Cabinet has approved ambitious plans for delivering a fairer, healthier, greener and more prosperous South Gloucestershire. The new Council Plan, the main strategy document for the council covering the next four years, which sets out how the Authority will work together with our partner organisations to deliver the services which local people value so highly. It has been recommended for adoption by next week’s meeting of Full Council.
We ran a public consultation on the draft Council Plan earlier this year and following that engagement and feedback, the Plan sets out four key priorities that will shape what we do for the next four years. These are:
• Creating the best start in life for our children and young people
• Identifying and supporting those most in need and helping people to help themselves
• Promoting sustainable inclusive communities, infrastructure and growth
• Realising the full potential of our people and delivering value for money
Additionally, we are committed to taking action to respond to the Climate Emergency as well as, particularly learning the lessons from the Covid pandemic, to close the inequality gap. These are key objectives that cross all areas of the council’s work, which is why we are incorporating commitments and measurable objectives to meet these challenges into our work plans for the next four years and beyond.
To make sure we address each of these priorities, we will also publish 20 commitments and Action Plans next month, which will set out how we will meet these challenges and measure our progress.
To achieve our goals against our priorities, firstly we will work with our partners and communities to create the best possible start in life for our children and young people. By focusing on outcomes like raising educational attainment, we can make the biggest long-term cross generational impact.
Our second priority is to identify and support those most in need, with a focus on helping people to help themselves. We have a duty to safeguard the most vulnerable in society, but also to strengthen our local communities to better help themselves and others.
Thirdly, we want to promote sustainable, inclusive communities, infrastructure and growth. We have a significant role to play in shaping the places of the future. We are making real progress on our Climate Emergency Action Plan, which will help to ensure that our growth ambitions are delivered whilst maintaining our strong commitment to protecting the environment.
Fourthly, we want to ensure that we invest in our council staff and give them the tools they need to enable them to do their jobs to the best of their ability and maintain our strong focus on making every penny of residents’ money go as far as it can.
Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Toby Savage, said: “This Council Plan is ambitious, particularly given the pressure that has been placed on budgets, the uncertainty in the economy, and the very real impacts for those who have found themselves unemployed or facing six months away from education.
“South Gloucestershire is a great place to live, work and to increasingly visit and the priorities and commitments we are outlining in this Plan will help to ensure that it stays that way. We have a valued heritage, green spaces and businesses that command high ambition and a presence on the global stage. As a council we have sometimes shied-away from highlighting the impacts of our work and what we have achieved, and at the heart of this plan is a new means of demonstrating how we are making a difference for you, delivering real value for money services.
“The Covid-19 outbreak has tested all of us, not least those who have continued to deliver front-line services, stepping up to deliver above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities.
“The timing of this Council Plan is important as we put in place the support and investment to re-ignite our powerful and innovative economy, and make our places safe, attractive, and sustainable for future generations. This Plan has addresses the significant challenges that were evident long before Covid-19; such as the scale of the inequality gap across our communities, the distinct attainment challenge for our children and young people, decline of our high streets and the approach we need to put into action to deliver on our climate emergency commitments.
“We welcome and value the role that our residents and our partners in health and care, in housing, in education, in the police and emergency services, the private, public and voluntary and community sectors have already played in developing the vision behind this Council Plan and we look forward to working with you over the coming years to deliver our ambitious vision for you and your community.”