Council approves route map out of Covid-19
At the first online meeting of the full Midlothian Council on Tuesday, councillors approved a local ‘route map’ through and out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Wellbeing Economy
The document, outlines the four phases and explains what easing restrictions will mean for local communities while keeping them safe. The focus is on creating a greener, safer and sustainable Midlothian underpinned by a ‘Wellbeing Economy’ where people and the environment prosper.
A better future
Council Leader Councillor Derek Milligan said: “This document is a renewal plan for Midlothian. It sets out how the council intends to work with its partners and communities to put the necessary changes in place to help us recover from the pandemic and to meet the huge challenges we now face. Without underestimating the scale of the task ahead, our plan is one firmly founded on hope, ambition and the promise of a better future.”
A £153 million capital investment
The route map includes an accelerated capital programme which means a £153 million investment rising to £321 for future years. New social housing will, whenever possible, be located close to good community facilities and shops. Developments will be of high quality, balancing good contemporary design with respect for the area’s heritage.
The programme includes £88M we will invest in building new homes, which will directly support employment while the development of green networks will improve opportunities for leisure and recreation.
The route map priorities are:
- Economic renewal
- Accelerated capital programme
- Education Recover Plan
- New beginnings in health and social care
- Digital by default, remote working and carbon neutral by 2030 approaches to the workplace, which includes active travel
Cllr Milligan said there are challenges ahead, especially economically. He said: “We’ve had to speedily adapt to new and more flexible ways of working. We’ve managed to keep essential services operational, including looking after our most vulnerable and supporting local businesses.
Tackling poverty and inequality
“There are challenges ahead. However, by, among other measures, focusing on creating sustainable business models including social enterprises, building social value into our procurement contracts and exploring alternative uses of our land for community benefits, we can tackle poverty and inequality and build a more resilient society.”