Council says residents come first!

Growing the visitor economy is just one of the aims set out in Bath and North Somerset Council’s new Corporate Strategy which is due to be discussed by Cabinet on November 4th.

The Bath Guildhall
The Bath Guildhall

The authority has set out its plans for 2016 – 2020, committing to investing in the future of the area and putting the interests of residents first, whilst ensuring an efficient and well-run organisation.

In its draft corporate strategy ‘Bath and North East Somerset: a beautifully inventive place,’ the Council sets out a four-year delivery plan, which will also help inform the financial plan over the same period.

Council Leader, Cllr Tim Warren (Conservative, Mendip), said: “These are hugely challenging times for all local authorities with increasing demand for services alongside cuts in funding from the Government. We have put together a robust strategy which sets out our aims and ambitions for the next four years, enabling us to invest in the things that matter to local people. We are committed to ensuring this Council is efficient and well-run; invests in the future and puts the interests of residents first.

“We are working with and listening to our communities, focusing on the things that matter most to people. That means good quality housing residents can afford to buy; improving our local transport network, making it easier to get around our area whether on foot, car, bike or train; joined-up health and social care services for young and old; high-quality education, and strong economic growth, generating more jobs for local people.”

Cllr Tim Warren Leader of B&NES.
Cllr Tim Warren
Leader of B&NES.

The draft corporate strategy sets out how the Council will:

Invest in a strong economy and growth
Investing in the economy and local infrastructure, creating new jobs and more affordable housing are essential to prosperity. 1,650 new jobs and 920 new homes will be created through the regeneration of Bath City Riverside Enterprise Area. A new business centre to support small and medium-sized business and start-ups is being developed in Midsomer Norton, and the Council will continue to deliver regeneration in Keynsham, including employment space and additional housing. 480 affordable homes will be delivered across the area by March 2018 for those most in need, working with partners.

Ensure it runs as an effective business
By saving money in back-office services and looking at new ways of generating income, the Council will ensure it has funding to invest in key areas. For example, the Council will work to grow the visitor economy, with more markets, pop-ups and events – working with local partners.

Develop a new relationship with customers and communities
The Council will continue to work with its partner organisations and local communities to look at innovative ways of delivering services to residents, putting customers first in everything. For example, the Council will work with parish councils, communities and key partners to deliver and adopt Neighbourhood Plans by December 2015 and Placemaking Plans by December 2016.

Put in place preventative services
The Council will seek to support the most vulnerable children and adults, providing support at an early stage. It will look to intervene earlier across the full breadth of Council services to improve outcomes for local people, whilst avoiding incurring greater costs at a later date.

For example, The Your Care Your Way consultation looks at innovative ways of working with partners including NHS BaNES Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Key changes include more preventative work and early-intervention services to help people before any illnesses deteriorate or they need hospital treatment.

The corporate strategy will be discussed by the Council’s Cabinet on November 4.