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Council plan overview

We have updated our council plan which was agreed by full council on 24 February 2017. The updated plan will start on 1 April 2017 and will continue our aim to become a fairer and greener council ensuring that South Lakeland is the best place to live, work and explore.

View the Council Plan 2014 to 2019, 2017 update (PDF/1MB/12 pages).

Council Plan performance

The progress of our work from the Council Plan is reported quarterly and the reports are available on the performance page


The Council Plan is the council’s strategic document that tells us what our priorities and targets are for the period 2014 to 2019. In December 2015 Cumbria was hit by the largest flood event ever recorded in the county. South Lakeland saw some of the worst impacts from Storm Desmond and Kendal was the single worst affected area, with more than 2,000 homes and businesses in the town directly affected by flooding. We played a pivotal role in the flood response – not only over the weekend of the emergency but also in the months since, when the council has been heavily involved in flood recovery working with agencies, volunteers and the third sector to re-build its devastated communities.

Against this challenging backdrop we have continued to deliver on our priorities in 2015 to 2016 on housing, on jobs, on the economy and the environment.

In this year’s update we have reinforced the emphasis on strategic development in the economy; enabling the delivery of a range of housing; integrating culture and health and wellbeing and establishing a sense of place with the environment.

As with the 2016 update we continue to focus on our long term ambition for 1,000 jobs and 1,000 affordable homes for rent.

The council has a key commitment to enable 1,000 new affordable homes for rent in the district by 2025 and is on target to achieve this, with 267 so far delivered.

We are committed to support the creation of 1,000 new higher paid jobs in the district by 2025. Latest figures show the council is on course to achieve this ambitious target, with an estimated 247 new jobs created in South Lakeland since 2014.

The priorities will continue to be important for the next year, with our budget showing how our spending will help to achieve them. The priorities are supported by a set of projects that will be delivered over the period and each priority is supported by a set of measures that will be used to report our progress.

The plan is refreshed annually to take account of any local or national changes, and we will report our progress in an annual report, which will be published by June each year. You can check how we are delivering against all our council plan ambitions on the performance page.

Message from the Leader of the Council

2016 was rightly dominated by the recovery from the floods.

Our priority throughout the year was to help those residents and businesses who were affected by the flooding. At time of writing, more than 95% of people and businesses are back in their homes and premises. We thank them for their patience and hard work and for the fantastic work of all the community organisations that have helped us to recover from Storm Desmond. I am particularly grateful to officers for all they have done for the community.

At the same time as dealing with the aftermath of the floods, the council pushed ahead with implementing many of its other objectives. 2016 was a year of amazing achievement for the council and its partner organisations.

We facilitated building of affordable homes to rent. The total since 2014 is now 267 and we are on track to help deliver our target of 1,000 by 2025. We rolled out kerbside cardboard and plastic recycling to all areas of the district. We have worked with communities to rejuvenate parks and playgrounds; Sandylands, Hallgarth, Oxenholme with ongoing projects in Ambleside, Ulverston, Windermere and Grange.

I was particularly pleased that we managed to transfer management of the Coronation Hall and the markets in Ulverston to a community group. I hope this will ensure the long term future of the Coronation Hall, and enhance the quality of the markets.

Kendal free Wi-Fi, the enterprise hub at MintWorks and the solar panels on the council office roof have all proved to be highly successful initiatives, which we hope to extend to other locations. We had a terrific programme of festivals and events last year throughout the district that the council actively supports, including the Tour of Britain. It is no wonder that our district is in the top 2% of all districts nationally for arts and culture.

This year will see the publication of the Environment Agency plans for enhanced flood defences, the Kendal town centre masterplan and an economic potential study for Morecambe Bay Area. We will also investigate a major new leisure facility in Ulverston, possibly a new location for the council and hopefully an agreed plan for the future of the lido in Grange. We will also continue our plans to use advanced technology in our business to provide even better services for our customers.

Finally, we want to continue use to push the localism agenda. We believe in making decisions in partnership with the local communities. Working together, we can make a difference.

Message from the Chief Executive of the Council

The Council Plan sets out the vision, strategy and actions that this Council will undertake, on your behalf, to ensure improved prosperity has a positive benefit for every part of our community.

The council will continue to use its leadership and influence in the places that matter, to leverage resources where it’s needed most. There will be opportunities as well as challenges.

The functioning economic geography that exists around Morecambe bay, and further afield, as part of our wider connectivity to a UK Industry Strategy, is equally as important to the businesses that operate in South Lakeland itself.

We will build, in partnership, a better economic environment for all our employers and their employees, so that success and confidence go hand in hand.

We will build on our existing positive foundations to enhance our beautiful and unique environment, to balance the needs of our people, our economy and improve our health.

We will promote our cultural heritage to highlight all that we do best.

We will continue to provide the homes that people need, and facilitate the employment growth required to sustain our long term ambitions.

We will provide services that have our community’s needs at the very heart of everything we do.

We will deliver a council that embraces the digital innovations that our communities now demand, with speed, convenience and value for money. We will improve our performance where it matters to you.

The vision remains the same, to make South Lakeland the best place to live, work and explore, and we will endeavour to deliver this vision.

I hope you enjoy reading your Council Plan, and we welcome and feedback, comments and suggestions for improvement.