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Annual Plan 2022 to 2023

Welcome to the Somerset West and Taunton Council Annual Plan for 2022-23 (1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023)

In October 2019, Somerset West and Taunton Council agreed an ambitious Corporate Strategy, which set out the Council’s priorities and vision; putting people and the environment at the heart of what we do.

Priority strategic themes and outcomes

What success will look like:-

A low-carbon, clean, green and prosperous district that attracts high quality employment opportunities and encourages healthy lifestyle.

Objectives

  1. Work towards making our District carbon neutral by 2030 - deliver projects based on a Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience Plan that work toward this goal (for example installing electric vehicle charging points across the District)
  2. Shape and protect our built and natural environment, supported by a refreshed Local Plan and develop our heritage, cultural and leisure offer including a clear vision and delivery plan for the Taunton Garden Town
  3. Encourage wealth creation and economic growth throughout the District by attracting inward investment, enabling research and innovation, improving the skills of the local workforce and seeking to ensure the provision of adequate and affordable employment land to meet different business needs
  4. Improve recycling rates and reduce the amount of waste material that is not recycled through working with other Councils in the Somerset Waste Partnership
  5. Provide and maintain green open spaces and parks, enhanced public spaces, as well as additional opportunities to safely walk or cycle in order to encourage active and healthy lifestyles
  6. Support the town centres throughout the District to meet the challenge of changing shopping habits
  7. Facilitate the development of the commercial parts of the Firepool site in Taunton
  8. Support the enhancement of arts and culture provision within the District

What success will look like:-

A Council which informs and engages openly with our stakeholders and which consistently delivers excellent customer service.

Objectives

  1. Deliver excellence in the way the Council conducts its business
  2. Make more of our services available to access 24/7
  3. Reduce the Council’s reliance on specialist agency staff by ‘Growing our own’ expertise through investing in our own staff
  4. Deliver new technologies and improvements to our processes that deliver excellent customer service
  5. Develop and deliver effective communications, consultation and engagement which listens to and engages with our residents and stakeholders and is central to the delivery of our services, strategies and plans
  6. Make greater use of our business intelligence and feedback to improve the delivery of our services
  7. Review the Council’s decision making arrangements to enable greater participation by all Councillors and the public

What success will look like:-

A district which offers a choice of good quality homes for our residents, whatever their age and income, in communities where support is available for those who need it.

Objectives

  1. Increase the number of affordable and social homes in our urban towns, rural and coastal communities; including those built by the Council
  2. Facilitate the development of the residential blocks at Firepool, Taunton, in order to deliver new homes and public open spaces
  3. Reduce anti-social behaviour, through working with residents and our partners as well as tackle economic, social and health inequalities within the groups and communities that need extra support
  4. Work to end homelessness and rough sleeping in the District
  5. Engage with the voluntary sector in their mission to help support our communities
  6. Support the delivery of strong sustainable transport infrastructure links including greater provision of public transport across the district, as well as solutions which remove barriers to people using public transport to access work, training and leisure opportunities
  7. Seek additional funding for new strategic infrastructure and regeneration projects from developers, investors, Government and other funders, which support or enable existing or new communities within our district

What success will look like:-

A financially self-sufficient Council which has expanded its commercial activity and generated more income in order to support service provision.

Objectives

  1. Pursue commercial investment opportunities that generate additional income that can be reinvested in service delivery in order to protect or enhance services on which our communities rely. Supported by a commercial investment strategy
  2. Meet the challenge of Government completely withdrawing the Council's grant funding
  3. Ensure our land and property assets support the achievement of the council’s objectives (including service delivery, regeneration projects and community initiatives)

The Annual Action Plan 2022/23 outlines what the Council aims to achieve by 31 March 2023, in order to support the delivery of these priority strategic themes and outcomes.

The Plan doesn’t contain everything we do, but sets out at a high level, the key projects and actions outside of our core work, that we intend to focus on during the 12 months from 1 April 2022. These are in addition to delivering excellent day to day services on which our communities rely.

The Council will formally report on the progress of the Annual Action Plan twice a year as part of its performance management arrangements.

The Leader of the Council highlights our priorities for the 2022/23 financial year in our Annual Plan video below.

Highlights from 2021/22

During 2021/22 we continued to make great progress against our corporate priorities.

In the video below our Executive councillors look back and share some of the highlights from the year.

The video is structured into nine sections, the timings for which are:

  1. 00.15 to 02:15 Cllr Ross Henley A self-sufficient council that delivers excellent services.
  2. 02:19 to 04:14 Cllr Dixie Darch A council that leads on the climate emergency
  3. 04:21 to 05:08 Cllr Marcus Kravis A council that supports jobs and regeneration
  4. 05:13 to 05:46 - Cllr Derek Perry - A council that takes pride in our parks and open spaces
  5. 05:50 to 06:48 - Cllr Caroline Ellis - A council that values and supports culture and the arts
  6. 06:53 to 08:26 - Cllr Fran Smith - A council that delivers homes that local people can afford
  7. 08:31 to 10:54 - Cllr Mike Rigby - A council that is enabling and delivering major schemes
  8. 10:58 to 11:40 - Cllr Chris Booth - A council that supports our community to help vulnerable people
  9. 11:47 to 13:02 - Cllr Andrew Sully - A council that cares about our local environment

This year will be our last year of operation as Somerset West and Taunton Council. From 1 April 2023 our services will be delivered by the new Somerset Council. However, this doesn’t mean we’re taking our foot off the pedal.

We want to leave a lasting legacy, based on everything you expect from us so that this area is a great place to live work and visit.

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