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Council Issues ambitious Corporate Plan to help with recovery from COVID

Published on Thursday, 18th March 2021

North Warwickshire Borough Council has published its Corporate Plan this week, a detailed strategy that will focus on saving money, improving services, investing in transport and parking, supporting job opportunities and protecting our environment, all with the aim of bouncing back from the impacts of COVID.

Since last year’s Corporate Plan was published the country has experienced the worst crisis in a generation with the COVID 19 pandemic. The effect on the country, Borough and its residents has been significant. The Council has also felt considerable effects on its finance and lots of staff have been redeployed into work to support residents and businesses. The Council has worked with Town and Parish Councils and the brilliant residents’ groups which have stepped forward in communities, delivering food and other help to those shielding. The Council directly rang 6600 of our most vulnerable people to ensure no-one was left isolated in the lockdown. Around £19m has been distributed to businesses affected by the pandemic and well as around £150,000 to community projects via its Councillor Community Fund.

As well as the COVID work the Budget this time last year saw a commitment from Government of a £80m upgrade to the A5, the result of years of lobbying by North Warwickshire Borough Council and its partners. The Council is also on track to gain local control of parking to boost through put in our market towns.

Despite all this help the Borough will face a tough year as it starts to shake off the effects of COVID and the Council has a detailed Recovery plan to hugely boost skilled jobs and housing as the Local Plan is finalised, and to work with our town partners on events such as the first ever Time Trial in the Womens International Cycle Race, which returns to North Warwickshire in October.

The Council has delivered savings and managed the reduction in its resources well over recent years. Going forward, further savings are essential to maintain the current level of service. In addition, the Council needs to increase income in order to meet the ambitious programme set out in the Corporate Plan to renew facilities in the area.

There is also a huge focus on the protection of the Green Belt as far as possible and in sustaining the rural nature of the Borough. Key to this will be even more enforcement of planning and environmental protections.

The Borough Council is also due to launch its plans in respect of Climate Change. Whilst the Council only emits a small proportion of the carbon in the Borough and as a result of the pandemic has reduced its emissions significantly, it will work with communities and partners to play our part in reducing the risk of significant temperature rises.

Leader of the Council, Councillor David Wright said:

“Last year was extremely challenging but it showed the magnificent way the communities within North Warwickshire working with local Town and Parish Councils, North Warwickshire Borough Council and other public sector and health partners pull together to look after everyone we could.

I’d in particular like to pay tribute to our network of GPs who have ensured that North Warwickshire had the fastest start in the region with the roll out of the COVID vaccine. We are all hugely indebted to them for their work with the vaccine.

We have to face up to the challenge of changing the way the Council works and have a plan for dealing with it. All parts of the public sector face the same challenge of reduced budgets and increasing demand for services. We’ve reluctantly had to follow suit with other councils and implement a charge for Green bin collections, not a decision we’ve taken lightly and something we delayed for a year due to the outbreak.”

“However, we will continue to look after these resources responsibly. We have secured a major improvement to the A5 through our Local Pan work, and to invest in the communities it serves. We want to ensure management of parking is transferred to the local Councils and we will continue to do all we can to support vulnerable members of our community and grow jobs and opportunities for the residents of North Warwickshire.”