Happy New Year to you all.

As 2018 begins, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone, including many county council workers, who worked or volunteered across the festive season to make sure residents were kept safe and able to access the services they need. We are all very grateful to them and hope they also found time to spend with their families.

This is the time of year when we start to look forward and in 2018 my priority will be continuing to ensure that the county council delivers the core public services to a high standard. Whether this is on highways maintenance, the provision of adult social care or creating the extra school places needed each year, we will be constantly looking at ways to improve services and deliver them in a more cost effective way.

One of the critical areas will be in supporting the growth that’s planned for the county - some 100,000 new homes and 100,000 new jobs over the next fifteen years. The county council has direct responsibility for a number of services such as schools and roads but we also have a role in influencing the delivery of housing. We take this responsibility very seriously and hope to make real progress during the year.

Finally, I hope that 2018 will be a great year for Hertfordshire. We will be working hard for you to ensure that we continue to provide efficient services that contribute to a high quality of life for all our residents.

I would like to wish you all the best for 2018.

Cllr David Williams

Leader of Hertfordshire County Council