County, district and borough councils chiefs agree Suffolk Covid recovery plan
A recovery plan for Suffolk to bounce back from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic is set to be published in June.
Suffolk leaders are currently developing the proposals which will operate alongside individual projects councils are spearheading to help Suffolk residents and businesses.
At Friday’s Suffolk Public Sector Leaders meeting – a gathering of all the county, district and borough council chiefs, as well as police and health bosses – it emerged that the strategic recovery plan will be published at the group’s meeting on June 9.
It is set to feature five prongs for priority – physical and mental health, town centres, housing and homelessness, young people, and climate and environment.
While actions have not yet been unveiled, it is likely to include helping youngsters catch up from missed learning, mental health support services, assisting those with Long Covid and promoting Suffolk’s high streets.
Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks said: “It is very important that we continue to pay regard to Suffolk’s response to Covid-19 during this time and the way in which Suffolk’s plans for recovery continue to form and adapt to the emerging challenges of the pandemic.
“It is critically important that we all continue to follow current national guidance at present and it is heartening to see the potential for us moving towards some degree of normality in time if we all continue to work to support each other across our communities.”
The plan will be reviewed in November to ensure measures are making improvements and any new support programmes can be added.
West Suffolk Council chief executive and chairman of the strategic recovery group, Ian Gallin, said: “We are in a strong place, we are really beginning to understand the opportunities and where action is needed.
“There is lots of work going on to aid recovery.”
The public sector leaders group has already committed £800,000 from pooled business rates to extend Hardship Fund support to families in need up to September this year.
It has also agreed a £2.3million plan for boosting the visitor economy, as a means of helping rebuild post-Covid.
June’s public sector leaders gathering will also see an environment and climate change action plan published, which will help direct efforts for the county to become carbon neutral.
That plan will include a focus on buildings, transport, finances, power and industries.