Knowsley Council has agreed an extended Corporate Plan to continue to deal with the impact of COVID-19 and the exit from the EU.
At a meeting on 3 March 2021, the Council agreed to extend its Corporate Plan to 30 September 2021 to take into account the long-term impacts of these major issues on the Borough.
For the period up to September 2021, the Council has also established six recovery priorities for Knowsley. These are:-
- Continuing the response to COVID-19, particularly in providing support for Knowsley’s most vulnerable residents and for local businesses until national and local infection levels reach a stage when restrictions can safely be lifted.
- Monitoring the impact of EU Exit and providing support to businesses in respect of the associated transition.
- Maintaining the existing effective local outbreak management arrangements, including efforts to ensure that regulations and guidance are followed by local residents and businesses.
- Supporting Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group with the programme to vaccinate Knowsley’s adult population against COVID-19.
- Making a full assessment of the long-term impact of COVID-19 on residents and the local economy and developing a response accordingly.
- Continuing with the Council’s ambitious plans for transformation and growth in order to put the foundations in place to enable short and long-term recovery.
The Council meeting on 3 March 2021 also agreed a £14.5m investment package to support the Borough’s recovery from the pandemic, ensuring that communities will have access to the support and services which they need.
In addition, Knowsley’s COVID vaccination programme is progressing at pace with already having received their first vaccination – approximately a third of the borough’s population.
Furthermore, the Council’s ambitious development plans have continued throughout the pandemic with progress clearly visible in Kirkby town centre with the construction of the new 94,000 feet2 retail development and the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot which is already becoming a prominent local landmark. In addition, plans for Huyton Village Centre, Halsnead Garden Village, East of Halewood, and house building across the Borough have continued to be progressed throughout the pandemic.
The recovery priorities will sit alongside the five existing priorities in the Council’s Corporate Plan. These include a focus on education, health, adult social care, housing, the local economy, and the Borough’s response to the Climate Emergency.
Despite the challenges faced during 2020, excellent progress has been made against existing Corporate Plan priorities.
The Council anticipates that a six-month extension will provide sufficient time to develop a new three-year Corporate Plan. This will take into account the impact of and necessary response to the current crisis, and will consider the long-term ambitions of the Borough’s ten-year “Knowsley 2030” Strategy.
Councillor Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create uncertainty across the globe. Despite this, the Council has invested in support and services to support our recovery from this pandemic. With the development projects which are in place and making very good progress, we are in a position to create a stronger, healthier Knowsley. Our existing Corporate Plan priorities have put us in a really strong position to recover from the impact of COVID-19.”