Post-Lockdown programme to help bounce back unveiled by Adur & Worthing Councils
A short, sharp programme of interventions and assistance to help the communities of Adur and Worthing bounce back from the impact of lockdown has been launched.
Help for businesses, acceleration of building projects, aid for reskilling people who lose their jobs, helping local food production, expanding the ultrafast internet network, investing in renewable energy and developing walking and cycling plans are just some of the projects under consideration.
Adur & Worthing Councils’ last night (Tuesday) backed the plan called ‘And Then: Bouncing Back in Post-Pandemic Adur and Worthing’. It brings forward some projects already on the Councils’ slate but also commits to quickly investigating other measures that might have communities recover.
A report to members of the Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee said ‘the pandemic (and its economic and social impacts) has caused considerable harm to individuals, communities and businesses across Adur and Worthing.’
While the Councils have suffered financial losses themselves during lockdown, it was important that they worked with partners immediately to begin bounce back action. And Then suggests progress must be made within six months.
Among a raft of actions in the plan are:
- Grants for freelancers or ‘microentrepreneurs’ seeking new opportunities in the workplace
- Accelerating major building projects to create jobs and new homes
- Helping to expand local food production for sustainable and affordable produce
- Bringing new impetus for the development of Citizens WiFi to create new opportunities
- Working with partners to develop biodiversity in local marine and estuarine systems
- Realigning commercial and investment strategies to help shape the future
- Using the opportunity to replan town centres as they rapidly change post pandemic
The leader of Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Daniel Humphreys, said, ‘This is not going to be easy because events are rapidly changing but it would be even easier to sit back and wait for something to happen. We need to lead on our recovery, taking the lessons learned during lockdown and working with partners to create new opportunities.
‘We have a programme of works that we are already involved in and, given that we’ve proved we can act quickly during the pandemic, we are now going to inject real momentum into our activities, using new investment models and actions that the recovery process will present to us.’
The Leader of Adur District Council, Cllr Neil Parkin, said, ‘I understand the tremendous difficulties this lockdown has presented to the community and businesses which is why I think it vital that the Council takes a lead in finding ways to help us bounce back.
‘There are a range of activities, investments and programmes outlined in And Then that can help us on the road to recovery. I will do everything in my power to ensure my Council is working as hard as we can to support our community.’
Members of the Joint Strategic Committee agreed to back the measures as part of the Councils’ overall Platforms for our Places directions of travel programme and ask for a report back in six months time.
The Chamber are hosting a Planning For Recovery Expert Panel, Martin Randall, Director for the Economy for Adur & Worthing Councils will be joining us to talk about the 'And Then...' project. Click here to book to attend this event.