The Leader of Tendring District Council (TDC) has praised the organisation as “the best functioning local authority in Essex – and indeed probably way beyond” in his annual State of Tendring speech.
In his annual address to full council last night (Tuesday, 15 September) Neil Stock OBE (pictured) outlined some of the great work achieved by the authority over the past 18 months.
Cllr Stock highlighted the council’s Covid-19 response, including setting up two hubs to co-ordinate volunteer support and deliver food parcels to some of the most vulnerable residents in the district, and the way TDC continued to deliver all of its core services throughout lockdown.
“Covid has been a massive challenge for the council and I think that we would all agree, the council has done a magnificent job in stepping up and leading,” he added.
Community leadership, which sits at the heart of the council’s Corporate Plan and priorities, was celebrated as a key way in which the authority leads the way “with innovative and a ‘can-do’ approach, as we aim to support and improve the lives of our local residents and our businesses” – whether it be on tackling climate change, strengthening the economy, or providing a better quality of life for residents.
Combined with support from the people of Tendring itself, Cllr Stock described this as forming “a very small part of the wealth of fantastic local effort displayed across Tendring where the Great British spirit of resilience, determination and good neighbourliness has been very much in evidence in our communities, bringing about a safety net for those who needed additional help”.
The speech – usually presented the meeting before Annual Council but delayed this year due to the pandemic – also recognised good work outside of Coronavirus. This ranged from building works on ten new homes in Jaywick Sands which have almost been completed, the Tendring4Growth Business Week, the new strategic vision for Dovercourt town centre, and Clacton’s successful stage one bid to the Future High Streets Fund.
Cllr Stock also looked to the challenges and opportunities ahead, presented both by Covid-19 and existing difficulties posed by health and education inequalities.
The Leader outlined the Back to Business programme as a holistic way of moving both the authority and the wider community forward as the threat from Coronavirus changes.
“There are a number of different perspectives, including the Council getting back to its own business… I also want our Back to Business programme to be focused on supporting our businesses getting back to work and kick-starting our economy… [and] I want to see us hold a Spring festival to celebrate tourism in Tendring. The government has been talking about an additional Bank Holiday at some point, so that could be a great timing opportunity for such an event. I would love to be able to create the opportunity to extend the tourist season.”
In summary, Cllr Stock said: “It is quite clear to me that Tendring District Council is the best functioning local authority in Essex, and indeed probably way beyond. It is imperative that whatever speculation there may be about the future we all continue to ensure that this council continues to perform at the highest level and continues to deliver for our residents in the way that we have been.
“We are a council that dedicates itself to the needs of residents. We listen and create Tendring’s community together. I have a very strong belief that together we can get so much more done with relentless positivity about our district and opportunities whilst always recognising and acknowledging our challenges.”