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Annual report overview

Message from the Chief Executive of the Council

This report looks back on the successes throughout 2017 to 2018. It also offers a glimpse of the future as the council continues to focus on the four priority areas:

  • Economic growth - enabling and delivering opportunities for sustainable economy
  • Homes to meet need
  • Our environment - protecting and enhancing
  • Improving wellbeing - reducing health inequalities and supporting cultural activities

The council’s role in providing a prosperous environment for business has helped South Lakeland to becomes the fastest growing economy in Cumbria and North Lancashire. The council has established and developed key partnership initiatives which will promote the economic growth and cultural attractions through the Lancaster and South Cumbria Economic Region (Morecambe Bay) and the Great Places partnerships. Our business community continues to have a high level of confidence for future growth.

A key priority for the council is to deliver 1,000 new affordable homes to rent by 2025. Since 2014, four hundred new affordable homes to rent have been built and we remain on target to achieve this. The number of future affordable homes will aim to increase following the £6million loan fund to encourage and support developers. The council are continuing to help reduce the number of homelessness cases and will continue to develop strategies for 2018 to 2019.

A major success for 2017 to 2018 was the kerbside recycling services implemented to 100% of residents in the district. The council will continue to develop more initiatives to protect and enhance the environment such as plastic reduction. A number of different projects have also been completed to develop parks and open spaces across the district. The council and communities have worked closely to provide better equipment for recreational purposes and encourage more users. The council will continue to support cultural activities such as Comic Arts Festival, Tour of Britain, Kendal Mountain Festival, amongst many more.

South Lakeland District Council along with all other Cumbrian authorities signed a healthy weight declaration in 2017 to 2018. The aim of this declaration is to work in partnership to tackle overweight and obesity levels across Cumbria.

Customer Connect, our digital innovation programme is progressing to give our customers digital access to all council services. This will allow customers to access services twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. This programme will transform how customers can interact with the council and put them at the heart of everything we do.

Message from the Leader of the Council

This annual report provides an overview of South Lakeland District Council’s activities throughout 2017 to 2018 as well as highlighting our future projects.

It is of enormous credit to officers and councillors that we have been able to successfully deliver, many important projects. These projects were all part of a suite of Council Plan priorities, the most important of which are to achieve our long-term ambition for 1,000 new jobs and 1,000 affordable homes to rent by 2025. The latest figures show we are on target to reach these goals. We have also embarked on the ambitious enhancement of Nobles Rest park in Kendal and on an interim scheme to decontaminate and partially landscape New Road Common, pending a public consultation on its final use.

I am also highly delighted that working with local communities we have been able to improve many of our parks and playgrounds. This remains a high priority for us.

Our priority continues to be to help council members and officers to do their very best for the residents of South Lakeland to make sure this is the best place to live, work and explore.

All SLDC councillors have a strong commitment to public service and we all work together to deliver our priorities. We always ensure the best interests of South Lakeland determine the decision making process and continue to celebrate the achievements of all tiers of local government and the voluntary sector.