Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, said: “I would like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
“I want to thank Council staff for their hard work over the last 12 months. Our employees are among our greatest assets and they deserve praise for the commitment they show to working for the people of West Lancashire.
“The Council has achieved many notable successes in 2016. In May the Council bought the Wheatsheaf Walks shops in Ormskirk for £3.01million. The purchase represents the Council’s largest ever investment in retail property, and is enabling us to bring more business to the town.
“The Ormskirk MotorFest in August proved once again to be a huge success with about 30,000 people coming to enjoy this magnificent spectacle, making it one of the biggest free family events in the North West.
“In the autumn the Council completed the £8 million Firbeck Revival Project, which will benefit tenants for many years to come. Existing homes had many improvements, and 42 new Council homes were built to meet the needs of modern families.
“The £1.7 million Greenwood Business Centre officially opened and the high quality industrial units help to meet demand for such premises in the business community.
“In 2017 the Council will face financial challenges, like many other local authorities across the UK. The Council manages its budgets effectively to ensure the authority provides excellent value for money, and in previous years we have made savings while minimising any effects on services, but now these options are more difficult to find.
“However, the Council will continue to be ambitious for the borough, ambitious for its people, businesses and places and continue to strive towards achieving the goals in the Council Plan.
“Working with our partners St. Modwen and the Homes and Communities Agency, the Council can make progress on the Skelmersdale town centre regeneration project.
“The Council will continue to work with our partners on the Ormskirk Town Centre Strategy, which aims to ensure the town has an even more vibrant and successful future.
“The Council hopes that progress will also be made on the Moor Street Gateway Project which aims to regenerate the area around Ormskirk Bus Station.
“The launch of the Skelmersdale branding, which aims to promote the fantastic opportunities Skelmersdale offers as a place to live, work and do business, was extremely well received. The Council will continue to encourage businesses to join the Skelmersdale Ambassadors Network to help show the world everything Skelmersdale is rightly proud of.
“Christmas is a joyful time for a lot of us, but I would ask people West Lancashire to spare a thought for those who may need a helping hand over the festive period.”