East Cambridgeshire District Council has pledged to continue to work hard to secure the best outcomes for residents.
The latest version of its Corporate Plan, which sets out its priorities for 2022/23, includes a focus on delivering sustainable transport schemes, community-led housing and environmental outcomes.
Providing the means for active travel is a top priority. Last year the Council secured Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) Market Town funding to help part fund the Wicken to Soham cycleway, and it will be pursuing further funds to help make this a reality over the coming year. It has also been working with cycling charity Sustrans to produce feasibility studies for a further five cycle routes.
Following last year’s opening of Soham Railway Station it will also seek to secure funds for the Snailwell and Dullingham Loops, both of which will have multiple benefits for local communities. The Snailwell Loop will provide passengers in Soham with a direct route to Cambridge, while the Dullingham Loop will provide rail services to Kennet. It is also urging the CPCA to ensure a segregated cycle and pedestrian path is included as part of plans to dual the A10.
This year will also see the completion of a Community Land Trust scheme in Haddenham and a refurbishment scheme that includes 15 shared ownership homes for local people in Ely. East Cambs Trading Company will also start on a new development in Ely which will include four 100K homes on the former Paradise Pool site.
The Council, which recently announced its Environment Plan for this year, will also continue to support Parish Councils with their local climate and nature action plans and encourage more Neighbourhood Plans.
Councillor Anna Bailey, Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “We may only be a small district council but we like to pack a large punch and deliver the very best deal for our residents.
“Last year we celebrated some very large achievements, including completing the 100K homes project at the Tannery in Ely. We also delivered 16 pledges in our Environmental Plan and celebrated the opening of Soham Railway Station.
“This was despite a very challenging year. Like all councils, we have continued to be affected by COVID-19 and a national shortage of HGV drivers has impacted the delivery of our waste service.
“However, we have always prided ourselves on tight financial management. Income generated by our trading companies, which includes East Cambs Trading Company, trading as Palace Green Homes, Ely Markets and Parks & Open Spaces, provides a financial benefit to the Council, which to date has amounted to more than £3 million.
“This in turn has enabled us to freeze Council Tax for the ninth consecutive year – the only district, county or unitary authority still in operation in the country not to put up bills during this time.
“A strong financial position also means further investment can be made in the workforce, vehicles and equipment needed to deliver a reliable and sustainable waste and recycling service.
“We would like to thank residents for their support over the last 12 months. We have a very exciting year ahead and one which I hope will really deliver for each and every person living in East Cambridgeshire.”