Action Plan for Pendle Agreed

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Liberal Democrats have reached an agreement on the 30 point action plan to run Pendle Council for the next year. It will be a joint administration with Labour leader Cllr Iqbal and Lib Dem Deputy Leader David Whipp.

As this is a joint administration and not a coalition, the parties remain separate and free to pursue actions and votes beyond the agreement.

SERVICES AND FACILITIES

  • Make sure all parts of Pendle receive fair treatment from the Council.
  • Work to maintain local services in the face of draconian cuts imposed by central government.
  • Work with town and parish councils to transfer services and facilities to them by agreement when this is the best way to maintain them.
  • Complete the programme of Park transfers. Agree outstanding request from Barnoldswick Town Council for land at Harrison Street.
  • Make sound financial decisions on asset disposals – halt the sale of Number One Market Street.

HOUSING

  • Launch a new drive to increase the supply of social housing across Pendle.
  • Continue action to reduce the number of long-term empty houses, with priority targeting of individual long-term empties which are causing problems in a particular street.
  • Strengthen controls on landlords failing to meet required housing standards.
  • Give priority to creating new housing on brownfield sites including South Valley sites in Colne, Brook Shed in Earby and other sites, including a new drive to obtain funding from previously announced government programmes.
  • Address bottleneck in administration of Disabled Facilities Grants.

LOCAL ECONOMY

  • Continue to work to strengthen and support all our town centres.
  • Priority projects to include speedy redevelopment of the old health centre in Colne.
  • Maximise opportunity from Future High Street funding bid.
  • Use Pendle Council’s public spending to support the area’s local economy.
  • Undertake work to create Business Improvement Districts in Barnoldswick and Nelson.
  • Urgently consider the future of Colne Market Hall in consultation with Colne Town Council.
  • Support renewal of Barnoldswick’s Town Square.
  • Lomeshaye industrial estate extension – implement phase 1 adjacent to the existing estate. Review options for phase 2.

NEIGHBOURHOODS

  • Prioritise Street Level Issues including dogs and dog dirt, street cleansing and litter, and anti-social behaviour, including the increased use of community protection notices and the use of fixed penalties for fly-tipping.
  • Undertake urgent review of contract with District Enforcement.
  • Review operation of litterbin and dog waste emptying.
  • Review cemetery charges and enforcement of cemetery regulations.
  • Renew pressure to secure funding for Earby flood alleviation work.
  • Prioritise provision of a new health centre in Barnoldswick including through the Health and Wellbeing Partnership Board.
  • Support a pocket park proposal for Essex Street land in Colne.

ENVIRONMENT

  • Strengthen Pendle Council’s response to climate change.
  • Implement previous decisions on Northern Forest initiative.
  • Take action on single use plastics within the council.

GOVERNANCE

  • Withdraw support for an East Lancashire unitary authority.
  • All party briefings on issues, ensuring involvement of all elected members.
  • Work through the year via an all-party Budget Working Group to seek savings and alternative means of provision in order to make the large cuts imposed on the Pendle spending budget by central government with the minimum possible effect on services provided.
  • Improve two-way communication with Pendle residents and the council.
  • Reintroduce democratic oversight of taxi licensing.

Procedural

  • P & R committee – size of 13 results in committee of 6-4-3.
  • Council and P & R committee to meet on Thursdays.
  • Separate, peripatetic, meeting for large/controversial planning applications.
  • Agreement to submit revised new warding based on working group proposals.
  • Council Chamber seating arrangement to be inclusive .
  • Leadership Meeting to include groups participating in running of council.
  • Protocols about communication and information to party leaders – by officers and also decisions by the Council leader should be 2 or 3 party depending on decisions on administration.
  • Agreed cross-party approach to having lead members for service areas.
  • Agreement on equitable outside body appointments.

…………………………..

Liberal Democrat David Whipp said, “We have had friendly talks with both Labour and the Conservatives. On balance, my group has decided that we’ll be able to achieve more through an arrangement with Labour. We’ve come to a broad agreement on a wide range of council issues – this will benefit all parts of Pendle during the next twelve months. It does reverse decisions on some Conservative initiatives – including the financial folly of flogging off Number One Market Street.”

“With a balanced council, it’s important to achieve consensus and we will
all have to accept compromises. This agreement is a good start. I’m
looking forward to working with councillors from all groups to get the
very best we can for Pendle residents this year.”

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