On target to deliver key aims

4 November 2019

We have now helped to deliver 468 affordable homes for rent towards our target of 1,000 by 2025.

Latest performance figures show we have enabled a further seven affordable homes for rent in the past three months, bringing the total since January 2014 to 468.

We have made the provision of more affordable homes to rent a key target to meet local needs, especially for young families in the district struggling to afford housing.

There has also been an overall reduction in long-term empty homes from 1,079 (2011) to 980 (2019), while we have brought 361 empty homes back into use since 2015, including 29 in the three months to September, through targeted interventions.

The performance monitoring report assesses how well we are doing against our priorities for the economy, housing, environment and health and wellbeing.

A report to last week’s meeting Cabinet shows we are on track to reduce our operational carbon footprint year-on-year by 100 tonnes of carbon, from a baseline of 3,162 tonnes, with 2,996 tonnes emitted in 2018/19, an overall reduction of 166 tonnes since 2015.

As well as reducing emissions we prevent 5,500 tonnes of emissions by reusing, recycling and composting nearly all of the waste collected across the district.

The report also noted a rise in median household income in South Lakeland in 2018 to £34,706, up from £31,189 in 2016.

The 2018 figure is highest median household income of any district in Cumbria and is above the national average of £31,446.

Other successes include South Lakeland having the highest number of business start-ups in Cumbria in 2018/19, at 76.5 per 10,000 working age residents, compared to a figure of 58.5 for Cumbria as a whole.

Leader, Councillor Giles Archibald, said: "This is a high-performing council and a council that delivers real results.

“That is down to the efforts of everyone associated with the council, from the chief executive and all our officers to the Cabinet and all the councillors from all sides of the chamber and, of course, our communities.

“This demonstrates what can be achieved when we all consistently work together in the best interests of our district.

“The performance of this council is especially impressive as we have achieved these results at the same time as the council is undergoing the Customer Connect transformation programme, which is a major undertaking but will mean we are able to deliver even better value-for-money services in the future.’’

Councillor Archibald highlighted successes such as new play parks and play park improvements, the climate emergency motion, the biodiversity motion, the action plan on climate change and support for community projects, as well as facilitating more affordable homes and bringing empty home back into use.

He added: "We are doing a good job on the things that we directly control but there is no room for complacency. Even in areas where we have no direct influence we can still help to inform our communities and can lobby central government and other organisations to do more.

“Child poverty is increasing in this area and throughout the country, food and fuel poverty is still an issue, homelessness is still on the rise and is an increasing burden for councils.

"Climate change threatens our lifestyles, our coastlines and possibly our food supplies. Biodiversity is becoming a huge problem for us and there is concern about loneliness and the connectivity between rural societies and urban societies.

“As a council we will continue to do all we can, working alongside our communities, to ensure that South Lakeland remains the best place to live, work and explore.’’

Full details of the latest performance measures are in the Council Plan Performance Monitoring report

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