A Council Plan for recovery and renewal

24 February 2021

Councillors have voted to approve an updated Council Plan that sets out a vision and priorities to support the district’s Covid recovery and renewal.

The latest version of South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC’s) Council Plan was adopted at a meeting of SLDC’s Full Council last night (23 February).

The Council Plan is the council’s most important strategic policy document. It sets out SLDC’s vision and priorities for the next five years.

The Council Plan is reviewed each year. It provides strategic direction for the many projects, plans and strategies which underpin SLDC’s work.

In areas such as housing and communities, the council is already working to make South Lakeland a better place to live. Through its work in economic development and culture, the council is making the district a better place to work. Through its work on the environment and health, the council is making the district a better place to explore.

The Council Plan has been updated to respond to some significant changes in South Lakeland.

The Covid pandemic has had a major impact on the district’s economy and communities and its aftermath will be with us for many years. The council has declared a climate emergency. It has set carbon reduction targets and developed an action plan to meet them. The council has also declared a poverty emergency. In addition, Government proposals for re-organising councils may change the shape of local government in the Morecambe Bay area.

SLDC has a long standing vision of ‘South Lakeland as the best place to live work and explore’.

Through the updated Council Plan four key priorities have been identified to achieve that vision:

Working across boundaries – delivering sustainable regional growth across Morecambe Bay

Delivering a balanced community – a South Lakeland for all ages

A fairer South Lakeland– a South Lakeland for everyone

Addressing the climate emergency – a carbon-neutral South Lakeland.

One big change in the 2021 Plan is closer working with Barrow Borough and Lancaster City councils to build on the positive work on the Bay unitary proposal. This means co-operating on economic development, infrastructure, housing and employment growth as well as skills and knowledge. All of this is vital as communities emerge from the impact of the pandemic. The three councils are also looking to collaborate on inequality and deprivation, population health and carbon reduction.

The latest Council Plan also gives greater emphasis on sustainability and climate change, and builds in targets for carbon reduction.

Another key change is more emphasis on fairness and reducing disadvantage and inequalities. Work on personal financial resilience needs to be redoubled as many people have been placed under financial stress as never before as a result of the pandemic.

Councillor Giles Archibald, Leader of South Lakeland District Council, said: “Our Council Plan has never been more important.

“As we look towards recovery and renewal following the Covid pandemic it sets out our ambitious vision and how we will work with our communities and partners to deliver excellent services and to ensure our district continues to be the best place to live, work and explore.

“The Council Plan reinforces our commitments on key priorities to reduce inequalities, deliver sustainable economic growth and respond to the very clear and dramatic threat posed by climate change and biodiversity loss. We have set ourselves targets in all these areas and we will continue to work with others to meet these challenges.’’

Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader of South Lakeland District Council, said: “Our updated Council Plan clearly articulates our ambitions for an excellent quality of life in a district that is more beautiful, quieter and cleaner, with more comfortable, warmer and safer homes, more jobs in a thriving sustainable economy at the centre of a Morecambe Bay Economic Region and where everyone has access to the same opportunities, life chances and potential to lead safe, healthy, happy and fulfilled lives.’’

Read the updated 2021 Council Plan at: www.southlakeland.gov.uk/councilplan