The Leader will address the Council.
The Leader addressed the Council reflecting on the last six months in the life of Mid Devon District Council, the efforts of members as well as officers and the achievements during this period. He referred to the pandemic and the impact of this, the vaccine roll out, the challenges still in place and the ambitions of the council for better economic fortunes for people, better homes and housing options as well as a strengthened community and environment.
He highlighted the themes within the corporate plan and the work that had taken place:
· The delivery of a comprehensive new Housing Strategy
· The restructured housing service designed around the needs of tenants
· The exploration of modular hubs, net zero and social housing options
· The management of arrears
· Funding for new enforcement approaches to energy efficiency standards in private sector housing
· New Homes Residents Survey
· The appointment of officers to lead on securing the delivery of more affordable housing in the district
· The reduction of the planning back log
· The work that had taken place to reduce the backlog in S106 funding
· The bid that had been submitted to the Levelling Up Fund of £14.5m for the Cullompton Relief Road
· The work taking place with regard to infrastructure for the Tiverton Eastern Urban Extension
· The promotional work taking place within the Economy department directed at tourism
· The Cullompton Heritage Action Zone grants scheme had been established
· The strategic work that had taken place with regard to the Cullompton Railway Station and the town centre masterplan, also the continued work taking place with regard to the Garden Village
· The occupancy rates at Tiverton Pannier Marker
· The public response to the pandemic and effective partnership working that had taken place with various stakeholders
· Licensing policies progressed
· Continued air quality work
· The use of assets for vaccination centres
· The appointment of a climate and sustainability specialist officer
· Continued work on the Climate Change Action Plan and successful bids to secure funding as part of the public sector decarbonisation scheme
· Continued promotion and fitting of electric car chargers in car parks
· How the waste and recycling service had been maintained throughout the pandemic
· Enhanced strategic and operational management of the Covid risk to the organisation through updated business continuity plans, risk assessments and guidance
· Involvement with the Local Resilience Forum
· The procurement of major IT upgrades to help operationalise hybrid working
· Completed the annual Statement of Accounts
· Management of local Land charges despite an increase in the number of searches
· Held meetings remotely throughout the pandemic and then hybrid meetings
· The increased collection rates for council tax and business rates
· The amount of business granted processed and paid.
He also informed the meetings that Climate Change would be the subject of the State of the District Debate with a view to identifying how the Council may assist in carbon reduction across the community, timescales and the possible cost.
Note: Due to technical issues, the meeting lost the zoom connection and therefore the recording stopped from this point in the meeting.