A Positive Election Manifesto for Brentwood
At the beginning of 2020, the Conservative Administration at Brentwood Borough Council laid out an ambitious 5 year Corporate Strategy – Brentwood 2025, where everyone matters.
The strategy is broken into 5 key areas:
- Growing The Economy
- Developing our Communities
- Protecting our Environment
- Improving our Housing
- Delivering an Effective and Efficient council
To ensure accountability, we have set annual objectives within the overall plan. This ensures the administration is held to account on an annual basis and that we do what we said we were going to do, rather than let the plan ‘sit on the shelf’ for 5 years.
2020 – 21 was the most challenging year experienced in decades, and this was felt acutely in local government, who played a key role at the forefront of the pandemic.
Despite the pandemic and all it threw at the Council, we not only over achieved on our set objectives, we adapted our workforce to working from home, we continued to deliver all of our services without interruption. We distributed over £30 million on business support grants and co-ordinated a huge volunteer effort, which among other things saw a foodbank operating from the Town Hall to support those hardest hit. Despite the financial pressures on the council itself, we still managed to deliver a council tax freeze in our budget, owing to our prudence and good financial management. We were one of the few councils in Essex to achieve this.
2021 – 22 will continue to be a challenging year, as we focus on recovery, particularly that of the economy. However, there is still lots of work to be done and we cannot afford to standstill. The work we have started in the last year, must be progressed and we are determined to deliver.
"Our manifesto is positive and ambitious, with new people in place and a different approach. You will already have seen some of the changes, the foundations have been laid and we are now building on those to ensure Brentwood is, fit for the future."
Cllr Chris Hossack - Leader of Brentwood Borough Council and Conservative Group
Growing the Economy
The last year saw us lay the foundations of our Economic strategy, particularly notable, was the acquisition of commercial office space and industrial parks to protect commercial jobs being lost from the town.
Our acquisition of the Baytree Centre, demonstrated a real statement of intent to protect the retail sector also.
- Produce plans for a wholesale regeneration of Brentwood Town Centre.
- Pursue a cinema for Brentwood in our newly acquired Baytree Centre.
- Deliver the Local Development Plan for Housing Growth and job creation.
- Continue to be innovative in supporting local retailers with on-line initiatives such as Brentwood Open and Click-it Local.
- Run an all new ‘Brentwood Business Showcase’ from the Brentwood centre in October 2021.
- Proactively seek to retain businesses where private sector commercial landlords present viability difficulties through high rental costs for business tenants.
- Seek to progress a new additional supermarket for Brentwood.
- Deliver a parking strategy that increases capacity and maintains affordability.
Developing our Communities
- Build on our new Parks programme, delivering 3 further play area upgrades in the coming year.
- Despite the difficulties in delivering Community events last year, revert to delivering physical community events, such a family fun days, when it is safe to do so.
- Deliver a Community Awards event to recognise those in our community who make the biggest contributions to it.
- Recognise what a fantastic volunteer base there is in Brentwood and we will continue to support their work both financially and with our resources.
- Continue our financial support packages for community groups.
- Progress ambitious plans for a Brentwood centre upgrade in the coming year.
- Deliver exciting new Leisure facilities King Georges Playing Fields, the work is already underway.
- Progress our Health and Wellbeing agenda focussing on physical and mental wellbeing
- Ensure Community Safety as lockdown restrictions ease working in partnership with Essex Police
- Develop strategies to cope with the post pandemic increased use of public space and parks and the impact that is having on the public realm
Protecting our Environment
- Pursue a ‘Brown Field sites first’ policy for housing growth
- Continue to expand our roll out of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points across the Borough
- Continue to expand the number of EV’s on the Council’s vehicle fleet
- Build on our ambitious tree planting scheme commenced in 2020 on council owned land
- Form an Environmental Business Alliance, that enables businesses to play a proactive role in carbon offsetting and local environmental initiatives
- Continue to pursue a zero tolerance policy to littering and fly-tipping with our on the spot fine scheme
- Increase our capacity to clear up fly tips more quickly through expanded crews and vehicles
- Continue to encourage education and volunteering on environmental issues
- Work with Essex County Council to deliver active travel schemes that reduce car dependency to tackle congestion and air pollution
- Resolve the pavement parking issue in Brentwood High Street.
Improving our Housing
- Continue the investment in our existing housing stock to improve their energy efficiency, reducing tenant heating costs.
- Submit planning proposals for more ‘passivhaus’ zero carbon residential development schemes.
- Work with Newham Council to regenerate redundant brown field land they hold in the Borough for housing.
- Deliver innovative schemes for affordability to enable home ownership for younger people.
- Deliver alternate accommodation schemes for the elderly and the vulnerable.
An Effective and Efficient Council
- Continue to invest in our staff and create local employment opportunities.
- Seek opportunities to reduce back office costs.
- Seek opportunities to trade our services and generate additional income.
- Never compromise Brentwood’s sovereignty by merging with another council.
- Always seek to minimise the Council Tax burden on the public.
On Thursday, 6th May make sure to keep Brentwood Conservative. Vote for your Conservative Team at these important local elections.
Please note that this announcement was re-scheduled to Tuesday 13 April 2021 out of respect for Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh who sadly passed away last week. Our thoughts and prayers are with The Queen and whole Royal Family at this very sad time.