I would like to wish all the residents of Wolverhampton a Happy New Year and hope that you had an enjoyable Christmas. Nationally 2016 was a year of some uncertainty, locally however we have continued to focus on priorities set out in our Vision 2030 with the aim of delivering an optimistic and resilient future for everyone who lives in our city. Despite the ongoing challenges for local government this year saw significant investment in Wolverhampton, with work starting on the new interchange project at the railway station, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s i10 office block fully let creating new jobs and generating income and external funding used to refurbish and improve the Civic Halls and the Grand Theatre.

Preparatory work commenced at Westside, the site of the old indoor market, and the first bricks were laid for new homes at the Bilston Urban Village.

Refurbishment of the Mander Centre is taking shape and work also started on the £65m redevelopment of the former Springfield Brewery into a ‘Super Campus’ for construction careers including a West Midlands Construction University Technical College.

In 2017 I am looking forward to working with our many partners to continue this investment and development of our city. 

It is important that everyone gets a chance to benefit from new opportunities and so in 2017 I will be launching a new joint initiative with the Department for Work and Pensions to cut youth unemployment.

I will also be celebrating the contribution made by small and independent businesses to our city with the launch of the Wolverhampton Independent Retail Excellence (WIRE) awards, of which there will be more to follow soon.

There is much to look forward to for our city in 2017 and I send you my best wishes for the New Year.

Councillor Roger Lawrence

Leader, City of Wolverhampton Council