You said, we did
In 2018, we delivered a resident survey to help understand the views of our residents. We listened to our residents and used what they said to develop our Community Plan which contains 7 core areas of focus. This plan forms the foundations of what we do and what we plan to deliver. These areas of focus or objectives are monitored frequently, and all of the Council’s business plans are developed with the aim of contributing to these objectives.
Since the Community Plan was put into place in 2019 the Council have undertaken lots of activities so to keep this concise we cannot name them all. Instead we have created a brief summary of some of the activities we have undertaken over the last few years to show you how we have delivered in these priority areas.
You asked us to “improve care and support for vulnerable groups” so we created our Community Plan objective to “Create vibrant and self-sufficient local communities where residents look out for each other and actively contribute to the local area”.
Within this objective we have delivered a wide range of activity, with one key example being our response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Through unprecedented times, we continued to support residents, businesses and community groups by delivering a range of new activity. Some of the key achievements over recent years include:
- We formed the Humanitarian Assistance Response Team (HART) in March 2020 who provided essential support to residents. As of 13 January 2021, HART had undertaken 1,207 actions.
- 353 Telephone advice/referral to another service
- 312 Medication deliveries
- 180 Food parcel deliveries
- 288 Welfare Checks
- 74 other activities such as delivery of food supplies to support community groups
- We coordinated a robust response to a local outbreak where we took on responsibility for test and trace, worked with Public Health to get testing sites identified and approved quickly and analysed trends that were contributing to the spread of the virus.
- The Public Protection team led the ‘Community Engagement Ambassador’ scheme where staff from across the Council volunteered their time to support retail and hospitality reopening to ensure the safety of residents remained.
- We actively promoted and administered a range of funding sources to help during times of uncertainty. Alongside signposting to all funding options, we distributed £52.263m to businesses and £624,500 to residents directly.
- We set up and funded a £300,000 Business Growth and Resilience Programme with the aim of supporting over 100 local businesses, creating new jobs and safeguarding existing ones. The scheme started in July 2021 and will run to the end of 2022. The scheme offers support and guidance from professional industry experts to help local businesses in what will be a critical year as the district recovers from the impacts of the pandemic.
You asked us to “improve travel infrastructure and tackle poor condition of roads and pavements, traffic and congestion and dangerous parking” so we created our Community Plan objective to “Deliver inclusive and sustainable economic growth”.
Within this objective we have delivered a wide range of activity, with one key example being the beginning of an exciting infrastructure development.
Newark and Sherwood District Council, in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council and Urban&Civic, has been successful in the bid for a £20 million investment, into the Southern Link Road (SLR), from the central Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF). This is one of just 17 successful bids out of 84 UK-wide authorities that submitted, and the only successful bid from a Nottinghamshire district.
With £4.8 billion being invested into the UK’s high value local infrastructure, the LUF aims to support investment in places where it can make the biggest difference to everyday life, and support local areas in selecting genuine local priorities.
The £20 million investment will go toward completing the SLR, which will form the missing link of Newark’s outer loop road by connecting the A46 at Farndon to the A1 at Balderton. The site master developer, Urban&Civic (U&C) has already commenced the first phase of the development. This funding will allow the remaining delivery of Middlebeck, one of the Strategic Urban Extension (SUE) sites around Newark.
The first stages of the development of the SLR are complete and have already provided 600 homes, a brand-new primary school and open space in the community. This investment will unlock a further 2,651 homes, two-million square foot of employment space, local centres, a care home, a new country park, and new sports and recreation facilities including pedestrian and cycleways.
You asked us to “improve the quality and quantity of affordable decent housing” so we created our Community Plan objective to “Create more and better quality homes through our roles as landlord, developer and planning authority”.
Within this objective we have delivered a wide range of activity, with one key example being our plans for building more affordable homes.
Affordable housing includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households. We have made an ongoing commitment to develop a mixed provision of affordable homes to meet the requirements of younger people, families with young children and older people across our urban and rural communities.
In 2016 we approved an ambitious five-year council housing development programme to deliver 335 additional affordable homes across the district which will complete in 2023. So far, the programme remains on track and we have delivered 61 properties in the year 2021/22. A further 68 properties are either onsite or in the process of securing planning permission and awaiting a start on site. We have also delivered two extra care supported living schemes in Newark and Ollerton.
Alongside the building of new affordable homes, other objectives have been delivered through the partnership between the District Council and Robert Woodhead Ltd. This includes providing work experience opportunities to young people interested in the construction sector, training and courses delivered to employees and 14 job opportunities being created. Importantly for Newark, 91% of the spend through the partnership in 2021 has been within an average of 40 miles from the sites, creating and sustaining local jobs.
You asked us to “tackle cleanliness issues such as dog fouling and fly tipping” so we created our Community Plan objective to “Continue to maintain the high standard of cleanliness and appearance of the local environment”.
Within this objective we have delivered a wide range of activity, with two key examples including our ‘Not in Newark and Sherwood Campaign’ and our partnership arrangement to tackle issues associated with environmental crime.
