Leaders look back on 'ambitious' plan to help Calderdale thrive and bounce back

Leaders in Calderdale have looked back at its 'ambitious' post-election plan which it says will help the borough bounce back and thrive,

Saturday, 4th December 2021, 7:00 am
Calderdale Council leader Coun Tim Swift

After the local election in May 2021, the administration set out its actions for supporting residents, businesses and the environment during its first six months.

From schools and housing, to regeneration and diversity, achievements will be recognised at the next Cabinet meeting on Monday December 6 .

The new action plan aimed to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the major challenges of flooding in February 2020 and the toughest financial pressures.

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It also aimed to support the Vision2024 for Calderdale and the Cabinet priorities to reduce inequalities, address the climate emergency and create sustainable towns to support the local economy.

Councillor Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said: “Our Vision2024 for Calderdale and our Cabinet priorities are about raising aspirations and enabling people to reach their potential. Instilling hope is much needed after months of the pandemic, plus major flooding impacts just before its outbreak.

“When our new administration got underway after the local election in May 2021, it was important to us to set out an action plan to help build a strong future for Calderdale. To aim for growth that is sustainable, to support jobs and opportunities for local people, and to reduce inequality and raise attainment.

“We are proud of the kindness, talent and resilience that have driven significant progress over the last six months.

“But the work doesn’t end there. We know there are still challenges ahead, and our priorities have a longer-term focus too, such as our local economic recovery, climate action and improved wellbeing for all our residents.”

The progress made on the six-month plan between June and November 2021 according to the Cabinet includes:

Supporting around 4000 families through COVID Local Support Grants totalling nearly £500,000, and helping vulnerable people with increased fuel and food costs over winter.

Giving more than 6000 vulnerable children and young people access to healthy meals and activities through the Healthy Holidays programme, delivering over 15,000 sessions across 43 venues this summer.

Committing to become a World Health Organisation Age Friendly Community and involving older people in plans to help everyone live full, healthy and happy later lives.

Adding to the Active Calderdale movement by embedding the promotion of cycling within the planning policy for all new scheme designs, and training health and social care staff to give them greater ability and confidence to have conversations with patients and clients about moving more.

Coordinating ‘Let’s Clean Up Calderdale’ events in August 2021 in a range of parks, launching a new online reporting system for fly-tipping and introducing new, portable CCTV cameras to monitor and move around fly-tipping ‘hot spots’.

Supporting the target for Calderdale to be zero-carbon by 2038 by completing the replacement LED street lighting project and achieving around £1 million of energy savings; starting the installation of heat pumps in six public buildings; and installing electric vehicle charge points.

Agreeing and consulting on a new draft Cultural Strategy to harness Calderdale’s rich cultural heritage, and establishing the Calderdale Creates network to help everyone in the community to enjoy the arts.

Making progress on major capital projects to support Calderdale’s recovery, including the Northgate commercial development and the proposed new leisure centre and rail station in Halifax, and submitting the planning application for the proposed Mixenden Hub.

Reducing the Council’s gender pay gap, making progress on the ethnicity pay gap and increasing the diversity of interview panels, apprenticeships and staff development and progression opportunities.

Driving forward new housing developments across Calderdale and launching a new Housing and Homelessness Support Service.

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