I'm really pleased to tell you that our Countdown to Christmas campaign was a success. The campaign aimed to encourage people to visit the district and to raise awareness of the range of businesses that are located here, while also highlighting the many events and activities that took place across the area.

The campaign attracted over 400,000 views on our social media sites and received a very positive response from those who took part. We ran the campaign in partnership with the businesses across the district, the Chichester Business Improvement District (BID), the Selsey Town Manager and our own Rural Towns Co-ordinator. We were also grateful for the support we received from the Chichester Observer series. I would like to thank everyone who took part or supported the campaign - it really was a team effort.

Even though our main offices were closed over Christmas, a number of our teams were still working over the festive period. Our Community Wardens were one of the teams who were out and about supporting our local communities. They do a fine job and so, along with our partners, we have committed to funding this important service for the next three years.

It is 11 years since the service was first established and over that time the wardens have been making a real difference to the communities that they serve. Since January 2005, the wardens have dealt with more than 37,500 incidents, from low level antisocial behaviour, to fly tipping and graffiti. They work flexible hours across seven days, sometimes working until 10pm, and are based in Chichester East, West and South; Selsey North and South; Tangmere and Oving; and East and West Wittering.

You only have to talk to the wardens to discover the sheer volume of issues and problems that they have helped to resolve. It is especially touching to hear the support that they have given to those who are vulnerable, or who have been going through a difficult time in their lives. One lady couldn't face leaving her home after her husband died. She credits the wardens for helping to build up her confidence and help her to get back on her feet during that difficult time. If you would like to find out more about the service, you can call 07825 681527 or email community@chichester.gov.uk The wardens also now have their own Facebook page.

We have yet another busy year ahead of us and I aim to update you regularly on some of the key projects and decisions that we will be considering over the coming months.

All the best for the New Year,

Cllr Tony Dignum

Leader of Chichester District Council

January 2016