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Council on target for affordable homes for rent and new jobs

24 August 2016

South Lakeland District Council has now helped to deliver 263 affordable rented homes towards its target of 1,000 by 2025.

Latest performance figures show the council has enabled 20 new affordable homes to rent in the last quarter, bringing the total since January 2014 to 263 and keeping the council on target to hit 1,000 new affordable homes for rent by 2025.

The council is committed to working with developers and builders to encourage affordable homes to tackle the housing shortage.

A report to today’s (24 August) Cabinet meeting also shows an estimated 228 new jobs have been created in South Lakeland since 2014 towards the long-term target of 1,000 by 2025, with 22 new jobs in the first quarter of 2016/17.

During the last year the number of business units in South Lakeland has increased to 7,185 units, up from 6,900 in 2014, and the report highlights an improving picture on pay in the district, with average earnings by residence steadily increasing year-on-year from just over £460 per week in 2011 to nearly £520 in 2015.

The performance monitoring report assesses how well SLDC is doing against its priorities for the economy, housing, environment, and health and wellbeing, as well as providing a broader picture of trends on related areas including crime, poverty and homelessness.

The report notes the progress being made on the ongoing expansion of plastic and cardboard kerbside recycling, with 47% of properties in South Lakeland already receiving the service and the authority on track to have every home in the district getting plastic and card collections by the end of the financial year.

This has helped contribute to a gradual reduction in the amount of residual household waste (grey bin waste) being collected, although the report does point out that due to the collection of an additional 600 tonnes of flood damaged waste following Storm Desmond there was likely to be in increase in this figure when the full returns for the year are calculated.

Other notable results in the report include the lowest recorded crime figures in the district in the first quarter of 2016/17 for over a year, with the police pointing to the success of Operation Tweed leading to a number of arrests last year, and a gradual reduction in the number of children in South Lakeland living in poverty, falling from 9.5% in 2010 to 8% in 2015.

The percentage of food businesses rated as five star with the National Hygiene Rating Scheme continues to improve each year, up from 66% in 2013/14 to 78% in 2015/16, while the number of complaints received by the council reduced from 124 in 2014/15 to 118 in 2015/16, set against an annual 3.2 million customer interactions.

Councillor Sue Sanderson, SLDC Portfolio Holder for Council Organisation and People, said: “We are committed to delivering high quality, cost-effective services that meet the needs of our residents and improves quality of life.

“Some of the headlines in this report include that there has been a significant increase in the number of business units and that we are on target with our plans to enable at least 1,000 new jobs and 1,000 affordable homes to rent by 2025.

“There have been huge changes to our waste and recycling collection services, with new vehicles, new staff, new rounds and an expansion of services.

“Approaching 50% of the district is already getting the expanded kerbside recycling collections and we are on course to have everyone getting plastic and card collections by the end of the financial year.

“There are quite a few positive results in here but it is only quarter one and we will continue to work hard towards our targets.’’

Full details of the latest performance measures are contained in the Council Plan Performance Monitoring (Quarter 1 2016/17) report to Cabinet.

For more information, please contact the SLDC Communications Team on 01539 793300.