Lewes District Council is moving forward with a wide-reaching programme that has community wealth building at its core, to meet the challenges it faces due to Covid-19 and support a district-wide recovery.
This approach aims to keep as much wealth as possible in the local economy through the creation or new local jobs and new locally owned enterprise, to ensure a sustainable future.
Cabinet councillors today (November 12) heard about progress with this recovery and reset programme in four headline areas – best use of digital, reshaping delivery, best use of assets, and restart.
The programme is a key element in tackling the council’s budget shortfall of around £12m over the next four years.
Councillor James MacCleary(pictured), Leader of Lewes District Council, said: “Ensuring that we use council resources to support our local economy and community has been central to recovery and reset plans and now, in the midst of a second lockdown, this has never been so important.
“The programme will also deliver significant changes in the way we operate so that we build in long-term resilience while continuing to deliver on our priorities for excellent services, climate action, housing and community wealth.”
A newly formed cross-party recovery and reset board is due to meet soon.
Last month saw the second recovery summit for Lewes district which highlighted the importance of working together to create new jobs, a more skilled workforce and giving struggling people the support they need in the wake of Covid-19.
It was hosted by Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Deputy Leader of Lewes District Council, who said: “For some months we have been focusing on helping the district recover and working with our partners to ensure the welfare of local people experiencing hardship due to Covid19.
“We are committed to ensuring that we focus on how we use all our resources to benefit our communities and have commissioned the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) to undertake a study and make recommendations to us. These will be progressed through the recovery and reset programme.”
Councillor Chris Collier, Cabinet member for Performance and People, said: “We must enact significant organisational changes in response to the challenges we face now and in the future.
“I am confident the recovery and reset programme provides us with a structured and accountable approach for delivering these changes while keeping focused on giving support to local people who need it and growing our local economy in a sustainable way.”