East Cambridgeshire District Council has firmly placed the community at the heart of its new corporate plan for the 2021 to 2023 period.
The plan, which was approved at last night’s Full Council meeting, includes commitments such as delivering the Council’s Youth Strategy and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, as well as reviewing and making changes to the Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy list to benefit health and community facilities.
New inclusions within the top priorities also consist of championing the implementation of the Council’s priority cycleways and agreed Bus Prospectus to partners including the Combined Authority. The approved Bus Prospectus calls for more frequent, more rural routes, while the Council’s cycling survey has identified cycle routes for feasibility exploration.
Housing priorities for the Council have also been built upon within the latest corporate plan, with ambitions to adopt a £100k homes allocation policy, approve a ‘First Homes’ local connection criteria and, subject to planning, exceeding 30% of affordable homes in MoD Phase 2 development. The Council also continues to pledge its support to encourage those communities who wish to set up new Community Land Trusts (CLTs) and support existing CLTs.
Councillor Anna Bailey, Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said
“Following the approval of our new corporate plan for 2021/2023, it is only natural for us to look back on what we set out to achieve within the last plan and how far we have come since this despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19.
“In the face of a truly unprecedented time, this Council and residents from across the district, really pulled together and rose to the challenge of protecting East Cambridgeshire.
“If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us anything, it is the sheer value of our communities and that is exactly why we have put this at the core of our next corporate plan.
“As well as building on the actions from our previous plan, I am absolutely thrilled to be able to reaffirm our dedication to our communities with a number of the actions set out in the new corporate plan.
“Our ability to continue delivering for our residents is fuelled, in no small part, by the hard work of our two trading companies. In particular, East Cambs Trading Company (ECTC), where collectively Palace Green Homes, Ely Markets and Parks & Open Spaces have provided just over £3 million financial benefit to this Council as at 2021 year end – £930k of that in this financial year alone. This is forecast to increase to £3.8 million by year end 2022 and we thank them for their efforts and their success.
“Providing genuinely affordable housing for those who live or work in our district is once again, a priority for this Council and alongside other actions such as investing in our climate change action plan and improving public transport, cycling and walking routes we really hope to move forward with making a cleaner, greener East Cambridgeshire for everyone to enjoy.
“In addition to this, we will also continue to work with our partners on the necessary road and rail infrastructure our district needs to ensure that businesses and their employees can effectively travel throughout the area.
“As a Council, we have an excellent track record of delivery and I look forward to seeing this continue over the next two years through the actions set out in the plan.”
The new corporate plan was brought to the Full Council meeting to update the current 2020-2023 following significant progress made in the last twelve months. This includes:
- freezing Council Tax in 2020/21 for the eighth consecutive year
- both of the Council’s trading companies, East Cambs Trading Company and East Cambs Street Scene, delivering business plan commitments such as the delivery of homes at Haddenham and Ely, and continuation of key services including refuse collection, recycling, street cleansing, Ely Markets and Parks and Open Spaces
- positive engagement with the Combined Authority to deliver corporate priorities most notably, Soham Station and £100k homes
- The adoption of three Supplementary Planning Documents for Custom and Self Build, Climate Change and the Natural Environment SPD as well as meeting several pledges within the Council’s Environment Plan
- the completion of Lancaster Way roundabout
- the Council’s housing service achieving gold standard accreditation
- the agreement of Market Town Plans for Ely, Littleport and Soham.