The incoming new council at South Hams, reflects on the previous year and the challenges they now face.
Yesterday, Cllr Judy Pearce, the new Leader of South Hams District Council, presented the Council’s Annual report to the new Council. From the report, Cllr Pearce highlighted the many achievements from the last 12 months, including the new recycling, waste and cleansing contract, which will save the council £3 million.
She told the new Council, that they have also established an encouragingly positive relationship with the Homes and Communities Agency, which the new Council can build on over the coming years.
Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council said: “Members will appreciate that what is reported in the annual report took place under the last administration, and that it was written before the new Council has had an opportunity to set out the direction that the Council will take. However, there are some things that will remain unchanged and this gives us a good starting position.
“We know that while we have manged to set a balanced budget this year, we do have a forecast budget gap of £470,000 that will have to be filled. We managed to close the budget gap last year, but now we face the challenge again this year.
“We will continue to pursue the recommendations of the Peer Review, where we will continue to strive for a ‘right first time’ approach to customer service, and we also know that we want to work closer with our Town and Parish Councils; engaging, informing and listening to them on a more regular basis.”
Cllr Pearce concluded: “All this rests on running a lean and efficient Council, where finance, governance and good communications, both internal and external, are key. I am keen to foster better and more collaborative relationships between officers and Members at all levels.
“We are all trying to achieve the same goals, and if we all put our shoulder to the same wheel, it will undoubtedly turn more smoothly for the benefit of the whole District and our residents. I hope this will be reflected in next year’s annual report.”
The Annual report states that last year, the Council:
• Set a balanced budget of £8.83m
• Collected 2.7m tonnes of household waste
• Inspected 2,100 play parks
• Completed 2,433 planning applications
• Carried out 486 food inspections
• Awarded £253,000 in Community Grant Funding
• Supported 92 events
• Carried out 567 planning enforcement investigations
• Helped to deliver 69 affordable homes
• Picked up 53 fly tips
• Awarded £540,600 in Disabled Facilities Grants
• Collected 171 abandoned vehicles
• Prevented 520 households becoming homeless
The full Annual Report can be viewed here: https://www.southhams.gov.uk/article/5347/Council-Performance-and-Strategy