Our strategy update for 2018
Our strategy update reflects progress made in the last four years since the commencement of the council plan and areas we want to focus on moving forward. We continue to promote the interests of our residents and businesses with central government and our work to establish partnerships across local authorities continues to develop.
We will continue to work with our community and voluntary organisations, to increase the reach and scope of their work. We will continue to put our place at the heart of decision making and bring together the right people; councillors, public servants, businesses, voluntary and community organisations, and residents, to enable communities to thrive whilst retaining their distinctive character. We are committed to furthering the localism agenda and empowering communities to progress.
We will continue to increase economic investment in rural and urban areas, and help boost the economy facilitating the growth of more well paid jobs to make South Lakeland a desirable place for young people and families achieve their full potential. We will continue to pursue a positive agenda generating social benefits arising out of the overall value and outcomes of sustainable economic investment and growth across all our communities in South Lakeland.
We adopted our Core Strategy in 2010 and Land Allocations plan in 2013, way ahead of most North West councils, to allocate sites to meet the district’s need for housing. Detailed development briefs have been prepared for eight key sites across the district to guide issues such as the design, layout, access and green space provision. We continue to receive CIL payments from developers and develop our programme of investment in support of the Local plan objectives. We will continue to use this money to fund vital new infrastructure, making improvements to roads, schools and green spaces. We will continue to work with our communities on how it is best spent to support local development.
We have implemented optimised waste and recycling collection rounds to deliver an enhanced kerbside recycling service that now collects plastic and cardboard alongside the existing paper, glass and cans to 100% of the residents.
New solar panels have been installed at our main office in Kendal, these will save about £122,000 and over 300 tonnes of carbon emissions over their lifespan.
We will continue to fund and support green projects such as promoting carbon reduction, energy efficiency schemes and supporting cycling initiatives.
Culture and wellbeing
We continue to support key events across South Lakeland including the Lakes International Comic Art Festival and the Kendal Mountain Festival. We have provided lifesavin water safety training to more than 3,000 schoolchildren and health and crime reduction has been supported by securing funding to tackle domestic abuse issues in South Cumbria.
We will continue to work with partners on a collaborative approach to devolution. Working with neighbouring authorities, and engaging with government, we will pursue a positive agenda for economic growth and improvements and efficiencies in public service delivery. Our approach will assist the government significantly in the delivery of its policies on productivity, securing a greater proportion of low carbon energy, increased gross value added and more jobs.
South Lakeland will seek to maximize its role influencing the strategy for transport in the north. We will continue to work with Cumbria County Council to reduce duplication of work and make efficiencies across services. We will also continue to engage with Parish and Town councils on what powers they would like to see devolved.
Through our innovation and improvement portfolio, we will look at where there are opportunities to reduce costs by using our knowledge and skills to become more entrepreneurial in the way we do business. We will also continue to build on our successes and identify opportunities for further shared service arrangements.
We are transforming the way we deliver services by maximising digital technology and putting customers at the heart of everything we do. We will make it easier for customers to do things for themselves while ensuring that those who need more complex assistance receive it in a customer friendly way. We will improve services in the knowledge that customers expect to do business with us in a simpler way and at times which suit them.
What success will look like:
• simpler way of working for everyone at SLDC
• faster and better services for our residents
• value for money for taxpayers
• more time to help vulnerable residents
• improved customer satisfaction
• a highly-skilled, modern workforce
Our members, our workforce
Our elected Members have sought to work collaboratively with all public services and other key partners to reduce duplication of work and improve customer service. We will continue to help the council retain and develop its workforce. The continued success of our apprenticeship scheme has enabled opportunities for young people to get into work at South Lakeland District Council.
We will look at opportunities to make the best use of our council assets, investing to save and increase income and revenue when and where appropriate to do so. Where there is an appetite and sound rationale, we will seek opportunities to devolve services and transfer or sell local assets to town and parish councils and community groups.
We have delivered a balanced budget while protecting front-line services and key ongoing projects. This year’s budget includes several growth proposals, including investment to strengthen economic development activities and providing the funds to support ‘green’ projects such as promoting carbon reduction, energy efficiency schemes and supporting cycling initiatives.
We will continue to deliver our vision via sustainable and cost effective services. The council’s net revenue service budget for 2017 to 2018 totals £14.7million. Efficiencies totalling circa £129,000 are included in the current 5 Year Medium Term Financial Plan. The deficits are projected rise form £1.2million in 2018 to 2019 to £1.4million in 2021 to 2022. £850,000 of this will be met through the Customer Connect Programme with options to meet the balancing circa £0.5 million currently under development.