Our wishes for Redditch in 2014

Friday 27 December 2013 Updated: 27/12 12:02

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I HOPE you all enjoyed yourselves over Christmas, revelling in family traditions of eating mince pies, getting up early to cook the turkey and playing board games. My family and I did, but this year our twist on tradition was playing Redditch Monopoly!

For many of us the impending New Year means diets and exercise regimes we won’t stick to, but as current leader my resolution is to continue to improve the quality of life for all who live and work in the borough and I am determined to succeed.

We will continue our commitment to partnership working which we made a good start on this year through locality projects in Winyates, Batchley and Woodrow. However, if improvements are to endure more public and private sector partners will need to get on board.

On a similar note, I hope to continue and strengthen our partnership work with NEW College and local businesses to improve skills growth and work experience programmes and would like to thank all those who contributed to our 50 in 50 campaign for apprentices this year.

I am, like many of you, also wishing for a successful conclusion to the health review and retention of maternity and A&E services at the Alex in the New Year. It has been a long time coming and we all deserve to know the final decision.

2014 is set to be exciting as we celebrate and recognise the 50th anniversary of Redditch’s New Town status. I am also pleased to announce our intention to award Freedom of the Borough, the highest award that the council can bestow, to the Redditch based army reserve 37 signal regiment.

I would like to wish you all a happy and safe New Year and whilst I have no doubt that there will be many obstacles to overcome in 2014, I think it is safe to say there is also

plenty to look forward to.

Coun Bill Hartnett, leader of Redditch Borough Council

REDDITCH 2014 is going to be an interesting and rewarding place with new opportunities and exciting developments. My greatest wish for Redditch 2014 is for people to ‘Rethink Redditch’.

My short time here has been jam packed meeting residents, listening to shoppers, persuading business leaders, presenting to community forums and creating new commercial opportunities.

Everyone has a view about their town, most good some less good, but what matters more than anything is that people care enough to have a view. Redditch is not a place, it’s a community, it may not feel like it at times but its strength lies in its people, because they care.

2014 will be filled with three notable anniversaries - the First World War centenary, Redditch New Town 50th anniversary and Kingfisher Shopping Centre’s first phase construction 40th anniversary. Whilst all three will look back on major events of different scale and importance, the reflection will help influence and shape the future.

For Redditch residents and visitors it’s time to think again, let us ‘Rethink Redditch’. My New Year’s wish is that everyone comes together to play their part in helping the Town Team and the businesses work on showcasing the best of the town. Our ‘So-Redditch’ programme, the Kingfisher Leisure Hub development and the staggering

success of the recent launch of our 50th Anniversary Edition Monopoly with unique Diamond Bus play piece and heritage places is just the beginning.

Ken Williams, Kingfisher Shopping Centre manager

I HAVE had a very busy 2013 - lots of fund-raising for my charity Rafesbrain for brain tumour research at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

I shaved my head in July, did a speech in front of 2,000 zombies at the Zombie Walk in Birmingham and have abseiled down the Wesleyan Building which is about 150ft high!

I have also joined the YPAG (Young Persons Advisory Group) at BCH so that I can help make the hospital even more awesome for young patients.

My hopes for Redditch for 2014 are that it carries on being a brilliant place to live, that the high schools carry on being top in the county and that a new bowling alley or ice rink opens soon for some much needed fun!

My New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 are - to carry on fund-raising and to raise awareness of brain tumours and their symptoms and to carry on being a young ambassador for BCH.

Also I think I would like to be kinder to people and to smile more.

‘Smiling is infectious

You can catch it just like flu.

Someone smiled at me today,

so I’m sending it to you’ :)

Happy New Year

Rafe Walker, community fund-raiser

I HAVE been here over 50 years and I love this town and its people.

I remember when I came here in the 1950s and the kindness and help I received from all and sundry. I have never experience any kind of prejudice in all the time I have been here.

We have different cultures but we are one community and we are all united as one community in this town.

I believe Redditch is one of the best towns in the UK and equally the people of Redditch are welcoming, law abiding people and I love them very, very much.

I would like to wish everyone a prosperous new year and at this time remind them whose birthday we have just celebrated, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who came to give us a second chance and new life in himself.

Madge Tillsley MBE, community leader

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