AN AMBITIOUS multi-million pound vision for the future of Denbighshire has been unveiled.
Council bosses have revealed they plan to invest £134 million in the county over the next five years, including a major investment of £97 million in education.
"This is, without question, the most ambitious corporate plan the council has ever had, but it is also achievable,” said Mohammed Mehmet, the council’s chief executive.
“I believe that, by delivering this plan, we can make a significant and lasting difference to the people and communities of Denbighshire.”
The council’s draft corporate plan, which was discussed by councillors meeting in County Hall yesterday (Tuesday), focusses on seven priorities including developing the local economy and improving the quality of school buildings.
Among the proposals are plan to invest £10.4 million in roads and £21 million in three extra care facilities across the county.
The council would not need to provide all of this funding.
It expects grants from the Welsh Government will be available to help fund the planned work to improve schools and roads and that other partners would be likely to contribute to planned extra care housing projects.
£78 million from the total would be found from a range of sources including redirecting funding for lower priorities, the council's reserves, balances and by selling some of its assets.
The rest would be generated through prudential borrowing.
The draft corporate plan says: “Of course this money will have to be repaid. However we have experience of using prudential borrowing and have used it successfully in the past.”
"It is well known that local authorities are facing difficult times,” said Councillor Hugh Evans, leader of Denbighshire County Council.
“We have got less money to invest in council services, and we must also manage issues that are outside of our control, such as the global economy, welfare rights reform and the restructure of the health service.
“During these difficult times, it is important that we play our part by providing the best services possible for residents, and by focusing on priorities that will make a difference to people’s lives.”
Among the details in the plan are proposals to increase the use of technology so staff are less tied to buildings and the council can sell some assets.
The draft plan was due to be approved by councillors yesterday morning. The meeting was still ongoing at the time of going to press.
Key proposals for investment for the five year period include:
· £97 million in improving school buildings, implementing area reviews, refurbishment and other improvements to schools
· £10.4 million investment in roads
· £21 million in three extra care facilities across the county
· £2 million investment in the economy
· £4 million in information communication technology (ICT) and office building assets
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