You will notice that we are presenting this year's annual report in a slightly different way. We wanted to create a document that would be easy to use, a quick reference tool for our highlights from the year and easy to update so we can tell you more about what we're doing, and how projects are progressing, after this report is published.
The information in this document will be supported by case studies all available on the following webpage: www.westsuffolk.gov.uk
The vision and priorities that we are working towards are set out in the West Suffolk Strategic Plan at: www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/strategicplan
The rest of this document describes our achievements in detail, but some of the highlights of 2016/17 are:
- Development of the Suffolk Business Park and Eastern Relief Road, a key growth site for Bury St Edmunds, which will help us realise our ambitions for bringing jobs, housing, education and leisure facilities to West Suffolk.
- Working with partners to develop the business case and for alternative uses and preparing an initial masterplan for the RAF Mildenhall site.
- Working with schools, colleges and businesses to better understand the skills young people need for the future.
- Building capacity and resilience in local communities to prevent local issues becoming a significant problem.
- Supporting projects and initiatives across West Suffolk through community chest and locality budget funding that will improve the local areas and facilities for residents.
- Working with partners to reduce the number of empty homes across West Suffolk and investing in temporary accommodation to help ensure individuals and families can be homed appropriately.
- Embarking on a joint venture with Suffolk County Council to set-up Barley Homes which will see the development of houses for sale and private rent on a commercial basis, while also delivering much needed affordable housing.
- Generating additional income through Forest Heath District Council’s purchase of Toggam Solar Farm, which is part of our long-term investment strategy.
- Taking a collaborative approach to deliver a shared legal service between four councils (Babergh, Forest Heath, Mid Suffolk and St Edmundsbury)to provide a fit for purpose legal service that provides value for money.