The pace of change and achievement has been fundamental in Knowsley, particularly over the last two years.
A few highlights from Knowsley Council has been the delivery of their five year corporate plan ahead of schedule (a five year plan delivered in two years), turned around children’s services with Ofsted commenting that ‘significant improvements have been made’, improvements to adult social care, attracted major investment into the borough (creating more jobs in the local area), secured initiatives and developments that will grow and sustain the borough, as well as managing drastic funding cuts from central Government and agreeing a three year budget plan.
However, this is just the start as the council has now secured it’s Corporate Plan for the next three years (2017-2020) which will focus on:-
- Accelerating business growth, new jobs and new housing
- Provide high quality and sustainable Adult Social Care
- Maximise the Council’s contribution to education in Knowsley
- Create a sustainable Borough
- Maximise the Council’s contribution to the health and wellbeing of Knowsley residents
Knowsley Council Leader Andy Moorhead said:
“I am committed to growing our economy, creating more job and supporting our residents into employment, as well as attracting investment and providing a great choice of houses for existing and future residents. We have big plans for our borough and we have the expertise, secured funding and have the ambition to achieve this.”
A range of activities are underway to drive forward the Corporate Plan’s priorities. For example, the council is taking its co-operative working a step further by establishing a £1m social sector fund. This will enable the community, voluntary and faith sectors to work better with the council to provide services and support for residents and communities. The fund has £300,000 allocated to drive the Leader’s ‘green dividend’ delivering environmental improvements in local communities, whilst a further £700,000 will be allocated to community groups to work with the Council to support the five priorities outlined in the Corporate Plan.
Between now and 2028, 450 new homes will be constructed per year and 1.2 million sq ft of additional floor space for business and employment use will be delivered between now and 2021 – this alone will create 2,500 new jobs.
Investment and regeneration plans in Kirkby and Prescot are moving apace with new retail facilities and a cinema planned in Kirkby and the Shakespeare North Playhouse, hotel developments, leisure, housing and a cinema planned for Prescot.
At the Council’s Cabinet last month, the Masterplan for Halsnead Garden Village was adopted. Halsnead will be a new, vibrant community with a range of high quality housing( 1,600 in total), new employment opportunities (22.5 hectares of employment land), 33 hectares of green space, a new country park, a new primary school and improvements to other community and outdoor leisure facilities. The development of this site could create more than 900 new permanent jobs and £40.5m of Gross Value Added to the economy of the Liverpool City Region.
Cllr Moorhead added:
“This is just a snapshot of some of the initiatives progressing in the borough. We have achieved a great deal in a short space of time and we will now continue to build on these achievements as we embark on the delivery of our Corporate Plan for 2017-2020. We have big ambitions for our borough. We will continue to drive forward our plans to grow and sustain our borough, attract more investment, residents and businesses into Knowsley whilst also ensuring our communities have access to the training and employment opportunities that these major investments will bring.”