The Council is unveiling a series of key pledges to support its vision for Derby as a SAFE, STRONG and AMBITIOUS city.
The pledges are being announced as part of the process of setting the budget for the next three years. Although the financial position remains extremely challenging, the Council has drawn up a list of actions to ensure Derby is a great place to live, work and visit.
A full list of 50 pledges is being prepared for the Cabinet meeting in April, but some of the main ones are being revealed now:
- We will create 2,000 jobs and apprenticeships for Derby people by 2019. This will involve working with the local business community to create the conditions for economic growth – through city centre development, the Infinity technology park and international trade links.
- We will start building a new swimming pool by the end of 2017. The Council has already committed to borrowing £20m to support the development at Moorways, and a feasibility study is nearing completion.
- We will set up a Derby Energy tariff called ‘Ram Energy’ in 2017 to reduce energy bills for Derby residents. This not-for-profit self-financing scheme will provide Derby householders with a greater choice when searching for cheaper gas and electricity.
- We will invest in the Assembly Rooms/Debenhams/Duckworth Square sites to increase city centre footfall by 10% by 2025. The Council has a City Centre Masterplan to strengthen Derby as a place to shop and visit. By summer 2018, there will be detailed designs for a new performance venue on the Market Place and a comprehensive plan for the redevelopment of Duckworth Square.
- We will make Derby the cleanest English city within four years. Next month the Council will launch a Neighbourhood Charter, which sets out standards for streets and parks, and re-emphasises the role of communities in working with us to keep neighbourhoods cleaner. Cuts in street cleaning services are being reversed.
- We will deliver 500 affordable homes over the next three years for Derby people to rent or buy. The Council will work with partners and support the development of new properties, with the emphasis on affordability (whether for rent or purchase).
- We will work with partners and commit £250,000 to deliver a programme of affordable events, including the Darley Park Concert and St George’s Day. The Council has listened to public concern and is creating a £250,000 one-off pot of money to develop new ways of delivering events – such as a Christmas lights switch-on and Darley Park Concert, which will return as a ticketed event on September 3rd.
All the pledges have been carefully assessed to ensure they are affordable as the Council continues to face a significant financial challenge. By 2020, it needs to make savings of £28m, on top of £135m of savings made since 2010.
This is due to rising costs and the decline in Government funding. By 2019 the grant to the Council will be much less than half that received in 2010.
Published: Wednesday 1st March, 2017