This week's Champion Council is Lewes District Council. After coming under Conservative control at the beginning of last year, following 18 years of Liberal Democrat administration, the council has undergone a number of major changes to get the council working in a more efficient way for the benefit of residents. By using innovative methods and working in partnership with external agencies, Lewes District Council are creating jobs and growth for local people. Some examples of their recent projects are:
- Going out to the market for a partner to develop 48 sites through a promotional agreement aimed at providing housing and enhanced community benefit. This includes plots of land that were costing money just to maintain. The combined current asset value of the property in question is £9.2 million; the potential realisable value is £150 million.
- Promoting prosperity and enterprise across the District, improving skills and providing a wide choice of local work. This includes launching an ambitious Apprenticeship and Enterprise Programme and securing £1.2 million government funding towards rejuvenation of the North Street Quarter in Lewes.
- Becoming one of 85 councils to secure funding from the Government to continue our weekly refuse collections as well as securing funding to offer a new food waste collection service in July this year. The scheme will be introduced district wide by June this year, doubling recycling rates with very little disruption to residents.
- Although not an Education Authority, The council has forged links with local universities and colleges in the bid to bring a University Technical College to Newhaven. E-ON has recently chosen Newhaven as the planned location for its operations and maintenance base for the nearby offshore wind farm. The move could create up to 85 jobs and see part of Newhaven Port being redeveloped through investment.