County Council's vision to help Notts on the road to recovery
Senior Nottinghamshire county councillors have set out their vision to help the county on the road to recovery and thrive following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that England will move to stage four of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown which will see restrictions lifted from today (Monday 19 July).
Now councillors on the authority’s policy committee have reaffirmed their commitment to continue to support residents and businesses as Nottinghamshire adapts to a post-pandemic world.
They have approved the council’s Covid-19 Recovery Framework, which outlines the support structures and flexible approaches to managing the uncertainty of the crisis for the remainder of the year and into 2022.
The framework will underpin and pave the way for a new Council Plan to be published in the autumn, which will map the steps the authority will take to support the immediate and long-term recovery priorities for the county.
It means the council will continue to build on the key work and services it has delivered during the crisis by:
• Supporting the reopening of the economy, including efforts to restore the most impacted business sectors and encourage residents to shop local and make the most of the county’s services, shops and leisure attractions;
• Delivering major projects and road improvement works to safeguard jobs and unlock tourism opportunities;
• Unveiling a ‘greener’ flexible hybrid working model for staff to improve efficiency and effectiveness and enable the council to best serve its residents and provide better value for the taxpayer;
• Launching a new bespoke website to provide mental health information and advice for children, young people and professionals.
Speaking after the committee meeting last Thursday, council leader Ben Bradley MP says it is crucial the authority continues to provide vital support to residents and businesses in Nottinghamshire as it enters a post-Covid world.
He said: “We have supported the community and economy throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so.
“Tragically, families have been devastated and lost loved ones and many people have been hit hard financially – but here in Nottinghamshire we have worked together to help come through this.
“We are not out of the woods just yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and through our recovery plan we are optimistic and confident that the local economy here in Nottinghamshire will continue to grow through the delivery of numerous regeneration and tourism projects in the county.
“We will also make sure that the necessary measures are in place to help any resident or business impacted by the pandemic as we look to move out of Government restrictions.”
Throughout the pandemic the council has provided a wealth of support to people across the county, from offering funding to businesses to setting up an online digital hub to help the most vulnerable members of the community.
The number of hits to the website hub reached a peak of around 1,000 a day at the height of the pandemic and, by the end of last month,1,450 more complex requests for support, requiring a partnership response, had been received since the second phase of the hub was launched.
There are currently 278 voluntary groups, 163 individual volunteers, 87 charity organisations, 20 online community groups and 235 businesses offering support via the hub.
During the crisis, the council also set up a Nottinghamshire Covid-19 Community Fund to help
communities as they responded to exceptional challenges during the pandemic.
Nottinghamshire charities and community organisations were awarded grants of up to £10,000 to deliver essential services to vulnerable residents impacted by the crisis.
Now as Nottinghamshire and the country finally moves out of lockdown, plans are also afoot to continue to provide support to businesses and communities and make sure the county can successfully move forward to meet its long-term aspirations.
A new website is due to be launched in September called NottAlone, which will provide tailored mental health information and advice for children, young people and professionals in Nottinghamshire.
The bespoke site has been developed by a team involving young people, parents, carers, school staff and multi-agency professionals.
The council has already pledged to breathe new life into the county’s economy post-pandemic and ultimately safeguard jobs by unveiling several ambitious schemes countywide – including community-boosting residential and business developments as well as major road and transport improvements.
Projects already in place include:
• A £28.6m project to upgrade the A614 between East Bridgford and Ollerton, which will see six junction improvements to deliver numerous regeneration, growth and tourism projects;
• A new spine road in the Lindhurst area of Mansfield to pave the way for community and commercial space worth £100m a year to the local economy;
• The approval of a huge project to build a new village at Top Wighay Farm near Linby which is set to include more than 800 homes.