During our Facebook Live event in November we spoke about the importance of the District Council Corporate Plan and how this sets the scene for the work of the Council for the next few years. It is absolutely right to review the plan at this time not just to reflect the impact of the pandemic on our District but also the recognition of the Climate Emergency and a shift in the political balance of the Council Chamber.

We used output from this Live event and other conversations, engagement and community knowledge to inform and draft an alternative plan to be submitted for consideration.

We feel it is appropriate for us to suggest an alternative plan focused on shaping a future which is socially and environmentally just and builds on the amazing community spirit of our area. If we get these two pillars of a Zero Carbon and Hero Community right the future will be bright for everyone.

This plan is not fully written in a publishable and finished format but does give a good guide to what we consider to the best approach to embrace a future which is a step away from the failures of the past but builds on all that is good about living in Cannock Chase.

Our submission is below for your information and we welcome your thoughts.

We do feel the format of the completed plan could be better presented and have also suggested a couple of examples from elsewhere in the Country which could be considered as best practice around how the final plan is presented

https://www.malvernhills.gov.uk/about-your-council/your-local-council/five-year-plan

https://www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/_resources/assets/inline/full/0/286143.pdf

We hope this approach is given serious consideration and informs an improvement in the corporate plan and hence the outcomes for our community.

A Zero to Hero Future

The core activities of Cannock Chase District Council should be re-shaped to benefit the community it serves. It should take seriously the commitment to a zero carbon future and celebrate the community for the heroes they are.

The plan for the future should be a break from the past. Moving away from a consumer, transaction and “more is better” approach where citizens are customers and price is more important than value. We have an opportunity to energise the future build on the positives and take a different approach to the challenges.

Albert Einstein is credited with say “If you always do what you have always done. You will always get what you always got”

We need to dare to be different

Zero Carbon – A Future for the Generations to Come and security for everyone today

A plan has been commissioned to show a roadmap to a zero carbon future which touches every part of our lives and the services delivered by the Council to its community

  • Create a circular economy based on local entrepreneurship, doughnut economics, good & secure jobs

Examples might include

  • Business start up and incubation hubs as well as business forums or similar mutually-supporting networks
  • Training, development and support on socially and environmentally responsible business
  • Promotion of the Real Living Wage
  • Refocusing Council procurement priorities
  • Thermally efficient zero carbon homes built for the needs of the community

Examples might include

  • Ensuring the local plan prioritises housing of a standard fit for the future
  • More homes for single occupancy and older person living
  • Built sensitive to the community needs for transport, schools, doctors and other amenities
  • Any building on Council land to be Passivhaus standard
  • Priority given to preserve and enhance our green spaces

Examples might include

  • Protect and enhance the biodiversity and bio-quantity of Cannock Chase and all the connecting green spaces
  • Ensuring the local plan prioritises preservation and enhancement of green spaces and active & connected travel infrastructure
  • Promote active, healthy life choices through the provision
  • Sensitivity of the access and enjoyment of all green spaces for everyone by the provision of information and infrastructure in our parks, greenways and green spaces

Hero Community – A recognition of the amazing community spirit and the opportunities this affords

A plan to celebrate, enhance, connect and collaborate the communities of Cannock Chase

  • Creating an engaged, transparent and accountable Council for both elected members and council officers

Examples might include

  • A different democratic structure in the council which involves all Councillors in decision making
  • An invigorated, extensive and imaginative approach to involving the community in the business of the Council
  • An honest, open and frank dialogue between the council and the community about priorities and progress, expectations and limitations
  • Opening and securing the relationships between the District Council and all the stakeholders both formal, organised and informal

Examples might include

  • Building on the positive stakeholder relationships that already exist e.g. Staffordshire Police, Fire & Rescue Service, County Council
  • A programme of collaboration and facilitation with wider community organisations including Parish & Town Councils, making real, solid and enduring relationships
  • Identifying the working to joint solutions for vulnerable, hard-to-reach and isolated communities
  • Facilitating and empowering the community to achieve its collective ambition and individual aspirations

Examples might include

  • Connecting with each community and collectively to understand the challenges and aspirations of our area
  • Empowering the community to organise events, support each other and reach collective goals including removing barriers and obstacles where they exist
  • Identify and help under-represented groups or interests come together
  • Promote opportunities for engagement and enjoyment of the arts and culture