New Forest District Council unveils four-year policy plan

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New Forest District Council
New Forest District Council’s Appletree Court HQ in Lyndhurst

A FOUR-YEAR plan has been published by New Forest District Council setting out how it will boosting housing, the economy and deliver new public facilities.

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The 24-page draft strategy refreshes the promise to provide 600 council homes by 2026, as well as a review parking infrastructure and technology and to deliver more play equipment and sports provision.

The corporate plan is a statutory document, dubbed Community Matters by New Forest District Council, which guides the authority’s priorities from 2020-24 – as well as how success will be measured.

The housing department aims to provide 40 emergency accommodation units to cut reliance on B&Bs, as well as bringing in a strategy next year to reduce the number of empty properties, plus a new landlords’ forum.

Resilience to climate change is a priority as well as working with partners to improve broadband and mobile connectivity for the district. A revised waste strategy is also mentioned – for which wheelie bins have not been ruled out.

NFDC will also start trading and buy properties through its own residential property company. A new and improved council website is promised as well as flood and erosion “risk management” projects between Barton and Lymington.

New Forest District Council leader Cllr Barry Rickman

Council leader Cllr Barry Rickman said: “Community Matters focuses on the challenges we face and it is these that have shaped the commitments and priorities within the plan.

“The plan focuses on tackling the accelerating impact of climate change, new approaches to providing more homes for local people, maintaining the unique and special qualities of the environment, improving health and wellbeing, and economic prosperity.

“This is an important document as it will shape our decision making, how we spend the budget, and ultimately what work our officers do on the ground.”

Internal aims include updating the council’s IT systems, and make it more attractive to employees to boost recruitment.

NFDC chief executive Bob Jackson said: “Responses to this consultation will help us to prioritise our activities over the next four years.

“I would encourage all in our community who receive our services, whether it is your weekly refuse collection, the use of our car parks, or assistance with your housing needs, to read the document and let us know if we are doing the right things for you.”

A public consultation on the draft document has been launched with the deadline for comments on Friday 31st January. Find out more www.newforest.gov.uk/corporateplan.

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