Nine priorities for improving peoples’ lives over the next four years has been set out by B&NES in a draft document that will go before a council meeting next week.
The draft Corporate Strategy 2023-2027, to go before cabinet on July 13, retains the council’s core policy of tackling the climate and ecological emergency and says the council will lead the UK in climate and nature action. It also commits the council to listening to and working with residents, retaining its core policy of giving people a bigger say.
The council’s existing three principles of preparing for the future, delivering for local residents and focusing on prevention also remain at the heart of the strategy.
Following the formation of its new cabinet in May, the following nine priorities for improving people’s lives are also set out in the draft document:
- The right homes in the right places
- More travel choices
- Clean, safe and vibrant neighbourhoods
- Support for vulnerable adults and children
- Delivering for our children and young people
- Healthy lives and places
- Good jobs
- Skills to thrive
- Cultural life
As well as the report on the Corporate Strategy, cabinet will also receive a progress report which sets out how the council has improved people’s lives since it adopted its current Corporate Strategy in 2020. For example, Bath and North East Somerset has become the first council in England to adopt an energy-based net zero housing policy as part of its commitment to tackle the climate emergency.
The council has also developed a state-of-the-art waste and recycling facility at Pixash Lane, Keynsham – the first phase of which has been completed – with the new reuse and recycling centre opening on 17 April 2023.
Councillor David Wood, Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Council Priorities and Delivery, said: “We have made excellent progress on delivering the strategy we adopted in 2020. As part of our commitment to tackle the climate emergency we became the first council in England to successfully adopt an energy-based net zero housing policy and opened a state-of-the-art waste and recycling hub at Pixash Lane. We are working with 15 communities to design liveable neighbourhoods and our Clean and Green campaign has seen tangible improvements in local neighbourhoods.
“I am proud of what we have achieved so far but there is much more to come. We want to keep the momentum up and build on these successes over the next four years. We want to see improved outcomes for residents, reducing inequalities across the board. We will strive for better transport choices – particularly for walking, cycling and public transport – more affordable housing and access to good jobs in a thriving economy.
We will lead the UK in tackling the climate and ecological emergency and put this at the heart of everything we do. I therefore welcome this report and I know Cabinet will consider the proposed strategy before it makes its recommendation to Full Council.”
The strategy also proposes that, for the first time, a ‘decision wheel’ be drawn up, to ensure decisions fit within the ‘climate, ecological and environmental ceiling’ whilst also ensuring the key priorities are delivered as part of the ‘social and economic foundation’. This draws on what the economist Kate Raworth refers to as ‘doughnut’ economics – a way of ensuring that needs are met within the capacity of the planet.
The council’s Corporate Policy Development and Scrutiny (PDS) Panel will consider the draft strategy on July 11 ahead of it going before cabinet on July 13.
The strategy is the council’s overarching document and forms a framework for officers and members to work within. It aims to guide the council’s activity and decision making.
As it forms part of the Policy and Budget Framework, the final decision on adoption of the Corporate Strategy will be made at Full Council on July 20.
An overview of the strategy’s priorities will also be shared with the Area Forums on the following dates:
- Somer Valley Forum – July 4
- Bathavon Forum – July 5
- Keynsham Area Forum – July 6
- Chew Valley Area Forum – July 12
- Bath Area Forum – July 18
Read the full report on the Corporate Strategy 2023-2027 and the update on progress on delivering the Corporate Strategy 2020-2024
Watch the cabinet meeting at 6.30pm on July 13 and view the agenda
Watch the Full Council meeting at 6.30pm on July 20. Details here