More housing, a teaching hospital and the completion of the £30 million transport hub are some of the items at the top of the agenda for the City of Lincoln Council over the next three years.
The Vision 2020 report sets out the council’s strategic priorities and lays out how it will focus its budget between now and 2020. It was supported unanimously at a meeting of the full council on Tuesday, January 10.
The report follows a month-long consultation with organisations and local residents to find out which areas they would like to see prioritised, which gained 328 responses.
Plans include projects already achieved and underway in Lincoln in terms of infrastructure, industry, retail, leisure and culture, as well as opportunities and challenges in crime, housing and environment.
The council says that due to funding constraints no additional money is available to spend over the next three years, therefore projects included are largely those that have already been started or agreed.
The council marks its key milestones in the comprehensive report over the next three years, including:
- The city’s ongoing £30 million Lincoln Transport Hub
- Leadership on development of around 3,200 homes, retail and leisure facilities on the 20 hectare Western Growth Corridor in west Lincoln
- Renewal of the Lincoln Carbon Strategy by 2019
- Supporting the completion of the £12 million renovation of the grad II listed Corn Exchange and Cornhill Quarter redevelopment
- Use of a £50,ooo community chest fund to regenerate Park ward
- Assessments of retail opportunities including plans to transform City Square
- Explorations for the option of a teaching hospital in Lincoln
- Supporting the deliver of the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park
- Supporting the development of the southern bypass, A15 improvements and improvements in rail services
The report sets out a target to deliver more housing in the city, noting that there were more than 2,000 households on the affordable housing waiting list.
It also gives a nod to achievements in education, industrial expansion and investments at local firms Bifrangi and Siemens.
Growth through innovation ambition
Labour Council Leader Ric Metcalfe said: “While the national economy continues to deal with the effects of years of downturn, many areas like Lincoln can help drive growth and innovation.
“We want to show our residents and customers that the city council is committed to Lincoln’s future and is best placed to deliver for the city. Customers are at the heart of what we do, and this plan seeks to meet the needs of the city while matching the aspirations of the residents we serve.
“We want people to imagine a future where the city is renowned for its ambition and capacity to respond to challenges and opportunities as they arise.
“Our Vision 2020 seeks to not only deal with the most pressing issues in the city, but also details how the council will work, with others, to further grow our economy, while ensuring our most vulnerable residents share in the city’s prosperity.
“In order to become self-sufficient financially, we have set our priorities to ensure spending is targeted where it’s needed most and where it can be most effective, while exploring opportunities to create additional income streams.”
MP gives cautious welcome
Conservative Lincoln MP Karl McCartney has welcomed the report, but also taken the opportunity to challenge the Labour-led council on a number of political issues.
He said: “As Lincoln’s Member of Parliament I welcome the broad thrust of Vision 2020, which is surprisingly upbeat and, unusually for the Labour-run city council, it paints our wonderful city in a positive light, to some extent.
“I am delighted that the council’s Labour leadership now purport to recognise that they themselves must deliver high performing services that achieve value for money, but the proof of the pudding is always in the eating.
“Whether it’s the council’s introduction of toilet charges across the city, its failure to introduce a city-wide park and ride scheme, its dogmatic and greedy commitment to building on the Swanpool floodplain, or the council’s spending of over £1 million on hiring temporary and agency staff, Labour still continues to fail the hardworking taxpayers of Lincoln.
“There are therefore many aspects of Labour’s longstanding political mismanagement of the city that I cannot endorse. However, whenever they are willing to work together to facilitate improvements to the city through monies granted from my Conservative colleagues making decisions in Westminster in our Conservative government, I will of course do everything I can along with my Conservative city council colleagues to maximise the benefits for my Lincoln constituents.”