Happy New Year to all readers! Well it’s the New Year but certainly not a new start for Chesterfield. Many of the Town’s developments are underway and will be making significant progression in 2016, so we have so much to look forward to and we have hit the ground running.
We go into 2016 with a confident buzz about the town Big changes are afoot, not only for Chesterfield but for Sheffield City Region which the town is a part of.
Devolution is the hot topic on everyone’s mind and from my own perspective it would greatly benefit Chesterfield and the region because it will give the Town a seat at a more influential ‘local’ table, not to mention more control over our own financial affairs.
It could also help bring potential funding to the area further boosting our ambitious plans for growth and development in the area over the next 10 years. Ultimately, devolution will allow us to have more money and decision-making powers as well as greater control over skills and transport improvement and job creation as well as increase the number of new businesses.
Local control of our ambitions and plans is very important, rather being made in London, where they are now. London is a very different economy to ours – just think of house prices, salaries and transport, and therefore needs to be treated differently. .
I would urge all local residents and businesses to take part in the consultation. Chesterfield’s position within Sheffield City Region means we do a lot of business with neighbouring towns and cities and it is important that we have control of the direction of our future which will affect young people and the jobs that are available to them when they leave school.
2016 will see the opening of the new University of Derby Campus in Chesterfield, bringing more opportunity to young people in an around the town, specifically in nursing, Business, Computing, Law, and Engineering. The latter, I feel, is s exciting for Chesterfield as it is a field the town has developed a specialism. This is rightly so when you consider that one of the godfathers of engineering and inventor of The Rocket, George Stephenson, made Chesterfield his home.
The coincidence that Chesterfield is involved in a 21st Century ‘rocket’ can’t be overlooked. Bloodhound is the British-built car that will be attempting the world land speed record in October 2016 and Chesterfield-based industrial weighing specialists Weightron Bilanciai Ltd has supplied the weighing systems that have been used throughout the build of the project.
So, when you see Bloodhound – or more likely the trail of vapour it will leave in its wake travelling at 1000mp - on the flats of South Africa later this year, be proud in the knowledge it carries a little bit of Chesterfield and is helping spread our town’s reputation for quality engineering and manufacturing all over the world.