I recently visited the new Blackburn Partnership Centre for its official opening.
The building brings together a number of local services under one roof and has provided an array of new facilities. It has been just over a year since the new Linlithgow Partnership Centre was opened and Armadale followed suit last Autumn. Our Partnership Centre model has proved extremely successful in other towns and villages and the new £8.2 million building in Blackburn includes health and council services as well as community services for local residents. Visiting these centres is a reminder of how changing the way we deliver important local services can be a hugely positive development for our staff and customers.
As you will know, the council recently agreed its budget. As your manager will have set out at your team briefing, many services will experience a great deal of change over the next four years. West Lothian Council remains the best performing council in Scotland, and change is not a new concept to us. We will continue to transform the way we provide services, and I am confident that we will continue to meet the needs of local people, families and communities, and continue to be a good employer offering staff interesting, fulfilling and rewarding careers.
Many of you may know that 2018 marked the centenary of women being entitled to vote, and 1919 was the year the first woman served as a Member of Parliament. To celebrate, the council recently held an event at Howden Park Centre which included a talk, as well as a performance about the fight for suffrage by St Kentigern's Academy. It was an important event that allowed us to reflect on a key moment in history, and inspires us to think about how we can positively influence society in the years ahead. A special booklet on the local women's suffrage movement was commissioned to mark the anniversary, and an online version is available at