’ lives.
It includes getting more unemployed young people into work, increasing the number of actual businesses in Worcester and creating a “skills board” so the council can forge closer links with the university, college and sixth form.
Coun Gregson says he can be held to account on those aims, and says it is right to set sights high despite public spending reductions.
He said: “There is a clear demand and a need for more people to be in a position to be able to get jobs in the city when those positions arise.
“There is a real opportunity here which is embedded in what the Worcestershire LEP (Local Enterprise Partner-ship) is trying to do.
“Although we’re facing an economic challenge as a council, as are people in general, there has to be an ambition to develop the city and really lay down a marker.
“We want to pull together our partners (other leading organisations) and be an ambitious city – we are the organisation which represents the whole of the city, so let’s take this opportunity.”
The blueprint, first revea-led by your Worcester News in August, also includes fresh dialogue with the county council over finally resolving some of Worcester’s traffic congestion problems.
It also calls for better signage in the city to boost tourism, and reductions in the number of NEETs in Worcester – those not in employment, education or training.
Known as the strategic framework, it will go out for public consultation following a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
The next set of council elections are due next summer, when a third of the 35 city politicians will be facing the voters.
Simon Geraghty, leader of the opposition Tory group, said: “We know that whoever runs the city, they can’t have it all – some of these things will have to ‘give’ and I wonder what that will be.”
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