I am sure you will be aware from local and national media coverage that the way in which local government is funded is changing with councils across the country, including Mole Valley District Council (MVDC), having to become more self-reliant. Obviously, this presents councils with challenges but I believe it also presents us with opportunities, not just to do things differently, but to do things better.Working in partnership with other local authorities is one way in which councils can maintain and improve services within constrained budgets. In Mole Valley, joint working is nothing new but we are constantly looking for ways in which these partnership arrangements can help us deliver even better value for money for our residents
This year we are launching a new Building Control service in partnership with Tandridge District Council and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council. The new Southern Building Control Service will provide first class building control services to our residents and help us compete commercially in a competitive market. We have also created a new Environmental Health team, again in partnership with Tandridge District Council. This enables us to provide a more comprehensive service drawing on the expertise and experience of a wider pool of professionals from both authorities.
We are all extremely proud of the fact that MVDC delivers some of the highest quality waste and recycling services in the country and we are determined to maintain these high standards. A new Joint Waste Collection Contract, recently agreed with three other Surrey authorities, will give us access to the very latest technology and expertise. It will help us safeguard the service and improve it even further, whilst at the same time delivering significant savings every year for our residents.
There are also more informal partnerships that support us in maintaining the district's high standards. This week saw many volunteer groups getting involved in the Great British Spring Clean by litter picking in their communities. The wonderful Friends of Deepdene work tirelessly to maintain and develop our nationally acclaimed Deepdene Trail just outside Dorking (don't miss the Easter Egg hunt!) and the Lower Mole Project and Gatwick Greenspace are two more partner organisations helping maintain our local environment for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of us all. I am extremely grateful to all these organisations and those who volunteer to support them for all our benefit.
Keeping our residents safe and protecting the environment are amongst this council's most important responsibilities. I can assure you that we will continue to explore new ways of working to maintain the standards you, our residents, expect in these and other services regardless of changes to local government funding.