This week we will have our annual debate on the council’s corporate plan; this is the document that outlines what the council will be doing over the coming year. It also looks at what we’ve achieved since the local elections last year. It shows that we’ve delivered on our key promises to build more council homes, provide more apprenticeships, invested in new lighting and increased recycling.
We’ve also improved the way the council itself is run. We’re delivering more for less with constant improvements in performance. Our performance has improved across a number of measures but the most important measure is what our residents think of us. They have delivered some clear indications of how they feel. They gave us a 37 seat majority last year in the local elections and told the residents survey that 74% of them are satisfied with how the council is run.
Everywhere you look Ealing is on the up with increased investment and new building work. Much of the work is being done by the council and our partners on our estates. We are transforming the lives of residents by providing them with decent affordable housing.
We are making the borough healthier by focusing on the wider determinants of health and working across the council to tackle the reasons why people suffer from ill health. Our new public health powers have allowed us to move towards more prevention and that will help us address the health inequalities that we face. We’ve also maintained our campaign to save local hospitals, despite the extremely disappointing news the Ealing maternity unit will close next month we will keep the pressure up on the Government to retain real A&E services at Ealing and Charing Cross.
The borough is cleaner now as we have improved the performance of our contractor. We have taken the decision to bring in wheelie bins which will stop foxes and other pests ripping rubbish bags and spreading waste all over the streets. Whilst the decision will be controversial it is necessary to improve recycling whilst saving money and we will communicate with local people as much as possible to ensure implementation goes smoothly.
The borough is safer and the crime rate is dropping. We have invested in street lighting, CCTV and alley gating to provide added reassurance to people and ensure that people feel safe in the borough. Our continued investment in police officers puts the Tory mayor to shame as he continues to slash police numbers and dismantle neighbourhood policing.
Our multi award winning transport department have achieved a huge deal in making the borough more accessible. We have secured over £7m to improve the areas around our five Crossrail stations. The Greenford lift will be completed in the coming year and we are investing £8m in improving congestion across the borough.
We are also making the borough fairer. We have worked hard to mitigate the impact of the Tories welfare cuts and have found innovative ways to combat the scourge of temporary accommodation. We have also committed ourselves to the living wage and tackled the cost of living crisis by freezing resident’s council tax.
However despite all of this positive news we cannot ignore the cloud that has hung over us since we took control of the council. The £183m the Conservatives have slashed from the council’s budget and this will mean more cuts for us in the year ahead. We have already taken an array of difficult decisions and we will face many more in the coming year.