Crewe Town Council
Corporate Strategy 2020-2024
“Taking Crewe where it wants to be”
Approved by Council for consultation on 3rd March 2020
A vibrant town with a strong identity and heritage, where people of all ages are proud to live, work and participate in a diverse but engaged community, with shared values and common goals. A green and safe environment, with integrated transport connectivity which provides rewarding jobs and supports its businesses.
We believe this can be achieved, by the Town Council engaging with, leading, and supporting its communities, and coordinating the efforts of key stake holders to stimulate economic growth, improve the public realm and protect amenities and the environment.
(purpose) is to represent the best interests of the town and people of Crewe. To endeavour to build on its heritage, empower and lead its communities, maintain, and sustainably improve the quality of life for all those who enjoy the Town and to deliver efficient and effective services.
We will do this by Councillors and Officers working together and jointly with others, to champion the needs and wishes of the community by direct provision, partnership, engaging others, and lobbying. We will manage resources effectively, operate sustainably and be an advocate and campaigning voice for the Town.
Our Core Values
The principles by which we will operate the Council are:
- * Democracy and transparency
- * Working with others to maximise effectiveness
- * Equality & respect
- * Professionalism and Delivering on our promises
This is Crewe Town Council’s second Strategy, what they would like the town to become and their part in getting it there. The Council are committed to playing a key role in the delivery of other plans and strategies for the town developed in partnership. Some of these are already in being such as the Community Plan and Cultural Strategy, others are still being finalised, for example the Heritage Strategy and the all-encompassing Place Brand for Crewe.
Ensuring the town has a balanced mix of housing to cater for its diverse population, with improved health and wellbeing and where people can feel safe.
Enhancing economic prosperity with a spread of quality and sustainable employment and a modern, vibrant town Centre. Crewe will become a digital town and have improved services to meet the additional demand as it grows.
Improving the Quality of the Public Realm, recognising climate change issues and protecting the local environment and heritage. Improved leisure assets and development of arts and culture provision.
Developing a sense of civic pride across all age groups, improving the level of public engagement, and providing a place where people feel positive.
Developing the capacity and skills within the Council, to equip it to deliver the outward facing priorities efficiently and effectively.
The Council’s 4 “outward facing” Strategic Priorities are about improving Crewe for the benefit of residents, businesses, and visitors. The Council wish to see it develop as a great town in which to live, work or do business, and visit or spend leisure time, with an engaged community which is proud of the town. Within these Strategic Priorities are a number of supporting corporate objectives. For each of these we have listed the key broad actions we intend to take. These will be given more specific targets in our Business Plan, which will also identify dates by which they will be delivered, as well as outcomes and action champions. In additional we have identified an “inward” facing Priority to develop the potential of the Council-our efficiency, effectiveness and transparency and firm intension to deliver our 4 outward facing priorities.
Goal 1: A Town to Live In
1. Work to ensure the housing that Crewe needs
- Lobby to ensure the housing proposed in the Local Plan is delivered in a sustainable way, has a mix of types for a balanced and diverse population (particularly affordable homes for the young) and is of a design that preserves Crewe’s character.
- Promote connectivity between neighbourhoods.
- Support the provision of more town centre homes
- Support Cheshire East Council in the development of selective licensing and on-going management of rental properties
- Work with Letting agents to encourage proactive management of rental properties
- Use the planning process to limit houses in multiple occupation in certain areas.
2. Work to improve health and wellbeing
- To support initiatives which encourage residents to live a healthy lifestyle.
- Reduce social isolation and loneliness by supporting “befriending” schemes and community transport.
- Ensure there is support available for those with mental health conditions.
- Work with community partners to ensure financial support services for families.
- Work with community partners ensure bereavement support services are available.
- Seek to engage with young people through the local youth Support Group.
- Support better access and facilities for those with disabilities.
3. Work to make our Town Safer
- Continue to contribute to Cheshire East Council’s CCTV service to deter crime and to invest in deployable cameras to address fly tipping and anti-social behaviour issues.
- Work with Cheshire East’s Anti-social behaviour and community enforcement teams to address anti-social behaviour and environmental crime.
- Work with the Police to maintain the PCSO presence so anti-social behaviour is dealt with and residents feel safe.
- Work with Police and other partners on community safety initiatives and to disseminate information and report matters of concern.
- Lead the community & principal Council in developing a Town Emergency Plan.
- Issue home safety & health advice/information through our Website, Newsletter, and networks.
- Undertake a Crime Reduction Audit on the Council’s activities & facilities, so as to lead by example.
- Look at the feasibility of establishing a “safe place” when considering future office facilities.
- Support Cheshire Fire and Rescue fire safety campaigns through our website, newsletter and networks.
