READERS in Caerphilly county borough will shortly get the chance to have their say and help shape the future of sport and active recreation across our area for the next 10 years.

The council’s cabinet recently gave the green light to a major public consultation on our draft Sport and Active Recreation Strategy, which sets out the council’s long term vision for the next decade.

The consultation will take place over a 10 week period starting on Monday, July 16.

I would really encourage as many people as possible to have their say and help us shape the way we deliver sport and active recreation in our area over the coming years.

Full details of how residents can take part in the consultation will be widely publicised over the next few days.

I’m also very pleased that the green light has been given for over £650,000 over environmental improvements to take place in communities across Caerphilly county borough.

The council has approved the projects as part of our Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) programme.

The projects include funding to support a replacement skate park in Ty Sign in Risca, improvements at the Maes Mabon estate in Nelson and a number of environmental improvements in Phillipstown, New Tredegar.

Our WHQS programme will see around £220 million invested into bringing our tenants’ homes and the areas they live in up to specific Welsh Government set standards by 2020.

It’s wonderful to see that as well as transforming our tenants’ homes, we’re also helping transform local communities through the environmental element of the programme.

These projects have been developed in partnership with the communities themselves, and we’ll continue to work with tenants between now and 2020 to develop and deliver plans for further environmental improvements in communities throughout the county borough.

Finally, following on from some very successful events in Bargoed, Blackwood and Risca, the finale of our summer events calendar, the annual Big Cheese Festival will return to Caerphilly later this month.

Taking place between Friday, July 27, and Sunday, July 29, the must-see event will be celebrating its 21st year in 2018, and promises fun for all the family.

More than 80,000 people from all over the country are expected to attend this year’s event, which really helps to place Caerphilly county borough on the map as a key destination for tourism.

I wish all readers an enjoyable summer and hope they’ll be able to spend some quality time with family and friends.