Progress across the board on delivering council vision and priorities

PUBLISHED: 17 April 2023

Date published: 17 April 2023

An end of year update on the progress by Colchester City Council to deliver on its Strategic Plan priorities was endorsed at the Cabinet meeting on 12 April 2023.

The meeting heard from Pam Donnelly, Chief Executive of Colchester City Council, about many individual actions that have been taken towards delivery of the council’s priorities. And against a backdrop of the most challenging financial conditions in recent memory. The City Council having to close a budget gap of some £7m or over a quarter of their core budget:
  • Continued support for residents and business by working with the One Colchester Partnership, including the cost of living crisis - from direct advice, support and or financial relief to help those who help others, like foodbanks; ensuring our city is welcoming and safe through joint initiatives with Essex Police and Pub Watch; and continued support for refugees and those seeking asylum homed in Colchester, as a City of Sanctuary.
  • The council continues to work with partners to grow a fairer economy by celebrating city status, making the most of the opportunities this gives our city. Secured £19.66m funding from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to help tackle inequality, regenerate the St Botolph’s area and boost the local economy, in partnership with Essex County Council. Continue to deliver the Town Deal projects to improve the lives of residents and support businesses.
  • Strengthened Colchester’s heritage and cultural offer by hosting a stage of the prestigious Women’s Tour in June 2022, launching a Cultural Strategy and supporting 25 organisations hosting cultural and creative events through our Cultural and Creative Events Fund. Invested in our heritage, including new interpretation boards and commitment to host a major exhibition in July 2023 ‘Gladiators: A Day at the Roman Games’ at Colchester Castle.
  • Continued to build homes – but no more than we need. We’ve delivered eighty affordable homes through Registered provider developments, seen the first homes built by council company, Amphora Homes and delivery of 30 per cent affordable homes through these schemes. Work is underway to build the Leisure Park at Northern Gateway, all supporting its commitment to bringing forward affordable housing.
  • Further steps have been taken to tackle the climate emergency and lead on sustainability. The council continues its drive towards a full electric fleet by 2030 and now has 15 electric and hybrid vehicles and has seven electric vehicle charging points in its car parks. It has planted 14,000 trees and given away 15,000 trees/shrubs across the city as part of the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project to help our wildlife and our environment.

Pam Donelly, Chief Executive of Colchester City Council, said: “Despite our challenging financial circumstances we have provided support to our residents and businesses facing difficulties because of the cost of living crisis and addressed some of the key issues facing Colchester. 

“We continue to face the most challenging financial conditions we have known in recent years and have had to make some difficult decisions to ensure we deliver a legal and balanced budget this year and for years to come. We recognise that the best decisions are made by working with others, with those most affected, including partners and our staff, and with all political parties – and that is what we have done. Together, we will remain ambitious for better, to continue to offer modern services for a modern city, whilst balancing our budget.

“But there is a lot to celebrate about The City of Colchester and the great projects that are happening. We’re making the most that modern city status brings to our city through our Year of Celebration, with 34 events (so far) across the city and surrounding towns and villages, and a recent visit from the King and the Queen Consort and the Coronation to come.

“We now look forward to delivering the co-designed Strategic Plan for 2023-26, which shapes the future operation of the council and the way we will deliver key services, with others, for years to come.”

Page last reviewed: 17 April 2023


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