Help make a difference to the borough's future

5 June 2020

Residents are being asked what a stronger future means to them as planning gets underway to help the borough come back from COVID-19 as an even better place to live and work. 

The way that communities and organisations have rallied to support one another has been an essential part of the borough’s response to the pandemic, and Cheshire West and Chester Council is keen to hear from individuals and groups on how we can all work together to build a stronger future.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “The impact of COVID-19 on all of our lives cannot be understated and communities across the borough still need our support.

“Our priority continues to be the protection of lives and livelihoods but we also need to prepare our borough for a stronger future. We want to hear from our residents because this is something we need to do together.

“West Cheshire, like all areas of the UK, is likely to face unprecedented social and economic challenges for some time to come and we need to accept that we can’t go back to how we lived and worked before.

“But this gives us a real opportunity to make radical and fundamental changes to the way that society, the Council and our economy works and to come back stronger.

“I have been so proud of the way people across our borough have pulled together to support each other through this pandemic, forging stronger links and finding new ways to work together, and this is something we must build on to create a fairer, greener and even more prosperous borough in the months and years to come.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to play their part and share their views to help our borough build a stronger future together.”
Last autumn the Council worked with communities to develop a new Council Plan – Play Your Part to Thrive – and in February unanimously agreed six key challenges for the borough to tackle in the next four years, as well as setting out a radical vision where residents, businesses and Council services work together to make communities fairer, greener and more involved in the decisions that affect everyone.

This vision and the challenges, alongside the new challenge of re-establishing public services when it is safe to do so, are even more important now and provide a framework for how to build a stronger future for everyone.

These seven challenges are:
  • How can we re-establish our key public services in a way that is safe, and continues to protect our most vulnerable residents and front-line workers?
  • How can we most effectively support people to have healthier, happier and longer lives, address new and existing health inequalities, improve mental health, reform our social care services and maximise the skill and goodwill of our increasing number of local volunteers?
  • How can we, our schools and our families make sure that our children and young people have the best start in life, they are supported to learn and to be safe, that their physical and emotional wellbeing is protected, and how, as a borough, do we tackle the expected rise in incidents of domestic violence and abuse?
  • How do we support our economy, helping new and existing local businesses, and their employees, to flourish through such a difficult financial period?How do we address economic disadvantage and increasing unemployment and how do we continue to tackle homelessness and secure good homes?
  • As we continue to address the climate emergency, how do we encourage more people into active travel - walking and cycling - as a frequent alternative to using their cars?How do we encourage more people to use public transport and low carbon transport?And how do we keep ‘green growth’ at the heart of our borough’s plans for prosperity?
  • How can we empower our communities and neighbourhoods to play their part?How can we, as a borough, support each other through the challenging times ahead - just as we are supporting each other through the challenges we face right now?
  • What, to you, constitutes an effective, efficient and resilient Council?What do you think we should focus on as an organisation to best meet your needs, and how do you feel our services would be most effectively delivered, including building on our use of digital services, which has been vital during the pandemic. 
Embedded across all of this is a drive to support residents with mental health challenges, promote fairness, tackle inequality and address poverty. 

Cllr Gittins said: “Our plans for a stronger future are underway but they are far from finalised and we want to hear from as many residents, community groups and businesses as possible about what a stronger future means to you. 

“This is our borough, and we want to do this together.” 

There are a number of ways to get involved. 
  • Visit the Stronger Futures website. Here you can post thoughts on online ideas boards or fill in an online survey. 
  • Tweet @Go_CheshireWest using #StrongerFuturesCW.
  • Send a letter to: Stronger Futures, Insight and Intelligence, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Council Offices, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE.
  • Email your ideas to: strongerfutures@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.
  • Telephone the Council’s Contact Centre on: 0300 123 8 123 and quote ‘Stronger Futures’.

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