To consider the draft updated Council Plan 2021-2026.
The Deputy Leader of the Council and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder provided a brief introduction of the Council Plan 2021-2026. The Council Plan sets out the Council’s vision and priorities and how these would be delivered over the period of the Plan. The Strategy Lead Specialist shared a PowerPoint Presentation, which outlined the Council’s action plan against COVID-19, and highlighted the unprecedented impact the pandemic had on the Council’s own finances and services, while also considering the impact of Brexit.
The Lead Strategy Specialist explained the Council’s the Council’s vision was to make South Lakeland the ‘best place to live, work, place and explore’ and the plan set out how the Council would work towards this vision. The presentation addressed some key recent changes including the Pandemic and associated changes in the economy and in working patterns. He also noted that some fundamental issues including the ageing population, remained important. The Council Plan has four strategic priorities.
The first priority working across boundaries to deliver sustainable economic growth seeks to develop the potential of working on a Morecambe Bay wide footprint. The Bay is a functional economic subregion. Working in partnership would allow give the Bay area critical mass, economically and enable the Districts to grow in a way, which complement each other.
The second priority is the ageing population of the district. Whilst recent projections suggested that the trend was slowing, the working population was continuing to shrink. The Plan sought to grow the economy and generate job opportunities for young people. It also sought to develop services, to create a more balanced locality with a better quality of life for all age groups.
The third priority of a fairer South Lakeland is a Fairer South Lakeland. This means address poverty, deprivation, housing and unemployment. The presentation highlighted to Members that many affluent areas had pockets of poverty. The Council Plan sought to improve standards of housing and provide better advice for those in poverty. The Council would also work within partnerships to address issues such as deprivation, inequality and related issues such as addiction.
Lastly, the fourth priority was the climate emergency. This section of the Council Plan sets out the Council’s targets for reducing its carbon footprint.
The Lead Specialist concluded that all four priorities were inter linked together within the Council Plan and welcomed any questions from Members.
Issues raised in discussion included housing for the elderly, including to re-visit the elderly housing strategy and the findings of the Task and Finish Group they undertook four years ago. Furthermore, Members highlighted the lack of fitting incentives and opportunities for young people to remain within the District. Members felt the Council could encourage more partnership working with Cumbria County Council in order to provide greater opportunities for young people.
In response to a question on housing need numbers for 2025, the Strategy Lead Specialist explained that he was unable to provide a definitive number as this was set through the Local Plan, not the Council ... view the full minutes text for item 39