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Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council

Council Leader outlines his priorities for the borough and its people

by Guy Murphy

Knowsley Council’s Leader Councillor Graham Morgan has today outlined his priorities for the Borough and its people following the most difficult few years in Knowsley’s history.  Addressing the Council’s Annual Meeting, Councillor Morgan – who was elected as Leader of the Council for the fifth consecutive year – was keen to focus on the future and the work of the Council and its partner agencies in giving all residents an opportunity to thrive in the face of continuing significant challenges.

Councillor Morgan said, “The COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges that none of us could have predicted.  We have seen the incredible resilience and strength of our communities throughout this time.  Getting through these past few years in the way we have has only been possible by everyone working together.

“Now, my Cabinet colleagues and I want to look to the future with a renewed focus on what we can all do to help our communities to thrive – not just survive.  We want people in Knowsley to live the best possible lives, which includes getting them the support they need, when they need it, and local people having access to all of the facilities and services to help to make their lives better.

“People in Knowsley need different things depending on where they live and their individual circumstances.  Of course, there will be universal things for everyone – like maintaining standards in our award-winning parks, ensuring access to affordable housing, and investment in our town centres.  From speaking to residents, we also know that specific challenges and concerns will be different for different people and vary depending upon where you live in Knowsley.

“For example, whilst we know that residents in Prescot are excited to have the iconic Shakespeare North Playhouse on their doorstep, they may also be worried about the impact of welcoming large numbers of visitors to the town when the Playhouse opens.  We also know that some residents in Halewood are worried about the pressure on local services due to the new homes which are being built in the area.

“We understand these concerns and taking those concern into account was part of the work we did when planning these major developments.  We certainly aren’t starting from scratch.  We want to respond to such concerns by working with our communities and our partners to develop a Knowsley Offer – this will be a bespoke package of support, facilities, and services across the Borough, as well as tailored to individual areas, that will support our communities in the best possible way, after what has been the most difficult periods of time in recent history.

“We will consult with local people in developing the Knowsley Offer so, over the coming months, we will be seeking views to fully understand what local people feel that they need to help them to thrive.

“Once we have this information, we will then work with our partner agencies to develop the Knowsley Offer and provide local people with further updates, particularly around how they can access the support which is in place.

“We all have a part to play in that Knowsley offer.  It’s not just about organisations like the Council doing their jobs.  We also need our communities to play their part by looking after themselves, each other, and the places where they live.

“We know we can achieve more by working together and I look forward to engaging with our communities over the coming months to help to shape the Knowsley Offer.”