Sunday, March 3, 2024

‘Stronger Economies’ and ‘Stronger Communities’: council plans for the future

Two plans that will steer the future of North East Lincolnshire in the years ahead have been approved by the Council’s Cabinet.

Members of the Cabinet met this week and gave their formal support to both the North East Lincolnshire Council Plan, and the Budget, Finance and Commissioning Plan. Both cover the next three to five years. They detail the plans of each main service area within the council, the projects and priorities within those areas and how they will be supported.

The Council Plan is a far-reaching document that details the services to be delivered and developments planned in the next five years. It also outlines the ambition of North East Lincolnshire Council to work with its partners to create ‘Stronger Economies’ and ‘Stronger Communities’, under five main headers:

  • Learning and Skills
  • Investing in our Future
  • Vitality & Health
  • Economic Recovery and Growth
  • Sustainable & Safe

Using the above ‘outcomes’ senior officers have mapped out their target achievements within vital areas such as Children’s Services, Public Health and Adult Social Care. This work runs alongside the ambition to improve education for all, to achieve continued regeneration across the borough and improve prospects.

Of this Plan, Council Leader, Cllr Philip Jackson said: “This provides us with a real focus on what we must achieve and how we must work together to overcome the challenges and realise the opportunities.”

Meanwhile the in-depth report that makes up the Budget, Finance and Commissioning Plan details how the authority will work to support the delivery of the Council Plan.

Within the document, it is highlighted how it will need to be regularly reviewed and updated as and when present uncertainties become clear. These include the way Central Government decides to fund local government in the future, which is currently subject to discussion with the recent release of the Levelling Up White Paper. It adds how significant demands upon areas like children and adult social care, and the continued impact of the pandemic have also impacted on the content of the plan and the finances of the council moving forward.

The report adds: “The plan itself is set within the context of significant change and challenge for the organisation. There are a wide range of issues, both local and national, which have been taken into account when developing the plan. Key issues include the continued and longer-term impacts of COVID 19, wider health and social care reform, demographic pressures on social care demand and the specific challenges currently faced within Children’s Services.”

It confirmed how, for the financial year running from April 2022 to March 2023, North East Lincolnshire Council had received a real-terms increase in funding of four per cent from the Local Government Financial Settlement. This includes the approved 1.98 increase in the base council tax with a further one per cent added for adult social care. As reported, those living in Band A to D households across the country will receive a £150 payment to help alleviate the cost-of-living crisis.

Cllr Jackson added: “This financial report, again recognises our ambition but also highlights the financial times we are all living in, which have been significantly impacted by events over the last two years. However, what we must recognise is how the Levelling Up agenda is set to give authorities like ours the opportunity to attract investment and therefore encourage work to continue to regenerate and give us a new start in many areas.”

Both plans will now go to Full Council with a recommendation from Cabinet for approval.

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