On track to deliver pledges that make a difference

Plymouth City Council is on track to deliver the priorities it has set to improve life for its residents, both now and for the future.

A progress report on the 19 pledges the administration has committed to deliver is being submitted to Cabinet to highlight some of the key achievements made over the last three months.

The pledges are all linked to the Council’s Corporate Plan and are tracked to make sure they stay on target and deliver for the people of Plymouth.

Council Leader Ian Bowyer said: “We have been very conscious of tackling the issues that matter to people.

“That’s why I am pleased to see that during the last three months we have made great progress sorting out 1,463 pavement defects and continue with our programme of resurfacing and reconstruction on our footpaths.

“We said we’d review traffic light operations and tackle bottlenecks to keep the city moving and have successfully completed projects designed to do that, including reopening Jubilee Road at West Park, removing a bus lane to improve the traffic flow on Woolwell Road, and reduce congestion on Tavistock Road by opening the bus lane.

“We know how important this key road is and are doing everything we can to keep the journey on this road as smooth as possible as this major work progresses.”

The administration pledged to bring in a city-wide initiative to tackle the city’s litter and the Council’s Street Services team has been out and about talking to the public about how to keep the streets cleaner. They are being trained to collect evidence to lead to enforcement.

Plymouth Community Homes staff have also been trained to help the Council gather evidence and data to tackle fly tipping and plans are underway to up the ante in tackling littering enforcement in the very near future.

Councillor Bowyer said: “Our push to provide much-needed homes continues. Just this month a further 210 affordable homes and our flagship Nelson project for veterans were completed – that’s a phenomenal achievement and something we are very proud of.

“Last month we submitted four housing infrastructure bids for North Prospect, Woolwell, Millbay and Forder Valley which could unlock the delivery of 3,644 new homes.”

As well as creating new homes, the Council has been tackling the number of empty homes in the city. After investigating 1,200 long-term empty properties, we identified 469 which were occupied, leaving 697 long term properties, which will generate an extra £1.5 million in New Homes Bonus over the next four years as well as bring more back into use.

As well as issues that matter to people going about their lives, the pledges focus on the need to generate jobs, growth and ensure Plymouth has good transport links as well as its fair share of funding.

Council leader Ian Bowyer said: “We have also been fighting Plymouth’s corner. Through the Plymouth’s Asks brochure we continue to raise awareness of the shortfall in the public health grant, based on the needs of the population. We are also campaigning for the future of the naval base.

“Our key pledge to provide more jobs and apprenticeship opportunities continues to bring in good results. We’ve supported businesses looking to come here – a recent example is the Becton Dickinson investment which will lead to 200 jobs. The Range HQ is to be built at Seaton with a further 500 jobs and a number of projects the council is involved in – The Box, Oceansgate, Market Hall and City College STEM centre is supporting over 500 construction jobs.”

In the past quarter a number of major developments have come through the planning process – the 1620 Hotel, the Range and Drake Circus Bretonside scheme which will support for a further 1,224 jobs in the coming year. Work has just started on Phase 2 at Langage Business and work’s starting on the new Next store at Marsh Mills.

“We’re waiting to hear if our bid for funding for a Marine Business Technology Centre at Oceansgate will be successful and importantly, have now employed a STEM co-ordinator, whose role it will be to encourage our young people to consider careers in Science Technology Engineering and Maths.”

For more information on all the pledges visit the cabinet report here http://democracy.plymouth.gov.uk/documents/s83301/Cabinet%20Commitment%20Report%20Q2%202017-18%20v1.1.pdf