The Leader gave an update on the draft Recovery Plan and noted the update from the Overview & Scrutiny (O&S) Committee meeting held on 1st September 2020. It was confirmed that, if the recommendation was approved by the Hub Committee, then the next stage would be for a further update to be presented to the O&S Committee meeting on 10 November 2020, then the Plan would return to the Hub Committee meeting on 1 December. Members were thanked for their input.
The Leader outlined some of his thoughts and priorities on the plan moving forward and the importance of the overarching themes of climate change, biodiversity and well-being. These were summarised as follows:
- Firstly, developing a virtual/hybrid council which would potentially allow the reuse of Kilworthy Park to support additional community activities;
- Secondly, ensuring total Broadband connectivity for the whole Borough; and
- Thirdly, fully supporting Tavistock as a gateway to the World Heritage site and thus promoting the Borough’s economy and businesses – linking heritage and cultural nodes in the Borough via green transport, eg long distance walkways, cycling routes with cycle hire hubs, and electric charging points.
It was intended that the Council would be setting out real and achievable goals in housing, including affordable housing.
These emerging themes were likely to inform the future strategic direction of the Council and would enable officers to begin working on a new Corporate Strategy, which would then be taken to Full Council on 25th May 2021.
The Chief Executive relayed the thoughts of the Leader of the Opposition Group, who was unable to attend, which were:
i) bringing services out into the Community by evolving the virtual aspect of the pandemic, with Formal Council meetings hosted across the Borough, thereby utilising Kilworthy Park as a site which would benefit the wider community, whilst retaining a Council presence in Tavistock and Okehampton Town Centres as a gateway to the Council;
ii) enabling Broadband across the whole area to promote online transactions as the norm and giving connectivity to the community, helping to support the vulnerable;
iii) active travel with cycling and walking linking the outstanding natural environment and tourism. He suggested that it is time to ‘park’ the rail link and focus on delivering a sustainable alternative which could be a legacy for this administration.
The Leader moved the recommendations and Cllr Samuel seconded.
It was then AGREED that the Hub Committee:
1. Note the Council’s continuing response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic;
2. Note the outputs arising from the recent Member Workshops (as set out in Appendix 1 of the presented agenda report);
3. Note the progress on the development of the Recovery and Renewal Action Plan (‘the Plan’) as detailed in Appendix 1 of the presented agenda report;
4. Delegate authority to the Group Leaders, in consultation with the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, to nominate Members to serve on the Task and Finish Groups (as outlined at Appendix 1 of the presented agenda report);
5. Take into account the conclusions of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the Plan;
6. Request that a further update on progress against the development and delivery of the Plan be brought back to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting to be held on 10 November 2020; and
That, in light of the discussions at the Meeting:
7. Officers start working on the development of a new Corporate Strategy with a view to it being presented to the Annual Council Meeting on 25 May 2021 for adoption.