We’re now well into the Diamond Jubilee year and the Olympics and Paralympics are over. There has been much talk about this year and the legacy it will leave.
In Wiltshire we have embraced 2012 at every opportunity. Our residents turned out in their thousands to see the Queen and to welcome the Olympic Torch as it was run through our county.
We invested significant resources and in return our communities delivered. They organised street parties, concerts and a range of other events and the boost to the local economy for the event days is estimated at well over an additional £1.5m.
Our communities are strong. Communities that can pull together are more able to cope and are less reliant on diminishing public sector resources. The challenge is how we build on this success.
We have set up a legacy steering board to turn ideas into actions. Working with businesses we will deliver unique networking events, stimulate growth through these networks, and showcase the wealth Wiltshire has to offer.
We will challenge our 18 local communities to deliver at least one significant community event in 2013 and support and enable these events to take place.
We will continue to encourage our residents to get involved in local sports and activities, providing funding and grants to make opportunities inclusive for all. Free swimming for under-16s in the school holidays is an initiative that has been a huge success this year.
Our work needs to permeate through all our services and we have to work even more closely with our public sector partners.
Wiltshire is proud of what is has achieved. Our aim now it to turn this pride into a legacy that will make our county more able to face any future challenge.
Jane Scott (con), leader, Wiltshire council