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Corporate Plan 2023-2027

Our corporate plan for the next 5 years sets out the key priorities for the council, the principles that inform everything we do, and how we will do them.


Corporate Plan logo 2023-27
Our vision: Making Uttlesford the best place to live, work and play.

The priorities and the scale of ambition remain consistent - detailed actions behind this high-level plan will be set out in a separate Corporate Plan Delivery Plan document which will be published in the 2023/24 council year.

Putting residents first

Why is this important

We are elected by residents. Their needs and welfare are our first and highest priority.

They expect us to be open, honest and responsible. They deserve high standards of governance and trustworthiness.

They want good levels of service and expect their council taxes to be used efficiently and wisely.

The result will be

Residents will know their views have been listened to; they will feel they have the opportunity to influence the decision making; they will understand why decisions have been made even if they disagree with them. There will be high levels of trust and confidence in the way the council conducts its business and manages its resources.

We will 

1. Be a council that listens to and acts for residents

a. Increase the voice and influence of residents in planning and other council matters
b.Lead and administer public consultations that are effective, accessible, timely and high quality
c. Provide opportunities for young people
d. Use the council's web services and social media to increase communication with residents
e. Actively and positively engage with and listen to our town and parish councils
f. Support town and parish councils to better represent their communities

2. Deliver local government with outstanding levels of transparency and accountability

a. Implement a corporate change programme to increase accountability, transparency and democracy at the council
b. Seek external review of and recognition for positive change achieved by the council
c. Deliver a comprehensive continuing member development programme
d. Promote wider engagement in local democracy, including by seeking to improve the quality of public discourse

3. Be responsible with your money and mitigate the impact of government cuts

a. Be a self-sufficient council that generates its own resources from local taxation (Business rates and Council Tax) and commercial investments thereby reducing the reliance on central government grants
b. Deliver cost-effective and efficient services that live within the council's means
c. Constantly seek to improve the quality of our services whether provided in-house, in partnership or contracted out
d. Apply for all relevant grants
e. Set a Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) to fund council services by a prudent mix of investment, services and tax income, while maintaining adequate reserves
f. Follow best practices for investment risk management and board composition


Active place-maker for our towns and villages

Why is this important

A focus on strategic master-planning in partnership with towns and villages will create better resident-centred places to live.

Our unique connectivity, location, and character can be used to drive a local economy that creates local jobs and prosperity.

Taking an active role in providing homes and services for in need will safeguard the health and welfare of all our residents.

The result will be

District, town and parish councillors will feel they have participated in decision making that positively shapes the communities they represent.

New policies and plans will be implemented that give our towns and villages a strong sense of purpose and place.

We will

1. Masterplan our new communities for and with residents

a. Continue to develop our 20 year Local Plan, reflecting the unique character of our area as best as possible within central government constraints and statutory requirements
b. Provide the greatest level of influence and protection for communities adjacent to new settlements

2. Support our towns and villages to plan their neighbourhoods

a. Deliver an outstanding planning and place-making capability with the right capacity to create quality outcomes with and for all our communities
b. Facilitate neighbourhood planning across the district through strong engagement with and support of all town and parish councils
c. Implement policies which create better homes and neighbourhoods that meet or exceed national standards
d. Work with partners and stakeholders to deliver new sports, play and community facilities

3. Secure greater benefits for our community from new development

a. Explore the Community Infrastructure Levy alongside s106 to deliver strategic community projects and greater local benefit from development
b. Increase the transparency of the Section-106 Agreement process and councillor engagement in it
c. Ensure that strong Planning Enforcement holds developers to account
d. Require developers to be considerate of the communities in which they build
e. Ensure that planning conditions are appropriate and met

4. Work with the airport on issues of concern to communities

a. Seek a reduction in night flights
b. Implement programmes to reduce airport-related fly-parking
c. Work to secure investment in sustainable transport to and from airport, including for local workers
d. Seek a reduction in overflying of conservation areas

5. Nurture employment and retail areas to create jobs and retain businesses

a. Protect and grow our town centres as economic hubs
b. Increase tourist spend
c. Support the creation of amenities that stimulate and facilitate local businesses, such as enterprise zones, business parks, offices, industrial areas, and start-up hubs
d. Support the expansion and promotion of key relevant employment sectors for the district
e. Work with partners to promote the economic opportunities of the London - Cambridge Innovation Corridor, Stansted Airport and our main transport corridors
f. Work with Stansted Airport to increase local airport-based employment opportunities
g. Provide targeted support to help business through the cost-of-living crisis

