Cllr Ben Ingham, East Devon's Leader, sends a positive festive message to East Devon residents

2019 has been a year full of surprises for us all. I feel honoured and privileged to have been elected as Leader of East Devon District Council and I look forward to working with all the councillors who were elected to the council to ensure we work to ensure East Devon remains a great place to live, work and play. I also hope to meet as many residents and businesses as possible to ensure that the council takes account of all concerns as it moves into a new decade.

At East Devon, we have already made a number of significant choices that will lead to real change as we move into the future. The biggest of these is to have declared a Climate Emergency, not just here, but across the whole county. The eight Devon districts will work together to address this profound duty of care we have for our survival and the wellbeing of the planet. East Devon District Council plans to announce its climate action plan early in the New Year.

The Independent cabinet of East Devon District Council have created a new Council Plan, which we invite you to review. This sets out what we intend to do over the next four years on your behalf. We hope it meets with your approval.

In addition to the challenge of protecting our natural environment, we must create new opportunities for future generations to prosper here in East Devon. It is wrong that talented youngsters are forced to leave us in order to succeed in life. We must do all we can to enable them to stay here and make a brighter future here with us in East Devon.

Despite any differences, we are always better together. Our 2020 vision must be to succeed together. May I wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.