Council unveils ambitious five-year plan for Malvern Hills district - The Malvern Observer

Council unveils ambitious five-year plan for Malvern Hills district

Malvern Editorial 7th Feb, 2020   0

COUNCIL chiefs have given the thumbs up top a five-year blueprint to improve mental health support for the homeless, breathe new life into the district’s town centres and tackle litter and fly-tipping across the area.

The Malvern Hills District Council five year plan sees actions focused on three priority areas – communities, economy and environment. The plan was approved a council meeting last Tuesday (January 28).

Key projects featured in the plan include a new target for delivering affordable homes up to 2025. The previous target of building 400 by 2021 has been met more than 12 months early with 472 built to date. There is also a pledge to work with partners to reduce rough sleeping and to ensure mental health services are available to those in need of homelessness support.

Masterplans will be created for each of the district’s town centres to help make them fit for the future as the way people buy goods and services continues to change, more than 100 new jobs will be created through the future expansion of Malvern Hills Science Park and there will be a new visitor economy action plan for the district to further boost tourism.

Investing £2million to refurbish Malvern Splash, reducing the amount of waste created by households across the district and tackling litter ‘grot spots’ and fly tipping are also in the plan.

Priory Park will also get a revamp with a pledge to make ‘comprehensive improvements’ by 2025. There are also actions around tackling crime, broadband access and investing in infrastructure.

Speaking after the meeting, council leader Coun Sarah Rouse said: “I am very proud of this plan which addresses the things people told us were important to them in our residents’ survey and delivers something for communities across the district.”

A bid to tackle climate change is also included and council chiefs have begun work on the pledge with a new plan to cut carbon emissions in response to the climate emergency it declared in July last year.

The Destination Zero plan sets an overall vision for the district to become carbon neutral as quickly as possible, but by 2050 at the latest, and with a minimum 50 per cent reduction by 2030.

It also commits the council to making its own operations carbon neutral – where the amount of carbon produced is offset by other measures – by 2030.

Coun John Raine, portfolio holder for Environmental Services, said: “Much will change over the next few years both with regard to policy from the Government and new greener technologies, so we will keep our plan under constant review and take advantage of every opportunity to deliver our ambition at the earliest possible opportunity.

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