Piloting ultrafast broadband, demolishing eyesore buildings, creating partnerships to improve health and building offices to create jobs are just some of the projects under way at Adur and Worthing Councils, a new report reveals.
The Councils are a third of the way through their three-year programme of activities, Platforms for our Places, with the amount of work completed or well underway exceeding expectations. In a progress report to the Joint Strategic Committee (JSC) of the Councils Chief Executive Alex Bailey spelt out the scale of the progress made. Platforms for our Places uses a colour coded system to illustrate who its commitments have progressed.
Of the 135 commitments in all 14 are blue (completed) 69 green (well under way) 48 amber (minor delays) 1 red (significant difficulties) and 3 grey (yet to start).
“If you bear in mind that the Councils deliberately set demanding agendas, my suggestion would be that we’re slightly ahead of where I anticipated we would be 12 months into the programme,” he told the JSC.
- Ultra Fast broadband project, working with West Sussex County Council, has begun with procurement of a supplier under way and significant government backing including £4.6m capital investment in the bag
- Adur Local Plan has been adopted which will see multi-million pound investments in housing and jobs while protecting green spaces and bringing in infrastructure spending from the private sector.The northern part of the old Adur civic centre now has planning permission for a new office block.
- Teville Gate multi-storey car park is about to be demolished to help kick start the development of the whole privately-owned site.
- A target of 600 people have been diverted from the doctor’s surgery and into programmes better suited to their needs by the Going Local social prescribing programme
- Work on Brooklands Lake has begun and is progressing well with the full support of a Friends group of local residents and supporters of the landmark
- A successful £600,000 bid to the Big Lottery Fund has seen the launch of a Growing Places scheme in both areas with work in community-based parks, open spaces and growing schemes helping volunteers improve their physical and mental health.
- Work continues to progress on plans to create a state-of-the-art healthcare hub on Worthing’s civic centre car park. The Borough Council has committed the land and some financing towards the £18.5 million proposal which could see brand new facilities providing primary care, such as GP surgeries, alongside community care services, which includes mental health provision, social care and clinical nurses.
With June being the halfway point of the programme Mr Bailey suggests that rather than rest on their laurels the Councils should use the midpoint to bring in new commitments or revisions to existing ones. The only “red mark” in the programme is the plan to develop the Stagecoach depot at Marine Parade, Worthing which is being held up trying to find a suitable alternative site for the bus company.