The chairman of Hednesford Town Council has outlined its achievements of the last year, saying it now faces ‘many and varied challenges’ as it works to increase public pride in the ‘Gateway to Cannock Chase.’

Councillor Doris Grice said that the future of the town’s much-loved library and issues surrounding the provision of health and public services were the greatest current challenges amid threats of closure or cutbacks.

In her address to the recent Hednesford Town Meeting, Councillor Grice paid tribute to the ‘sterling efforts’ of the Friends of Hednesford Park and Cannock Chase Council for continued improvements to the park and war memorial.

The council was also pleased to support proposals for all-weather pitches on the site of the former West Cannock No 5 Social Club in Bradbury Lane, she said, adding: “This will provide first class leisure facilities for the people of Hednesford.”

Councillor Grice also welcomed the ‘transformation’ of the town centre and praised floral decorations as ‘outstanding once again.’

And she added: “Business is still showing confidence in the area, for example with the redevelopment of the Anglesey Lodge by JD Wetherspoon into the Hedgford Lodge – which should help boost the night-time economy. The town council has been consulted on the Mill Green Designer Outlet Village and believes that by working closely with the developer there could be beneficial spin-offs for Hednesford.

Councillor Grice also drew attention to Hednesford’s CCTV, which the council pays around £25,000 towards each year – less than £2 per elector, she said.

This ensures Hednesford still has the only free town centre car parking in the entire district and as well as the economic benefits, we should all feel safer due to the cameras deterring crime and anti-social behaviour. We have received regular reports on CCTV activity and are delighted that two cameras lost as part of the Victoria Street development are about to be replaced,” she said.

Following the chair’s annual report speech, representatives from a number of community organisations reported on their activities over the last 12 months, helping to underline the commitment from the people of Hednesford in the town’s on-going transformation.

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