Plymouth City Council has delivered all but of one of the 50 pledges for Plymouth made in May 2014 and is on track to deliver the remaining one in the next few weeks.
The pledges are linked to the Council’s Corporate Plan priorities and are themed around 10 priority areas including the economy and jobs, culture and sport, supporting children and young people to caring for residents whatever their age.
A report considered by the Cabinet said actions to deliver the pledges have included:
- Doubling membership of the 1000 Club to help create job opportunities and helping 2,000 more people in work
- Launching the Building Plymouth initiative to grow and support jobs
- Increasing the amount of local purchasing the council does to support local businesses
- Introducing new plans for the city centre
- Building a new CCTV control room to help keep Plymouth safe
- Keeping streets lights on through an 18-month project to replace nearly 29,000 street lights in the city with energy efficient LED lamps
- Campaigning against cuts to the police, PCSOs and firefighters
- Increasing the number of children leaving school with the ability to read and write
- Introducing a schools passport so all young people in the city are ‘job ready’ after leaving school
- Introducing a scheme to give children a second chance to learn to swim and keeping a discounted scheme for children’s entrance to the city’s leisure centres
- Expanding the Plymouth Energy Community (PEC) to provide affordable, sustainable energy
- Identifying and transferring sites for green energy generation, including a number of Ernesettle sites which are being transferred to a community owned trust with the aim of providing jobs, green energy, learning and training opportunities
- Launching a Land Share Scheme to encourage the use of unused land around the city to grow crops, fruit and vegetables
- Resurfacing roads and fix pavements. These works are part of an £11.2 million repair programme that treated two thirds of the city’s strategic network over a three year period
- Bringing forward major transport improvement plans for the north of the city with the appointment of the main contractor for the Derriford Transport Scheme with the Heart-of-the-South-West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) contributing £10.16 million towards the £12.72 million scheme
- Introducing more safer cycling and walking routes in and out of the city
- Delivering the Plan for Homes which committed to build 1,000 homes every year for the next five years. The second phase of Plan for Homes, covering 2016-2021 also sees an £80million plan for 5,000 new homes and over 2,000 construction jobs
- Agreeing a plan with landlords to create more social housing
- Developing a programme to improve the quality of private rented housing
- Promoting self-build opportunities through a Plymouth Housing Summit
- Ensuring Plymouth was designated as the centre for the Mayflower 400 anniversary celebrations in 2020
- Introducing free Wi-Fi in the city centre
- Delivering the Armed Forces Community Covenant, led by Plymouth City Council working in partnership with a range of local partners
- Lighting city landmarks by permanently lighting Smeaton’s Tower and other prominent iconic structures and buildings
- Recognising the contribution of Plymouth’s men and women who served in the First World War in the military and on the home front with a series of events marking the 100th anniversary of the Great War
- Progressing plans to transform Plymouth’s museum and art gallery into a new world class visitor attraction have taken giant steps forward
- Work is in still in progress to launch a public fund raising campaign for a fitting Mayflower memorial, so this pledge has not been delivered yet
- Carrying out pioneering work to make Plymouth a dementia friendly city
- Providing a seamless discharge from hospital
- Campaigning for a fairer public health settlement
- Opening the new one stop shop in the city centre
- Enhancing the scrutiny programme
- Launching a campaign to encourage people to register to vote so everyone in Plymouth is able to have their voice heard at election time.
Council leader Tudor Evans said: “Delivering all these pledges in a relatively short space of time has been an incredible achievement. It is us as a council doing exactly what we promised we would do.
“But the pledges are just part of the story. We’ve gone much, much further than what we said we would do. We’ve delivered a huge amount of the last year and have big plans for continuing to deliver over the next year.
“For example, over the next year we’ll be demolishing the Quality Hotel on the Hoe and marketing the site to attract a high quality hotel developer, we’ll be seeing work start on the Drake leisure development at Bretonside, we’ll be opening a new coach station, bringing forward plans to redevelop Colin Campbell Court and working on exciting plans for the railway station that will see Plymouth finally giving travellers a fitting welcome to the city.
“We’re about to open a new library in the city centre and have recently submitted a planning application for the History Centre, which will see a step change in arts and culture and Plymouth. Work on the History Centre is due to start at the end of the year.
“We’ll also be bringing big events such as MTV Crashes back this summer and working on exciting plans for Mayflower 400.
“These initiatives are transforming Plymouth and making it a better place to live. There’s a lot done and lot more to do and we’re looking forward to seeing much of the work we’ve already started coming to fruition throughout 2016.”