Consultation opens on plan setting Lewes District Council’s priorities

Lewes High Street, plan to extend pavement SUS-151002-113759001

Lewes High Street, plan to extend pavement SUS-151002-113759001

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Have your say

Residents, businesses, and organisations can have their say on a plan setting Lewes District Council’s priorities and commitments for the next four years.

The draft ‘Council Plan’ for 2016-2020 has been published on LDC’s website and the consultation will run until February 8, 2016.

Andy Smith, leader of Lewes District Council

Andy Smith, leader of Lewes District Council

Once agreed it will set out the council’s commitments, priorities, and a high level overview of key strategic projects including what it intends to achieve for residents, businesses and local communities.

Andy Smith, leader of Lewes District Council, said: “This plan shows how over the next four years, we will work to make Lewes District an even better place in which to live, work and visit.

“There are significant challenges ahead, not least of which is the need to save £3 million by 2020.

“As leader of the council, I have made a strong commitment to listen and work with all political groups on the council, key partners in the public, private, community and voluntary sectors and council staff, to deliver some significant projects in the district as well as a major joint transformation programme in partnership with Eastbourne Borough Council.”

The document is split into three sections: customers and communities, place, and value for money.

Under communities the council is aiming to increase participation in leisure in rural areas and amongst the elderly, drive more visitors to its leisure facilities, and continue to address environmental crime and anti-social behaviour through its Community Safety Partnership, as well as further developing relationships with town and parish councils to tackle local issues such as housing, infrastructure and social isolation.

It is also looking to improve its customer service team to ensure that more enquiries are dealt by just one person with around 7,500 people calling the switchboard each week.

On the place heading the draft plan explains that Lewes is the second most expensive market town in England to buy a home, with the average house price currently £408,641, while there are 1,700 people on the housing register.

It says it has a ‘clear commitment to deliver affordable housing’ through planning powers, its new homes project which aims to deliver new properties on around 30 council owned sites across the district, the North Street Regeneration Scheme, and through work with communities on neighbourhood plans.

The plan also commits to driving growth and prosperity, and keeping the district ‘clean and green’ by extending the chargeable fortnightly green waste collection service currently being piloted in Seaford, developing a ‘high profile campaign’ on recycling, and devolving some of its parks and open spaces to town and parish councils.

The last part of the plan is about ‘delivering sustainable services’ through a Joint Transformation Programme, which will see LDC integrate all of its services with Eastbourne Borough Council by 2020 to deliver savings of £3m a year.

It explains that both councils will ‘retain their sovereignty’ at the same time as ‘saving money and making services more sustainable, resilient and flexible’.

The latest draft was developed after a residents’ survey the council undertook last summer.

To view the plan and to comment visit www.lewes.gov.uk/councilplanconsultation

You can also email bsp@lewes.gov.uk or write to Business Strategy and Performance Team, Southover House, Lewes BN7 1AB.

The plan, together with feedback the council receives on it will be debated by the LDC’s cabinet on February 8, before being considered by Full Council on February 25, 2016.

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