R4U delivers first ever Residents Charter for Uttlesford District Council

As part of reshaping Uttlesford District Council (UDC), Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) has delivered the first ever Residents Charter at the council and the first of 4 supporting annual Delivery Plans has been approved. The Residents Charter can be downloaded from the R4U website at www.residents4u.org/charter.

John Lodge (R4U) John Lodge (R4U)

R4U Chair Cllr John Lodge, who is also Leader at UDC, said “Local people elected us with a significant mandate to radically change how the council operates to make sure that residents are always the priority. More than 600 residents had direct input to our manifesto, of which we distributed 40,000 before the election. The Residents Charter makes this deliverable by the district council. We are delighted it has now been embedded in the council’s Corporate and annual Delivery Plans.”

Cllr John Lodge continued “Our Residents Charter commits the council to putting residents first; being an active community builder for our towns and villages; being a progressive custodian of our rural environment; and championing our district with other authorities. Delivering the charter will make Uttlesford the best place to live, work and play. Residents can read it on the R4U website. In support we have restructured portfolio responsibilities. Cllr Colin Day will now head up Communities, Neil Reeve Business and Investments, and Richard Freeman Council and Public Services’.”

Neil Hargreaves (R4U) Neil Hargreaves (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Neil Hargreaves, District Council Portfolio holder for Finance added “The majority of the Delivery Plan changes ‘how’ the council does things to create better outcomes for residents, and therefore doesn’t really affect the budget apart from creating efficiency. The Delivery Plan to 2021 includes a number of additional programmes that do require budget. Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic so far has cost the council £4.4million, which is three-quarters of the total annual council tax. As a result we must sensibly delay new discretionary programme funding and narrow the scope of delivery until the government has made good on its promise to reimburse unbudgeted Covid-19 related losses. However, even with some delay and refocusing of a number of programmes, many of the 2021 delivery items are already underway to support our Residents Charter.”

Cllr Hargreaves concluded “Residents will have seen that since they elected us last year we have been busy fixing problems left by the previous administration, including the airport expansion, planning and finances. We thank residents for the trust they gave us. The new Residents Charter makes it 100% transparent that we are good to our word and that we are reshaping the district council to work better for them.”

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