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What's in store for 2024!

Find out what we have on our to-do list this year.

Posted by: Communications team on 23 January 2024 09:40
Market Street office

Rested and recharged after the Christmas break, teams across the council are back and gearing up for another busy year delivering services for communities across the district.

Many residents will be looking forward to enjoying the redeveloped Northcroft lido - which will open for its full season on 1 April. It will be able to accommodate twice as many visitors now that it can open for six months a year.

Elsewhere, we have projects across the district - from the installation of new road network sensors to help improve how we treat our roads, to the completion of a new 3G football pitch at John O'Gaunt School in Hungerford, and a new facility at Kennet Valley Primary School in Calcot to support pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs.

Next month, councillors and officers from other local authorities will visit us for a week in February for our next peer review. Eight senior representatives from councils nationwide will spend a week collaborating with us to evaluate our performance by speaking to councillors, officers and our partners. It's an opportunity to hear about how we are performing and opportunities to improve from others in local government - helping us to make sure we are working effectively and efficiently for local councillors.

Looking further ahead, our elections team is busy gearing up to run an election in May for the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner - and, with a general election in the next 12 months, the election of local MPs too. Before then, please make sure you are registered to vote and check you have an acceptable form of ID.

It's also the first full calendar year of the Council Strategy 2023-27 with a delivery plan setting out what we will achieve in 2024. Read on to see some of the goals for each priority area for the year ahead.

Thank you for your support in 2023 - we look forward to working with you, and for you, in 2024.

Services We Are Proud Of

We will:

  • Complete a Peer Review to drive best practice by inviting officers and councillors from other local authorities in to see how we are performing
  • Review the process around the Community Infrastructure Levy
  • Remain an employer of choice; by developing our employee value proposition, reviewing how we recognise staff and delivering apprenticeship and work placement schemes

A fairer West Berkshire with opportunities for all

We will:

  • Identify solutions for homelessness
  • Review Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
  • Create a new housing forum for tenants
  • Review our provision of adult social care
  • Create a plan to deliver more houses for social rent and affordable rent
  • Review our education support
  • Create a plan to close the attainment gap
  • Create a plan for targeted additional support for staff and governors before visits from Ofsted

Tackling the climate and ecological emergency

We will:

  • Update our environment strategy to include improving biodiversity
  • Agree environmental standards which must be met by all West Berkshire Council buildings
  • Allow electric vehicles (EVs) to be charged overnight in council-owned car parks
  • Review our kerbside recycling plan
  • Start phasing out the garden waste collection (green bin) charge
  • Use Council procurement processes and terms to drive lower / carbon neutral projects
  • Work with our transport providers to convert their fleets to electric vehicles
  • Trial extended pedestrianisation in Newbury town centre

A prosperous and resilient West Berkshire

We will:

  • Complete a review of the Bond Riverside Regeneration Programme
  • Work with the local sporting community to finalise plans for a new community sports stadium at Faraday Road, Newbury
  • Develop a potholes strategy and plan
  • Work with transport providers and local businesses to develop a Public Transport Plan

Thriving communities with a strong local voice

We will:

  • Continue with rural forums
  • Work with local communities on plan to fund local youth workers
  • Update playing pitch strategy
  • Plan the renewal and re-provision of leisure facilities
  • Plan to reduce social isolation, especially in rural areas
  • Re-establish the Kennet and Avon Canal Partnership
  • Plan a refreshed Home to School Transport offer
Last modified: 23 January 2024 09:51

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