Cheshire West and Chester Council is urging residents to get involved as it sets out an ambitious vision for the future of the borough, including more than £114 million investment on services to promote health, wellbeing and independence.
The Council launched Play Your Part on 10 October to give residents, businesses, young people and community groups the chance to have their say on its next four-year plan and how they can help make the plan a reality.
Play Your Part focuses on five challenges the borough faces between 2020 and 2024 – all in the light of a budget gap between £11million and £27million over this time, depending on future Government funding.
These challenges include:
- tackling the climate emergency
- supporting the economy to grow and provide good jobs with fair wages for residents
- supporting children and young people to get the best start in life and achieve their full potential
- helping more people to live longer, happier and healthier lives
- making all neighbourhoods even better places to call home.
Play Your Part also sets out its ambition for a new partnership between the Council and community where everyone has a part to play in tackling the challenges ahead.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: “My overarching priority as Council Leader is to help everyone thrive by building stronger communities.
“I want to work together with residents, community groups, businesses and other organisations so that we all play our part in making our communities greener, fairer and more involved.
“We don’t think we have all the answers, and know we can’t fix all the problems alone – it is only by building stronger communities that we can tackle the challenges we face as a borough.
“Of course, we are working under extreme financial uncertainty – while the Government has indicated that there will be extra funding for councils, this is for one year only and there are no guarantees between 2021 and 2024.
“We pride ourselves on our long-term approach to planning, which is difficult in the light of current national and international circumstances. Nevertheless, we have set out some strong ideas for the next four years and would like you to tell us if you agree and how you can play your part.”
The Council aims to provide extra investment in ongoing services for vulnerable children and adults, with plans to spend £114.2 million on services to support health, wellbeing and independence and £65 million on services for children and families by 2024.
Other ambitions include:
- investing £15.5 million in climate emergency initiatives like energy-efficient street lighting, energy generation and transport projects
- providing £90,000 funding for free wi-fi in town centres
- investing £5.8 million to support the regeneration of Winsford, Northwich and Ellesmere Port
- providing £63.9 million to support the Northgate regeneration project in Chester.
The Council is also looking to invest £66.4 million on building 1,000 homes and maintaining existing Council homes, as well as looking to spend £22.7 million on heritage and culture.
Play Your Part is an eight-week engagement from 10 October until 5 December. If a General Election is called within this time, pre-election publicity rules may impact how the Council can engage.
There are a number of ways people can take part, from filling in surveys and voting in quick polls to posting thoughts on an online ideas board. Residents can choose to engage with the challenges that interest them most, or with the full survey.
For full information about Play Your Part and how to have your say, visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/playyourpart2019. You can also write to Play Your Part, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Council Offices, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE, or call: 0300 123 8 123 and quote ‘Play Your Part’.
A live online question time event will also take place on 11 November where members of the public can put their questions to Cabinet, the Council’s ruling group. To submit a question in advance, visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/playyourpart2019, email email@example.com or tweet @Go_CheshireWest using #playyourpartcw. You can also submit live questions during the event.