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Council on track to deliver on targets

Giles Archibald

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) is on target to help deliver 1,000 new affordable homes for rent by 2025.

Latest performance figures show that 29 new affordable homes for rent were completed in the district in the third quarter of the financial year. This gives a cumulative total of 460 since 1 January 2014 – and a total of 945 since 2006.

Other figures reported to Cabinet included the council enabling the completion of 900 permanent dwellings. This includes 80 during the second quarter of this year.

Since 2015 the council has also brought 267 empty homes back into use. Data for the first quarter of 2018/19 shows 13 more homes and another 14 homes for the second quarter – making a total of 267 empty homes brought back in to use.

Regular performance monitoring reports assess how well SLDC is doing against its priorities for the economy, housing, the environment and culture and wellbeing, as well as providing a broader picture of trends on related areas including crime, poverty and homelessness.

Councillors were told that an estimated 521 new jobs have been created in South Lakeland since 2014 towards the long-term target of 1,000 by 2025, with 32 new jobs created in the third quarter of 2018/19.

From October 2017 to October 2018 South Lakeland had the highest number of business start-ups per 10,000 working age residents at 72.0. This compared to 57.4 for Cumbria and 100.1 for England.  The total number of business units in South Lakeland has increased from 6,850 in 2013 to 7,410 in 2018.

The council’s target for the amount of household waste sent for reuse, recycling and

composting will increase from 43% to 50% in 2019. For 2017/18 provisionally 44.4% of waste has been recycled, which is an increase on 42.4% for 2016/17.

The council also has a target to work with the private sector to enable an increase in the number of higher paid jobs in South Lakeland and to see a year-on-year increase in median household incomes.

Latest figures show that in 2017 the median household income in South Lakeland was the highest in Cumbria at £32,506, up from £31,189 the previous year.

This compares to a median household income in Cumbria of £27,633 and in Great Britain of £30,921.

The meeting was also told that by 2019, the council aims through collaborative and preventative action for the level of self-reported general health of South Lakeland’s residents to demonstrate an improvement above the baseline of 70% as reported in the Quality of Life Survey. The Quality of Life Survey 2017 shows that 72% of residents reported good or very good health.

Councillor Giles Archibald, council leader, said: “These figures show that we are delivering on our promises. We are an ambitious council and performance monitoring  identifies what we are achieving and areas where we need to concentrate our efforts.

“These figures are influenced by many factors, some of them outwith the control of the council, but we are committed to delivering high quality, cost-effective services that meet the needs of residents and improves quality of life and measuring performance in this way helps ensure we achieve our goals and make South Lakeland the best place to live, work and explore.”

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