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Message from the Leader - Councillor Matthew Brown

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Councillor Matthew Brown

We continue to support our residents, communities, and businesses through what is still a difficult time for many due to the rising costs of living resulting in significant social, economic and health impacts. Covid and cost of living increases have exposed the vulnerability that inequalities in terms of ethnicity, gender, income and disability have caused, and this is something the Council continues to address.

Through our partnership working with external agencies such as Public Health and the NHS, we are in a stronger position than before, as relationships strengthen, and this is of great benefit to the Council and residents alike.

Through working with our most vulnerable residents, we understand their needs better than ever and have built up trust with people who have reached out to the Council to help them through difficult times. We didn't let them down throughout Covid and beyond and continue to support all of our residents who need help navigating through ongoing challenges.

We continue to pursue our ambitious regeneration agenda for Preston by progressing our Towns Fund Projects, particularly Animate, a new council-owned £45m leisure and entertainment complex for the city centre.

The Harris Re-Imagining project, that will transform our treasured Harris Museum and Art Gallery, continued support for Preston's Youth Zone and the renewal of other Harris Quarter heritage buildings such as Amounderness House, sees the Council taking a direct role in regenerating our city.

We have begun to deliver a further £20m of Levelling Up funding awarded by the Department of Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DULHC).

Preston's bid - Active Travel

Transforming our Community Infrastructure, aims to bring a better quality of life, health and wellbeing benefits to our residents.

We are also making excellent progress on delivering Preston's £5.2m funding allocation from the Government's UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which is helping us to work closer with, and invest in our communities, address the climate emergency, strengthen local business, the economy and innovation ecosystem, and support our most vulnerable residents back into employment with practical skills and training.

We remain committed to our ambitious Community Wealth Building Agenda Agenda to address local inequalities and put ownership in a wider number of hands.

Our work to promote the 'Preston Model' includes important work across the city with projects and initiatives such as our revised progressive social value procurement framework, promoting a Real Living Wage, working with the Leighton Street Traveller site Co-operative, Advancing a Shared Economy in Preston initiative, and many other activities that develop a more shared, democratic local economy.

We are proud to be progressing the Climate Change Agenda in Preston and our Climate Policy Officers continue to reach out to colleagues, city-wide partners and our communities to better understand what role we can play to tackle the climate crisis.

Our ambition and unfailing dedication to Preston remains high. We continue to strive for a vibrant, successful future and are proud to serve this City and of the work we, alongside our partners, continue to achieve.

We continue to face financial and economic uncertainty, yet despite the difficult budget challenges we have had to face in recent years, I believe that we continue to deliver highquality frontline services to Preston's residents.

Councillor Matthew Brown - Leader of the Council

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