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Updated vision document adopted

20 December 2019

Our vision for how we will work together with our communities to make South Lakeland the best place to live, work and explore has been revised and updated.

The new Council Plan sees a strengthening of focus on climate change and biodiversity and a recognition of the need to work with partners to secure the investment, growth and transport infrastructure that will deliver jobs and maintain and enhance quality of life.
 
Underpinned by four priorities, the plan guides us as we lead and influence in the places that matter and focus resource where it is most effective.
 
Adopted at this week’s Full Council meeting (17 December), it provides a consistent basis for our plans, strategies, projects and decisions as the transformational Customer Connect programme is implemented.

Customer Connect involves a complete reorganisation to deliver faster, better and more cost-effective services for South Lakeland residents and is on track to deliver annual savings of around £1.5 million.
 
The updated Council Plan, to run from 2020 to 2025, sets out our long-term vision and direction, provides strategic direction for other plans and strategies, and underpins our influencing activity with Government and partners.
 
It also enables activity to be focused on strategic objectives and provides a consistent basis for the prioritisation of resources, commissioning and performance management frameworks and the roll-out of the new way of working under Customer Connect.
 
The plan has been revised and updated to run from 2020 to 2025.
 
Retaining the vision of "Working Together to make South Lakeland the best place to live, work and explore", the plan identifies four interlocking priority areas:

  • working Across Boundaries to deliver Sustainable Growth
  • creating Balanced Communities
  • reducing Inequalities
  • responding to Climate Change and enhancing Biodiversity

With the restructure through Customer Connect, services will work across the traditional subject priorities of housing and communities, health and environment and economy and culture to deliver these "cross-cutting" themes.
 
Updates include a recognition of the need to work with our partners to secure the investment, growth and transport infrastructure that will deliver jobs and maintain and enhance quality of life across the Morecambe Bay sub-region, as well as an aim to inspire and empower our communities to thrive by delivering excellent value-for money, services, playing a leadership role and influencing others and considering the social, economic and environmental value of everything we do.
 
The plan strengthens our commitment to responding to climate change and enhancing biodiversity, alongside the adoption of a corporate policy on biodiversity which looks to maximise the ways in which we can use our influence to ensure that the impact of human activity within South Lakeland on biodiversity is as positive as it can be.
 
Pledges in the Council Plan include growing a green economy by developing town centres which are attractive and accessible for living, working, culture and leisure; ensuring that business areas are protected from flooding; promoting environmental technologies and the green economy; working with local communities to improve, manage and promote accessible public realm; and making the best use of our parks, open spaces and lakes.
 
To meet the challenge of climate change, we will work to achieve a carbon neutral South Lakeland; promote sustainable and active transport including cycling and walking; conserve and enhance the biodiversity of the district; and phase out the use of single-use plastics.
 
Also adopted was our policy to promote and enhance local and global biodiversity, which details how we will ensure where possible that products procured by ourselves and our contractors are from sustainable sources and encourage our community and partners to do likewise; seek to minimise the emissions of greenhouse gases through the implementation of our Climate Change policy; and avoid the use of single-use plastics.
 
We will also encourage habitat creation, restoration and safeguarding through our planning policies which encourage the development of greenspace networks and corridors, and enshrine the principles of net gain, safeguard important site features and habitats and encourage habitat creation in new development.
 
Councillor Jonathan Brook, our Deputy Leader, said: “The council plan sets out our vision and our priorities as part of a suite of documents which make up the overall council policy framework and outlines our approach to governance and community leadership. It is an important document for officers, councillors and members of the public.

“There is a recognition that we can’t deliver on our objectives and aspirations working alone and it is important that we work with all tiers of local government and with our neighbouring councils, the voluntary sector and a whole range of other organisations and that is critical we do that.

“We have aspirations to reduce inequalities across  the district and we are keen to respond to the very clear and dramatic threat posed by climate change.”
 
Our Leader, Councillor Giles Archibald, said: “This is an important document which won’t just sit gathering digital dust on a virtual shelf.

“Along with climate change, it will be at the centre of all our decision making. The Council Plan sets out more than just our statutory duties. If we can help our residents in any way that is affordable and reasonable, then we will. It sets out our aspirations to tackle climate change, enhance biodiversity and fight the threat and scourge of poverty.
 
“Biodiversity loss and climate change are the biggest fundamental threats to the human species. Even if we act quickly and promptly on this issue there will likely be significant dislocation.”

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