With 2023 well and truly upon us it’s time to stop looking back and start looking forward. For the Town Council this means working to bring the changes you tell us you want to see happen here in Ross. Since being elected four years ago I’ve been pleased to see that nearly all decisions we’ve made at Full Council get unanimous support from those Councillors present. I believe this is because all proposals are properly explained and clearly work for the benefit of residents. We do our very best to listen to your concerns and I’d like to thank everybody who took the time to complete the surveys that the LibDem team in Ross distributed across the Town before Christmas. Regardless of your political allegiance the information you provided helps us develop a sensible strategy that hopefully goes some way to tackling the issues you raise.

There were several common themes that I think it’s worth mentioning. Firstly many of you expressed your concerns around the state of our Public Transport; something we are keenly aware needs significant investment both at County and National level. As you know we have a very limited budget here in the Town but when we can help we will and I was delighted to propose the motion that sees us support the revival of the bus route between Ross and Ledbury. Our commitment of £26,000 is the largest of any of the Market Towns involved in the project and will hopefully mean the route returns later this year.

Another major concern was the rise in anti-social behaviour around the Town which has seemingly escalated somewhat since lockdown. Again we do not have the authority to put more police on our streets but some of you may not know that we have recently agreed to resource the installation of additional CCTV positions in key hot spots as well as funding a new Community Enforcement Officer with responsibility for tackling all forms of litter around the Town. Hopefully both these initiatives will go some way to improving the current situation.

The other theme I’d like to mention was Tourism with many of the surveys expressing your desire to make Ross more attractive to visitors. This is a subject very close to my heart and after developing a new strategy we employed a Tourism Manager who’s been working on a range of exciting initiatives we know will make Ross much more visitor friendly. We’ve worked closely with Ross Tourism Association to create a brand new website and brought in significant external funding to hold more events including our exciting new Equinox Festival. The recently installed digital Tourism Information points will be going live very soon making it easier for visitors to spend their money, and we continue to promote Ross through social media via regular blog posts that highlight different things to see and do across our beautiful Town. Now if only we had the power to fix all the potholes … sorry, miracles might take a little longer!