Have your say on plan to put the community at the heart of all we do

Putting the community at the heart of everything Canterbury City Council does and stands for is the driving force behind its emerging Corporate Plan.

On Monday (11 December) it launched a 12-week consultation inviting everyone that lives, works and studies in the district to have their say on its proposed approach and to help it prioritise the action it needs to take from April next year to 2028.

It is proposed to build the council’s next Corporate Plan around the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Alan Baldock, said: “Basing our emerging Corporate Plan on the UN’s SDGs is quite a leap in thinking and we hope it reflects the new administration’s philosophy which is all about community and building a sustainable and prosperous future for everyone over the long term.

“We think our desire to think globally but act locally signals our overwhelming ambition to make a real difference and will mean we can face the huge challenges facing the planet at the same time as tackling the issues that are unique to our district.

“While the council cannot take direct action with a number of the SDGs, we recognise we could have an effective role in being able to work with others at all levels of the community and more widely to bring about change.

“We also recognise we could have a powerful voice in lobbying others and acting as a champion for the place we love.

“Finally, we think the SDGs will also allow the council to produce an action plan which helps everyone measure the council’s progress and hold it accountable in an open and transparent way.

“I urge everyone to take part in the consultation. We’re really interested in what everyone has to say and to understand their priorities so that we can hone our own. We will listen.”

The UN’s SDGs are:

  • End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Zero hunger
  • Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
  • Quality education
  • Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Ensure access to water and sanitation for all
  • Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy
  • Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
  • Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources
  • Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss
  • Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
  • Revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development

The council proposes to group the SDGs under four themes. They are:

  • Protecting our district for future generations
  • Growing our district sustainably
  • Feeling safe, secure and healthy
  • Listening to our residents

An example of a global SDG being translated into local action could be under the banner of protecting our district for future generations, delivering on the following plans so that we sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss:

  • have a comprehensive Climate Change Action Plan to push us ever closer to net zero which is complemented by an Air Quality Action Plan
  • have the Canterbury Pollinator Action Plan prioritising actions across the district to benefit pollinators and to support their recovery.
  • have the Canterbury District Tree, Hedges and Woodland Strategy celebrating the importance of woodlands and trees across the district
  • have a refreshed Canterbury Riverside Strategy to ensure objectives and actions reflect current needs and challenges

In response to the declaration of a Biodiversity Emergency, a Canterbury District Biodiversity Plan – A Nature Recovery Strategy, will be launched in early summer 2024.

What is a Corporate Plan?

At least once during an administration, roughly every four years, the council sets out its medium-term vision for the future including its aims, ambitions and a set of objectives in its Corporate Plan.

Once agreed, the plan is used by council officers to make recommendations to councillors and is used by councillors to make decisions and prioritise limited resources.

The Corporate Plan has to work in harmony with the council’s Local Plan, the council’s official planning blueprint which allocates land for new homes, jobs, new schools and community uses as well as imposing rules designed to dictate the quality and density of developments, boost biodiversity, protect valued open spaces over the long term and to ensure any new development minimises its contribution to climate change while also mitigating against its effects.

It also has to complement the council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy which looks at the council’s finances.

The consultation runs until 5pm on Monday 4 March.

Published: 15 December 2023

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