AN exciting future for our county is to be rolled out over the coming years, defined in our Community and Corporate Plan which was agreed last week.

It is almost exactly a year since we were elected to decide the way in which Monmouthshire is being run and how it will develop. The challenges have been huge, and the obstacles demanding, but I am immensely proud of the way our team, working with council officers and staff, have made the best of what is possible.

Our plan sets Monmouthshire on target to be fairer more equal place to live for all residents. This is not just waffle – we offer measurable targets by which we can be judged.

As an example, we will be closing the attainment gap between free-school-meal children and others. Bringing children back into school and providing the support needed to help them flourish. By 2026, 6,250 children will be receiving free meals all cooked on the premises and using produce procured locally, supporting our children’s health and well-being as well as our local economy.

We will reduce the number of homeless households in B&B from 90 per cent now to 25 per cent in four years, purchasing and leasing homes for temporary accommodation. On the same timescale we will more than double the number of units of affordable houses.

Our Green agenda is also quantified in our plan, with important targets.

And everyone in Monmouthshire will benefit from our plans for a successful economy with thriving towns because of our actions, working alongside our communities, community and Town Councils as well as the Welsh Government and local businesses.

Give us a fair crack of the whip – and hold us to account.