Taking back control of maintaining the borough’s roads and footpaths, helping increase police presence, and promoting Colchester’s heritage are part of a fresh approach set to be introduced to make Colchester an even more attractive place to live, work and visit.
Proposals for a dynamic two year action plan to help deliver the aims and objectives of the council’s overarching strategic plan will be discussed at next week’s Cabinet meeting (11 July).
Around £2 million has been set aside to deliver the proposals over the next two years.
The plans include investing £550,000 into improving the borough’s infrastructure, meaning working more closely with Essex County Council and public transport operators through a new body titled ‘Transport for Colchester’.
As part of this, the council will seek to take back control for fixing potholes and footpaths and carrying out other highways maintenance from County Hall.
Around £750,000 is to be invested to further enhance work to keep the town centre clean and promote the town’s heritage and attractions, while £400,000 is set to be used to help make the town safer and to work with the police to increase their presence on the streets.
Other aspects of the plan include:
· highlighting the work supporting the borough’s economic growth and encourage more business to expand or relocate to Colchester;
· reducing homelessness and supporting vulnerable residents;
· promoting sport and encouraging people to lead healthier lifestyles;
· tackling antisocial behaviour and littering;
· maximising commercial income for the council to further help it deliver the services residents need and rely on;
· Creating cross party task and finish groups, including a Heritage and Tourism group, and
· Creating a new Policy and Public Initiatives panel to enable members of the public to bring forward ‘common sense’ ideas to help further enhance the lives of Colchester residents.
Cllr Mark Cory, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “We are proposing a new and fresh approach to making this great borough an even better place to live work and visit and help people feel proud of our town.
“Listening to residents its clear people want better roads and transport, for our town centre to be a clean and welcoming environment, and for us to make the most of the great heritage we have. People also want to feel even safer while enjoying everything our town has to offer at any time of the day.
“This, and more, is what we are seeking to do with our ambitious proposals. A key part of the plans is for the council, councillors, residents and other organisations to work closely together to deliver our ambitions.
“If agreed at Cabinet we will be seeking to drive these proposals forward as quickly as possible and we will be able to announce more on these in the coming weeks.”
A video from the Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Cory, outlining the plans can, be found here
Notes to editors:
A copy of the Strategic Plan Spending Priorities report being discussed at Cabinet on 11 July can be found here
The Council’s overarching strategic plan, agreed in February, describes the priorities and direction of the borough between 2018 and 2021.
Its four key themes are:
· GROWTH – Ensuring all residents benefit from the growth of the borough
· RESPONSIBILITY – Encouraging everyone to do their bit to making our borough even better
· OPPORTUNITY – Promoting and improving Colchester and its environment
· WELLBEING – Making Colchester an even better place to live and supporting those who need most help
The £2 million funding for the plan will come from New Homes Bonus funding, some Business Rates Pool funding, and Council Reserves.