Since late 2019, we have been working alongside Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire County Council to tackle fly tipping in the district as part of our ‘not in Newark and Sherwood’ campaign. We plan to make the legal disposal of waste as easy as possible, while making the illegal disposal as difficult as possible. During the financial year 2020-21, the Council removed 1,854 fly-tips with a combined weight of more than 500 tonnes. We have undertaken a wide range of activity to support this programme of work, some of these include:
- Securing £20,066 from the Binfrastructure fund to invest in an additional 56 bins for lay-bys in the district.
- Installed bollards to prevent vehicular access to a lay-by on Grange Lane.
- Plan to install more CCTV cameras in hotspots.
- Delivering a consultation to secure a new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) within Sherwood Forest and the immediate area adjacent to Deerdale Lane and Eakring Road.
- Developed a pilot trial, allowing larger vehicles to the Newark Household Waste and Recycling Centre is set for the coming months, to make it even easier for individuals to get rid of waste, legally.
- In 2021/22, we have issued 55 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for fly tipping offences with 2 fly-tippers going to court with successful prosecutions.
In 2021, a partnership was created with the Waste Investigations, Support and Enforcement (WISE) to tackle known problem areas. These areas are being patrolled by officers from WISE 12 hours a day, seven days a week in a bid to leave no stone unturned. This robust enforcement programme is already proving successful with 522 FPNs issued for littering and 7 FPNs issued for dog fouling during the first month of operation. The aim of this one-year pilot partnership is to crack down on the perpetrators of environmental crimes, including dog fouling, fly tipping and littering, and to deter others from doing the same. The scheme has significantly increased the number of enforcement officers to achieve this.
You asked us to “maintain and improve parks and green spaces” so we created our Community Plan objective to “Enhance and protect the district’s natural environment”.
Within this objective we have delivered a wide range of activity, with two key examples including our award winning parks and our programme of planting trees.
We have recognised the urgent need to plant more trees to help address the climate emergency. We have not only been planting trees ourselves we have also been giving them away to residents and groups to plant themselves. We initially had a target of planting 10,000 trees by 2023 with 4000 of these being planted at Vicar Water, we have already exceeded this target and continue to plant more. Since we started the tree planting scheme in 2019 we have planted over 18,000 trees.
We have also maintained and delivered high quality green spaces with four of our parks obtaining the Green Flag Award and two sites achieving the coveted Green Heritage Site Accreditation. To promote the usage of our green spaces, we have delivered a variety of well attended events to cater for all people, one example being the Christmas at the Castle that featured special displays of lights and music as well as a stunning decorated tree in the bandstand.
You asked us to “improve resident feelings of safety and togetherness by tackling ASB and crime” so we created our Community Plan objective to “Reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, and increase feelings of safety in our communities”.
Within this objective we have delivered a wide range of activity, with one key example being our partnership approach to tackle crime through the district.
Newark & Sherwood District Council, together with the Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, put together an innovative bid and, in July 2020 it was announced by the Home Office that the Nottinghamshire bid had been successful and an award of £550,000 was made to deliver a programme of work to target and reduce acquisitive crime. Through our Safer Streets programme, we delivered a range of activity alongside our partners, these included:
- Bicycle property marking & security events
- Assessment and oversee the installation of automatic number plate recognition cameras
- Establishing new community hub at Chatham Court
- Safer streets patrol and enforcement operations
- Environmental improvements (street cleansing repairs)
- Neighbourhood capacity building and neighbourhood watch to identify and react to issues early
- Street lighting to reduce crimes at night
- Target harden Chatham Court and other keys areas
Following the successes of phase 1 and to build on the momentum that had developed through the partnership, the Safer Streets phase 2 was designed and approved in April 2021. Within this phase all ‘Safer Streets’ interventions have been delivered, we have:
- Assisted with burglary reduction at 29 properties
- Fitted 45 bike security trackers to reduce the risk of bicycle theft
- Assisted with 10 cases of vehicle security
- Helped with 155 hours of targeted police action
As a result of some of these actions, crime is down by 18% in Newark and Sherwood as of October 2021, making it the best performing area in Nottinghamshire.
You asked us to “maintain and improve leisure and sports facilities” so we created our Community Plan objective to “Improve the health and wellbeing of local residents”.
Within this objective we have delivered a wide range of activity, with two key examples including the operation of the Southwell Leisure Centre and the new pool at the Dukeries Leisure Centre.
We continue to work closely with our leisure centre provider Active4Today. Collaboratively we have transferred the management operations of the Southwell Leisure Centre to Newark and Sherwood District Council on a long-term lease, as part of a partnership arrangement that will protect leisure provision in the town for years to come.
We have also delivered a modern and fit for purpose pool at the Dukeries Leisure Centre. This pool is only one of the many things that we are doing to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents. Since the opening of the facility in July, memberships for both adults and children have increased steadily and sessions now include swimming lessons, laned swimming, parent and toddler sessions and fun swims with an inflatable for the younger swimmers. Active4Today will continue to build numbers at this site as the sports development team begin to promote the benefits of regular exercise to the plethora of target groups within the area. This facility continues to be very well received by the community and it is hoped that the successful start to this facility can be built upon over the coming months and years.
Naturally, we could not tell you about all the wonderful things we have been doing, if you want to read more, you can view these on our quarterly performance reports or on our news stories. All of the information provided above was accurate as of March 2022 but further progress may have been made since.