The Leader of Lewes District Council has put tackling climate change and work to achieve a zero carbon district at the top of her agenda for 2020.
Councillor Zoe Nicholson issued her New Year message this week reflecting on recent environmental crises and highlighting the Co-operative Alliance’s corporate plan, a document that sets out the council’s ambitions for the next four years.
“It worries me that people become fatigued by a continual stream of chilling messages and warnings about climate change. Then, we see the striking and visceral images of Australia ablaze, burning from coast to coast. And in our own backyard we yet again see the impact of flooding on the Upper and Lower Ouse with residents frightened, businesses shut, roads closed and travel chaos. We can’t suffer fatigue now, our combined efforts alongside all communities over the next few years, will define the decades to come.
“Our new corporate plan, out for public consultation this week, sets out our priorities and focus. This is the Co-operative Alliance’s first corporate plan and I care deeply about it, it explains how we will make sure that we deliver the best possible high quality service to residents, provide leadership to the district on tackling the climate emergency, create sustainable community wealth and build homes that local people can afford to live in.
“It's a source of deep frustration to many residents that the last council administration only built 40 new homes, we will deliver 200 council houses. Over the next four years we will use our resources wisely to build sustainable and affordable homes and support employment opportunities, establishing the basic foundations for good health and social cohesion.
Health was high on the local news agenda in 2019 with plans for a new health hub in Seaford coming under intense scrutiny. Working closely with local GPs, Councillor Nicholson asked the council’s Scrutiny Committee to assess the viability of the original proposals that were focused on developing the Downs Leisure Centre site.
Councillor Nicholson said:
“I have spoken to many residents in Seaford and there is real concern about how further development at the Downs Leisure Centre would see the loss of highly valued green space and impact the town centre. It is also beyond doubt that the service our excellent local GPs provide is compromised by sub-standard buildings that they currently occupy, they are simply not fit for purpose.
“The Scrutiny Committee will report back on February 6 and I will be meeting with the GPs, Clinical Commissioning Group and other health service decision makers the following week. The council will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our GPs whatever the findings of the report into the Downs Leisure Centre and will work creatively and collaboratively to find the right solution for Seaford.”
To comment on the council’s corporate plan please visit lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/ldccorporateplan
Published 17 January 2020