- Lobby for road improvements which improve safety.
Goal 2: A Town to Work In
1. Seek to achieve a spread of employment with more quality and sustainable jobs and enhance economic prosperity.
- Take a leading role with partners to develop support for a “place brand” for Crewe which everyone can aspire to and the town can become.
- Take a leading role in the development of the Crewe Board to promote the Crewe Place Brand and shared values and encourage inward investment.
- Continue to work with Stakeholders to ensure that the town centre is re-developed to meet and exceed the ambitions of the people of Crewe and the surrounding area.
- Lead the lobby for the timely and innovative development of the Royal Arcade which meets the needs of local residents and businesses.
- Ensure the HS2 proposals impacts positively on the regeneration of Crewe, with an integrated transport strategy, improved environment and development which enhances the town.
- Actively support and invest in the redevelopment of the Market Hall to maximise its contribution to the regeneration of Crewe.
- Assist Cheshire East in seeking funding from the Government and other sources to support businesses in Crewe, like the Future High Streets Fund
- Progress the ambition to have a Business Improvement District in Crewe.
- Lobby to retain and enhance smaller employment sites particularly where they enable “start-up” activity or the expansion of existing businesses.
- Promote the visitor economy by working with stakeholders to raise the standard of the offering in Crewe and supporting the messaging to internal and external audiences, in-line with the Brand Strategy.
2. Seek to preserve existing services and facilities and support the establishment of new accessible local services and infrastructure.
- Continue to work with Cheshire East Council and other partners to ensure the development of Crewe is planned and delivered in a strategic and holistic manner.
- Become a digital Town supporting local residents, visitors and businesses with improved digital services.
- Lobby for proper provision to be made for additional demands on services and infrastructure, as development is approved within and outside the Town.
- To be actively involved in the consultation process and development of the various policy additions to the Local Plan strategy.
Goal 3: A Town to Enjoy
1. Protect and enhance our local environment and public realm:
- Create an “Urban Plan” which deals with environmental issues within the town.
- Adopt an Environmental and Sustainability Policy to support locally the climate change initiative which is so important to our younger generation.
- Improve our Town Centre Environment by ensuring the public realm is clean and litter free.
- Continue to use Streetscene Officers to ensure that the problems with fly-tipping and waste management are tackled.
- Maintain the Ranger service to keep the town clean and tidy.
- Support and promote the Hedgehog and Wildlife planning initiative.
- Seek to preserve and enhance the Town ’s biodiversity through supporting the retention, creation, and improvement of blue and green infrastructure networks.
- Act as an advocate and gateway to other agencies in order to resolve nuisance complaints.
- Undertake an Environmental Audit to determine the effect of the Council’s activities and measure its carbon footprint as a simple benchmark against which to monitor future progress.
2. Protect and enhance our heritage:
- Maintain the Remembrance parade and other events which commemorate important historical events.
- Complete the consultation and adopt a Heritage Strategy and promote its outcomes.
- Continue to support and promote the twinning links with our partner towns.
- Liaise with the Heritage Centre to realise the potential of Crewe’s railway heritage and support it’s bid for museum status.
- Support reviews and maintenance of both listed buildings and buildings on a local list.
- Use the planning system to preserve green open spaces and sightlines to key features.
- Support Cheshire East Council to provide an Archives facility with the aim of increasing visitor numbers.
3. Recognise the range of leisure and sporting assets and seek to add to them.
- Oppose new developments where recreation or sports facilities are lost unless equivalent provision is provided.
- Support and promote the development of new sports and leisure facilities to meet the needs of the local and surrounding population.
- Work with ANSA and grant awarding bodies to maintain and upgrade the various play parks in the town.
- Prioritise the needs of pedestrians and cyclists and promote cycling and walking in the town.
- Support local sports and leisure organisations to expand and play a greater role in meeting the needs of the population.
- Support organisations to achieve and deliver sporting excellence, setting higher standards, and providing aspirations for the next generation.
4. Develop Arts and Culture
- Support Cultural Forum in the delivery of the Crewe Cultural Strategy.
- Support community partners in the development of both Christchurch and Flag Lane Bath sites.
- Support the Cheshire East Bid for an archive centre and museum in the town.
- Work with the Lyceum Theatre, Cheshire East Council, and other partners to promote a programme of cultural events.
- Stage directly or with partners, specific events which raise the profile of the town and encourage visitors.
Goal 4: A Community with Pride
1. Build a single, engaged, and empowered Crewe Community
- Celebrate the diversity of our communities of place, origin, interest, or age, and proactively engage with them, ensuring they are consulted, and represented.
- Engage with and support the wide variety of community organisations in the town which help us deliver our aims.
- Continue to give grants to community organisations which progress the Council’s aims.
