PEMBROKESHIRE faces tough decisions in 2024, Council Leader David Simpson has said in his new year address.
Cllr Simpson said: “Happy New Year to you all. I hope you have enjoyed time with friends and family this festive season.
“As we welcome 2024, I want to thank the Pembrokeshire public for their support over the past 12 months.
“I would also like to thank the elected members and council staff for their efforts throughout 2023 towards maintaining and providing quality services to Pembrokeshire residents.
“Looking back, there is much to be proud of, including the successful Celtic Freeport bid, the building of vital council houses, sporting success with Ironman and other high-profile events.
“I am proud of what we have achieved as an authority in 2023. The opening of Haverfordwest High and converting 97.5 per cent of street lighting to LED – cutting energy costs and carbon.
“The Eco Park construction began and, when finished this year, will support waste and recycling operations and collections.
“I look forward to seeing more of our ambitious regeneration plans come to fruition over the next 12 months.
“The Education Directorate continued to support schools following the pandemic. A notable strength is the strong focus on pupil and staff wellbeing, integral to the local authority’s whole-school approach to emotional and mental wellbeing.
“Since restarting inspections in July 2022, Estyn inspectors have identified many aspects of effective practice across our schools, including developing ethically informed leaders, use of the wider outdoor environment, cohesive planning to develop pupils’ skills and developing the Welsh language with a whole school approach.
“Like all local authorities, Pembrokeshire County Council faces significant budget pressures. As a result, there are difficult decisions to make over the coming months.
“I assure all residents that members and officers will work tirelessly to ensure the decisions made strike a careful balance between making the required savings and maintaining statutory services.
“Tough choices lie ahead, but we face them together.
“There are many things we can be proud of in Pembrokeshire. We should be proudest of the tasks we complete together to deliver the best for Pembrokeshire and its communities.
“I wish all of you a healthy and prosperous 2024.”