6. Enforce good business standards in our district

a. Make sure that businesses and trades in our district meet the national standards and licensing required of them

7. Deliver more affordable homes and protect those in need in our district

a. Increase the number of affordable homes delivered and different tenure options including social renting
b. Refurbish our existing council homes to sustainable standards and ensure that quality and safety standards in our council houses are fully met
c. Reduce the number of empty homes
d. Ensure that landlords maintain high quality private sector housing conditions
e. Ensure that services to protect vulnerable residents are accessible and appropriate and that violence against women and girls is acted on as an ongoing priority, alongside any instances of gang related violence (including 'county lines') and substance abuse

8. Promote healthy lifestyles in diverse and inclusive communities

a. Work with partners, including the voluntary sector, to improve the general quality of life for residents, including for residents that experience social isolation, poor mental health, obesity, addiction and dementia
b. Continue to be an active partner of the Health and Wellbeing Partnership, to promote healthy lifestyles


Progressive custodian of our rural and historic environment

Why is this important

Residents live here because of our beautiful and historical rural character. We need to protect it for those that live here now and in the future.

We must act quickly and responsibly to reduce the chances of a climate catastrophe. We have a clear obligation to ensure a clean, healthy and safe future.

The result will be

Residents will see that their council is a strong protector of our physical and historic environment. They will feel that the council is taking affirmative action on combating the effects of climate change at a local level.

We will

1. Take action on climate change

a. Adopt policies to meet new environmental national guidelines/standards as they emerge
b. Drive policies to deliver low carbon homes
c. Improve average energy efficiency of council housing stock and council buildings
d. Increase the number of trees in the district
e. Set a net zero carbon goal for the council and implement supporting policies
f. Increase facilities for walking, cycling and sustainable transport
g. Recognise the district's 'greenest' business and developers
h. Oppose a second runway at Stansted Airport

2. Conserve our natural resources

a. Implement and enforce policies that protect water and reduce energy consumption
b. Drive programmes that increase biodiversity
c. Support local energy production initiatives
d. Implement programmes to reduce single-use plastics
e. Work to reduce residual waste generated per household
f. Seek to understand and address long-term historic infrastructure deficits in the district

3. Protect and enhance our rural character and heritage

a. Meet or exceed national standards for open and green spaces
b. Encourage positive planning that values and protects our heritage and landscape
c. Work with others to increase access to the heritage and history of our district
d. Work with our rural partners and developers to protect and maintain habitat and wildlife corridors
e. Target littering and fly-tipping

4. Take strong action on dealing with pollution

a. Increase air quality monitoring across the district
b. Deliver reductions in pollution at identified problem areas
c. Promote the provision of EV charging points to support the transition to electric vehicles


Champion for our district

Why is this important

Residents deserve clear accountability, but they would like us to step in to help solve problems even when others are responsible.

In our role as a place-maker we must work with other authorities and organisations to influence, prioritise and coordinate actions to collectively deliver the best for our district and its residents. This will include, when necessary, holding others to account.

The result will be

Residents will feel that the council is proactively working on their behalf for the good of the district with other authorities and organisations.

We will

1. Improve Uttlesford's connectivity

a. Work to set the agenda for Essex County Council highway maintenance and pothole fixing
b. Work with Essex County Council and communities to develop the highway improvement schemes we need
c. Hold Essex Highways to account to deliver what they promise
d. Promote and support sustainable transport initiatives, such as bus, rapid transport and rail upgrades
e. Lobby Highways England to improve the capacity and safety of the M11, including junction 8
f. Work with Essex County Council and hold them to account to deliver rural superfast broadband in our district

2. Support our students, schools and libraries

a. Ensure that developer contributions are collected for ECC to provide our local school and Early Years places

3. Work with partners to keep the district safe

a. Work with the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable to reduce crime on our area
b. Continue to be an active partner of the Community Safety Partnership

4. Work to create a better local Health Service for residents

a. Work with the NHS on in-district local healthcare provision
b. Work to secure Addenbrookes, The Princess Alexandra Harlow, and Mid-Essex hospitals as our recognised local hospital providers
c. Deliver programmes to support our aging population


Additional information

►  Corporate Plan 2022-2026 [490KB] 

►  Corporate Plan 2021-2025 [340KB]