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New Council Plan sets key priorities until 2021

West Lancashire Borough Council has a new Council Plan for 2018/19-2020/21 setting out its vision, priorities and key projects for the next three years.

The Council is ambitious for the whole of West Lancashire – our Economy, Environment and for Health and Wellbeing.

In 2015 the authority set out a three-year plan which has seen significant achievements and the new plan builds on these.

Key successes of the 2015/18 plan include:

  • Working with partners to create the Skelmersdale Ambassadors Network which encourages business to business engagement, business growth in the town and the promotion of Skelmersdale as a business location
  • Improving the Council’s housing stock. Over 3,000 homes had one or more of the following fitted: New kitchens, bathrooms, roofs, windows, doors and heating systems. This investment into tenants’ homes is set to continue over the next several years.
  • Launching a Health and Wellbeing Strategy which aims to ensure West Lancashire residents can lead healthy and fulfilling lives
  • Purchasing the Wheatsheaf Walks shops as part of its progress on the Ormskirk Town Centre Strategy
  • Installing solar panels on 588 of its homes to help tenants save money on energy bills
  • Opening the new Greenwood Business Centre
  • Completing the £8 million Firbeck Revival Project, which included the building of 42 new homes
  • Progressing the building of 36 new homes in Beechtrees, Digmoor, and a further 27 homes in the heart of Ormskirk
  • Using Community Infrastructure Levy monies raised from developers to help projects across the Borough, including schemes to improve the play area at Stanley Coronation Park, Skelmersdale and the playing field facilities at Whittle Drive, Ormskirk; canal towpath improvements in Burscough and rural community projects
  • Moving ahead with the Tawd Valley Park Masterplan

Other notable Council accomplishments include receiving the highest possible rating for its website from industry experts the Society of Chief Information Technology Managers (SOCITM), in the 2017/18 annual survey.

All this has been achieved against the backdrop of increasing financial pressures and amid reductions in government funding which has seen the authority carry out several million pounds worth of savings and income measures over the last three years.

Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, said: “West Lancashire is an ambitious Council and we are committed to important projects that will benefit the Borough and everyone who lives and works here and visits the area. Our new plan sets out our priorities as we plan our work for the next three years.”

The new plan lists three main priorities and sets out how these can be achieved by:

Delivering tangible and visible improvements in the Borough, by:

  • Completing the current review of the Local Plan
  • Developing new leisure facilities as health and leisure hubs for the Borough
  • Delivering retail, housing and public realm improvements with a focus on Skelmersdale Town Centre
  • Establishing a Development Company, subject to the business case, to accelerate the build of housing and commercial property for rent and sale

Engaging and empowering our local communities, by:

  • Delivering the Masterplan for Tawd Valley Park, subject to resources, involving the community in planning and delivering improvements
  • Piloting volunteer engagement at Abbey Lakes, and exploring opportunities to roll out this approach to other countryside parks in the Borough
  • Facilitating the asset transfer of existing leisure facilities in North Meols, working with the owners of this facility and local communities
  • Deliver digital inclusion initiatives, to encourage self-service and further strengthen customer service

Actively promoting the borough as a great place to live, work, visit and invest, by:

  • Promoting the Council’s role and West Lancashire’s achievements through a new digital communications strategy, complementing traditional approaches
  • Roll out ‘place branding’ and continue to develop the websites for Ormskirk and Skelmersdale
  • Continue to engage with Liverpool City Region and Lancashire authorities, to bring benefits to West Lancashire
  • Engaging businesses and communities in enhancing and promoting Ormskirk, Burscough and Skelmersdale, including through the Ormskirk Town Centre Management Group and Skelmersdale Place Board

For more information on the Council Plan please visit www.westlancs.gov.uk/councilplan.

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