Have your say on priorities for Council services

1 December 2016

People living in villages around Cambridge are being asked to help set their local Council’s priorities during a seven-week public consultation.

South Cambridgeshire District Council is asking residents and businesses how their money should be spent in delivering services to them over the next five years.

The Council’s Cabinet has agreed a draft plan setting out four priority areas from 2017 to 2022, and now wants to hear what local residents, parish councils and businesses think.

The plan builds on work already being carried out to reduce costs and increase Council income to deliver value for money services to help communities and businesses thrive.

The suggested four priority areas cover:

  • Living Well – The Council wants to support communities to make sure the district is a healthy place for everyone to live in. For new and established communities to thrive they must have the facilities they need and the Council plans to make sure the right facilities are available as new communities are built.
  • Homes for our Future – There is a pressing demand for housing and the Council wants to keep working with developers to ensure early delivery of high quality new homes, good transport links and facilities. They are also focussing on preventing people becoming homeless through giving early support.
  • Connected Communities – Transport links and better digital infrastructure, such as broadband, are important to connect people and businesses. One focus is the Greater Cambridge City Deal – which covers Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire.
  • An Innovative and Dynamic Organisation – Huge cuts to the money the Council receives from government to provide services has meant there is even more need to generate its own income. The Council’s housing company – Ermine Street Housing – is one of the ways money is being generated to offset cuts.

The Council’s corporate plan also contains key actions under the main priority areas.

The consultation on the Council’s corporate plan will close on Friday 20 January 2017. Councillors will consider all the responses to the consultation before the priorities are finalised.

Visit www.scambs.gov.uk/council-aims-and-objectives to view the full plans and have your say.

Cllr Nick Wright, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Corporate and Customer Services, said: "Our draft plan builds on the work we have been carrying out over recent years to support our communities. We believe we are focussing on the right areas but it is important that we now hear what local people think. It is your money that we are investing in services and we need to make sure the areas we prioritise are the right ones to meet your needs now and into the future.

“We’re anticipating further significant funding cuts and plan to be independent of the grants we receive from government to deliver services by 2020. There is no doubt that we face increasingly tough decisions about targeting resources where they are most needed which is why your views are more important than ever. We need to know where our communities see the district in five years so that we can work together to get there and keep South Cambridgeshire as one of the best places to live, work and study in the country."

The Council is already sharing Legal, IT and Building Control services with neighbouring councils and councillors have said that it will look at other shared services where there is a sound business case to do so.