At Knowsley Council’s Cabinet meeting tonight (Wednesday 8 November) Councillors were provided with a further update on the delivery of the Knowsley Council Plan.
In March 2022, the Council agreed a new Knowsley Council Plan for 2022-2025. The plan outlined three corporate priorities that the Council is now working towards delivering. These are:
- Effective support for those in need
- Inclusive skills and growth
- Climate emergency and achieving net zero.
Since the last update in June 2023, Knowsley Council has continued to make significant progress in the delivery of the plan.
Supporting residents during the cost-of-living crisis
The Council has continued to work with partners to co-ordinate and fund a comprehensive range of cost-of-living support, including a bespoke package of support for the upcoming winter period.
This includes a new Affordable Housing Access Fund and a Private Rented Sector Rescue Scheme to help tenants to avoid becoming homeless because their private landlords are choosing to exit the market.
Transforming Children’s Services
The first Family Hub has opened its doors in Northwood, providing a range of support around the ‘Start for Life’ offer. There are also plans to further integrate co-located services and a multi-agency workforce across Council and partner agencies.
The Council is continuing to make improvements in Children’s Social Care and has launched the Cared for Children and Care Experienced Strategies. These strategies are making a real impact, with the number of care experienced people in education, employment or training improving from 52% in 2022/23 to a current level of 64% (exceeding the national average of 55%).
Local economy and regeneration
An update was provided on the significant progress made on the continued development of the Borough’s town centres offer, and residential and commercial development programmes across the Borough.
This includes progress on the £15.3m Levelling Up Fund investment in Halewood, proposals for new ‘Later Living’ apartments in Kirkby and an update on the first phase of the reletting of the former Barclaycard Building.
Additional funding has also been secured for Kirkby with the Government announcing the town would receive £20m over a 10-year period.
Merseyrail and Northern Rail services began operating from the brand new Headbolt Lane Rail Station in Kirkby on 5 October 2023. Facilities are being opened on a phased basis with the opening of a car park for 270 vehicles anticipated by the end of November 2023.
Funding has been secured from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to enable the Council’s Business Growth Team to continue to provide support to businesses.
Climate crisis and net-zero
The Council has continued to push forward with its net zero agenda, including the completion of the decarbonisation of Kirkby Leisure Centre, and the securing of £0.228m of funding from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme’s Low Carbon Skills Fund to undertake detailed design works for a further five Council owned buildings.
Further successes and progress
The report highlighted the significant progress that has been made in the management and development of Knowsley’s green spaces. A number of key infrastructure schemes have progressed, including:
- a new woodland park in Halewood,
- new public open space in Kirkby,
- the Mellors Pond and Windy Arbor infrastructure improvements at Halsnead Garden Village,
- a new play area at Bowring Park in Huyton.
Knowsley’s Green Space Volunteers have also worked with Council teams to retain ‘Green Flag’ status for 19 parks across the Borough.
Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council, said: “We continue to progress with the delivery of the Knowsley Council Plan despite the challenging economic pressures that are impacting us all.
“Since the last update, I am delighted to see that so many projects have come to fruition and our residents are enjoying the benefit. In particular the opening of Headbolt Lane Station and our first Family Hub in Kirkby.
“With the winter now upon is, I am also very proud that we continue to work with partners to ensure that a comprehensive package of support is available and being delivered to our most vulnerable residents.
“I look forward to seeing further progress over the next six months.”
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