Dear Residents,

I hope that you are all keeping safe and that, by the time that you are reading this, with Spring around the corner and the promise of better days ahead, things start to look a bit brighter.

I am sharing below some relevant information and updates from CDC – but please do get in touch if you have any other questions or issues you need help with.

Covid-19 Vaccination Rollout

CDC is working closely with local NHS colleagues and there have been regular meetings with them due to the concerns around vaccination centres in our area and the speed at which the vaccine is being rolled-out. They are currently exploring alternative (i.e. Chichester) sites that could be used. Identifying and then getting a site approved is complex and has to be approved by NHS England. One of the reasons why some sites were not considered in the first instance is because they were not available to use in the long term. However, the current lockdown has changed this providing the NHS with further options. CDC NHS updates: www.chichester.gov.uk/covidresidentsupport.

COVID-19 Business Support

New grant schemes are open for applications from eligible retail, hospitality and leisure business in the Chichester District. To see if you are eligible and to apply check: www.chichester.gov.uk/covidbusinesssupport

Holding Southern Water to Account

Previously, I reported that we got Full Council to agree to write to OFWAT to formally ask them to force Southern Water to ‘come clean’ on a range of very substantial shortcomings with severe implications for the Local Plan, our communities and the health of Chichester Harbour and waterways. This letter has now been published and now we are still awaiting a full response from OFWAT.

CDC Participation in National New Tree Planting Scheme Pilot

CDC has been chosen as one of five local authorities in England to take part in a new, £2.5m tree planting project with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which aims to increase tree cover in rural and urban areas. The scheme will make trees and funding available to individuals, homeowners, schools, community groups, private landowners and tenant farmers. A new Project Officer, Sophie Hamnett, was recruited to work on the project and started in the role in December. More info. is available here:

www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34875/New-tree-planting-pilot-scheme-launched-in-the-Chichester-District  

Improving Local Democracy

Council has agreed to my group’s proposal to consider the organisation of the Council including looking at introducing a ‘hybrid’ Cabinet and Committee system. This would retain the formal structure and advantages of a Cabinet model of government while strengthening the role of non-Cabinet members (backbenchers and opposition) to provide greater oversight, accountability and consensus working.

CDC Climate Action Plan Approved

At Council’s January meeting, the Climate Action Plan was approved. This is an incredibly important milestone for the Council and personally for the opposition to get CDC first to employ a Climate Emergency Officer (who must be given a huge amount of credit for putting together such a comprehensive document) and then to develop policy accordingly.

Get in touch!

As always please contact me with any issue, feedback, problem or question and I will do my best to help: gbevans@chichester.gov.uk / 07958 918056. I look forward to hearing from you!