Councils set to launch new leaders' board to forge jobs partnership

Plans for nine Staffordshire councils to work together more closely on job creation and skills training have become a step closer to being a reality.

Staffordshire Place - Staffordshire County Council's Stafford headquarters
Staffordshire Place - Staffordshire County Council's Stafford headquarters

The Staffordshire Leaders Board partnership will see the county’s eight borough and district councils working together on key issues including the effects of public health inequalities and climate change.

Next week Staffordshire County Council is due to make a decision over the initiative which involves Cannock Chase District Council; East Staffordshire Borough Council; Lichfield District Council; Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council; South Staffordshire Council; Stafford Borough Council; Staffordshire County Council; Staffordshire Moorlands District Council; and Tamworth Borough Council.

County council leader Alan White said: “The county council and Staffordshire’s eight district and borough authorities already work together in so many ways to benefit residents whether it is collaborating to provide support during the pandemic, or for example, by laying the foundations for business parks to bring new jobs to an area.

“Formally coming together now to create the Staffordshire Leaders Board will allow us to build on these strengths by focusing on joint approaches to the big issues that affect us, including the economy, public health and reducing carbon emissions.

“It also creates an official structure by which our democratic organisations can speak jointly to central Government on how we can deliver better health and prosperity to the county.”

The board intends closer cooperation on a range of subjects including job creation, reducing public health inequalities, improving waste collection and recycling, and addressing climate change.

Councillor White said: “Closer working across our authorities can make a significant difference. For example although the county council has a responsibility for public health, district and borough authorities are responsible for the provision of housing, parks and leisure which all have a role to play.”

The leaders board will also be the foundation for pursuing a County Deal with Government under the latter’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.

He added: “Although we consistently invest in the future of Staffordshire’s economy, a County Deal and the accompanying additional funding would accelerate our work and, hopefully, be the beginning of a long-term conversation rather than a one-off investment.”

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