We will not be blown off course by pandemic pledge council leaders

Released: Wednesday, 02 December 2020

Leaders of Adur & Worthing Councils today pledge not to be blown off course by the pandemic with a renewed commitment to pursuing long term programmes that help their communities thrive.

A range of practical building projects, wellbeing schemes and environmental actions are outlined in a six-month progress report, 'Platforms for our Places: Going Further' presented to councillors this week.

The 'direction of travel' document outlines commitments for the next three years and concludes that the majority remain on course despite the blow delivered by the Covid crisis.

The report before the Councils' Joint Strategic Committee says officers 'have continued to move forward at pace with an ambitious agenda showing resilience and an ability to innovate that are genuinely exceptional'.

It outlines the five platforms for action for both Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council and reports back that progress is being made despite the buffeting of the economy and gives examples of work going ahead in each. It also points out that careful stewardship of budgets means that despite having to take on more responsibility and work during the crisis finances are in decent order and, unlike other authorities, no cuts to services are currently planned.

  • Prosperous Places: on the first commitment work has continued to develop major sites to create jobs or build houses. In partnership with the NHS the borough council has gained planning permission for a Worthing Integrated Care Centre as part of a new Civic Quarter on its land behind the town hall. In Adur the district council is delivering hundreds of new affordable homes are being built and plans to spend more than £12m to build a further 57 homes in spaces taken by underused garages.
  • Thriving People and Communities: a pioneering digital response from Councils has allowed officers to identify people made vulnerable by lockdown and put them in touch with volunteers recruited through the website. An innovative scheme with landlords called Opening Doors is helping to find much needed housing for those facing homelessness.
  • Tackling Climate Change and Supporting our Natural Environment: a citizens' Climate Assembly has been established to propose to Councils actions on tackling the crisis and land has been bought at New Salts Farm between Lancing and Shoreham to maintain green spaces and promote biodiversity.
  • Good Services and New Solutions: Prudent financial control has meant Councils are currently breaking even but still delivering extra services required by the pandemic. Improved digital services, including a new website, are enabling residents to access information and services more efficiently than ever before.
  • Leadership of our Places: Councils have developed a range of partnerships and alliances with crucial bodies and have developed reputations as innovators and places 'open for business'. The Time for Worthing place brand, a long-term inward investment initiative, has been driven by the borough council.

Welcoming the report the Leaders of Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council said the publication of the report proved their commitment to action on behalf of residents remained despite the severe blows delivered by the pandemic.

Leader of Adur District Council, Cllr Neil Parkin, said:

“By publishing these commitments and then updating them in this way we are happy to be held to account for progress. In this year in particular it would be easy to hunker down and consolidate but we are continuing to look to the future beyond the life cycle of this terrible virus.”

Leader of Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Daniel Humphreys, said:

“It is important to keep moving forward so this report is welcome. For example to be able to make a significant step forward on Teville Gate by jointly purchasing it to build much needed homes while responding to the pandemic is a remarkable achievement in my opinion.”

Fore information on the Platforms for our Places programme see:

(PR20-159)

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Page last updated: 18 January 2021