June 2015

Welcome to my first Mayors Blog of the new Alcester Town Council, I am Professor Cllr Clive Neal-Sturgess and I will be supported by Elle my wife and Consort, together with my lifelong friend and Deputy Mayor Professor Cllr Chris Brannigan with his consort Jennifer.
By way of an introduction, my background is that after 8 years in industry I went to the University of Birmingham to do a PhD, and stayed. I eventually became the Jaguar Professor of Automobile Technology, a post which I held for 23 years; and became Head of Mechanical Engineering at the University. For the last 15 years I was in full time employment ( I am now an Emeritus Professor and part time) I was the Director of the Automotive Safety Centre, where we investigated 7500 real world car crashes, and fed the results on to the National Database.

As I said in the newsletter, all years are important years for a Council, but this year may be very important. The epic of the Greig continues after incredible efforts by many Councillors and the Clerk. As I write this ownership of the site has still not been transferred from the Trustees to SDC.

Until that happens we cannot gain access to the site and determine the condition, with the potential financial circumstances.

Globe House is a saga that has finally been resolved, again after many years of engagement of the Clerk and Councillors, and we can now look forward to a permanent home. The Council will relocate upstairs with the voluntary services, while the ground floor will become the Library and Museum; so Globe House will be a true Community Hub. This will all happen during 2015.

Some two years ago the government introduced the Health and Wellbeing Act, with considerable implications for County, District and Parish Councils nationwide. A small project group is developing a Flagship Project with WCC to devise a sustainable strategy for Alcester. At the Full Council meeting in June we adopted the overall policy direction of becoming a “Health and Well Being Town” for the next four years. This has also involved the adoption of a new committee structure for the Council, which we are currently implementing, and on which I will have more to say in the future.

We have been working on the Neighbourhood Developmental Plan and Our Alcester, including the Innovation Park, for three years now and we still have some way to go. Due to the ongoing changes to SDC Core Strategy and possible further significant increases in housing numbers, over and above what we have already had; the NHDP is unlikely to be adopted before late 2016,

In conclusion, you can see we have a challenging time ahead of us, and we hope to keep Alcester developing in a positive direction. I will be keeping you up to date through the ATC website (http://www.alcester-tc.gov.uk/) and the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Alcester).
Prof Cllr Clive Neal-Sturgess
Mayor of Alcester.