- Ensure that young people have things to aspire to, be it employment opportunities, safe activities, and place to engage with or an interest in their community.
- Work with organisations who support young people.
- Take the lead to empower a volunteering culture within Crewe by promulgating the benefits and promoting opportunities.
- Support and develop networks which foster linked services and remove duplication.
- Adopt a Community and Social Policy and a Community Engagement Policy.
- Ensure our Equality Policy always reflects best practice in respect of employment, services, and democracy.
2. Provide a voice for Crewe
- Maintain either directly or in partnership a programme of events to promote the Town and promote the Council’s other objectives and the shared values and common goals of the Crewe Place Brand.
- Become an influential participant in dealing with others, working with, and holding to account partners and coordinating the activities of stakeholders, to create a shared agenda, manage and improve local services.
- Continue with a leading role to implement Crewe’s Community Plan, “A Vision for Crewe” and its 2019 refreshed action plan by enabling, influencing, and brokering opportunities.
- Engage and work with the Crewe Neighbourhood Partnership to jointly plan and coordinate services and development.
- Evaluate the benefits from developing a Neighbourhood Plan and using it to assert more control over local planning issues and to provide a stronger voice for the town in planning decisions.
- Support and build on the Crewe Place Branding Project ensuring it becomes a truly shared vision.
- Promote and support events which build community cohesiveness or promote the town.
- Have an active and responsive programme of Mayoral engagements to support the community and promote the town.
- Continue with the annual Civic Awards.
Goal 5: A Council to Deliver
1. Punch above our weight by taking a more integrated approach to management
- Research the feasibility of attaining city status.
- Develop capacity and a diverse skill base through an active Member and Officer Training Programme.
- Be innovative in finding external funding.
- Gain accreditation under the Local Council Award Scheme.
- Deliver the Corporate Strategy objectives through an outcome focussed Business Plan and related performance management.
- Define operational efficiency by developing a range of quality based operating procedures.
- Review our Code of Conduct for Councillors and conditions of employment for staff.
- Review all our Governance and Policies to ensure they are fit for purpose.
- Move to a 5-year financial plan to ensure best value and “undertake a service value review”.
- Undertake a review of the Council’s information technology.
2. Deliver excellent services according to both need and consumer choice
- Determine priorities on objective need and public choice, in the light of both business and safety risk assessments.
- Continue to deliver our existing services and develop out-come based standards.
- Support or supplement essential services provided by others, but only take on devolved services from the principal Council, where it is necessary to preserve or improve them and it doesn’t create a “double taxation” burden.
- Introduce new services and initiatives where we can satisfy need and choice cost effectively.
- Remain eligible for the general power of competence and embrace other new powers made available, which benefit our aims, so as to increase our ability to offer services and local governance.
- Use our role in the planning system to the benefit of the local community.
3. Provide excellent communications and transparency
- Continually improve the content of the Website.
- Evaluate the feasibility and benefits of reinstating a periodic newsletter for wide distribution.
- Keep our Publication Scheme and Information Guide current and exceed “data transparency” requirements.
- Continue to hold a public participation session at all public meetings.
- Develop a comprehensive Information and Data Protection Policy.
- Report progress on our business plan and any unimplemented decisions.
- Make access easier to our budgets, accounts, key expenditure, minutes of meetings and audit reports on the Website.
- Develop the use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, but in a factual way to make the Council more accessible and efficient.
- Adopt a Constitution as a framework for the Council’s governance and policy documents to help the public more easily understand how we operate.
How It Will Be Delivered
Crewe Town Council recognises that it does not have the legal powers or resources to bring about all of its priorities on its own. It will support all organisations and projects which take forward its priorities. It will put its corporate shoulder behind them and, where possible, help fill gaps in provision using its unique position.
It has to emphasised that this is Crewe Town Council’s Corporate Strategy, what they would like the town to become and their part in getting it there. The Council are committed to playing a key role in the delivery of other plans and strategies for the town developed in partnership. Some of these are already in being such as the Community Plan and Cultural Strategy, others are still being finalised, for example the Heritage Strategy and the all-encompassing Place Brand for Crewe. It is inevitable and indeed desirable that the Council’s future direction is bound up with other “direction of travel” documents.
Each of its priorities will be delivered through one or more projects for which action plans will be developed, as necessary. Implementation of the action plans will be the responsibility of the Town Clerk and will form the basis of more detailed and costed actions and will inform the proposed medium term financial plan.
The Council will use its business plan to translate its Strategy into actions, providing details of how it will achieve and fund its aims and specify targets and timescales against which its progress can be judged. Performance data will be collected each Council cycle and reported to Councillors, together with financial management information.
The Council will continuously “up its game” to tackle enthusiastically the challenges which lie ahead.