Leaders Earmark Major Investment As Part of Suffolk Taking Its First Steps On Road To Covid Recovery

Suffolk Public Sector Leaders (SPSL) has today approved a significant investment of £6.238m towards a range of strategic, community focussed projects and programmes that support efforts in Suffolk’s long term recovery beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

This money will be used to increase the offer for young people and families, to improve access to housing, to help local businesses get back on track, to address the climate emergency commitment and to drive future public engagement plans. 

Combined with investments previously made last September, this means SPSL has invested a total of £9.788m to support Suffolk’s longer term recovery from Covid-19 in the key areas of economic growth, supporting communities, community safety, tackling climate change, housing and in listening to local people.  

The role of SPSL is to continue to seek to maximise opportunities to benefit Suffolk’s communities, identifying and providing additional resourcing and financial contributions on top of what has already been put in place, to build upon the existing commitment and funding designated by local public services across the county.    

At the start of the meeting, Cllr Suzie Morley took over responsibility as Chair of the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders Group. As part of accepting her new role, she said: “I am extremely pleased and proud to take the role of Chair from Cllr Hicks who has performed the role throughout the last two years with a great degree of focus and care, particularly as we continued to find ways to collectively adapt and face up to the challenges of Covid-19. 

“Going forward, I hope we can all continue to work collaboratively with the same positive ambition and commitment to supporting Suffolk’s communities and improve access to local services for everybody across the county.”

Introducing the discussion surrounding Suffolk’s strategic approach to Covid recovery, Cllr Suzie Morley said: “Today this group is considering how best to maximise the great work that is already underway across the county. We have the opportunity here to add funding and further resources where necessary to support these projects and boost the benefits as part of Suffolk’s recovery from Covid.

“Together we are demonstrating our commitment to what Suffolk’s recovery hopefully looks like and feels like for residents and businesses. And as part of this, we remain absolutely determined to take the opportunity given to us to reduce inequalities and improve outcomes for everyone in Suffolk.

“Our approach is based on understanding the evidence, engaging with our communities and leading collaboratively to achieve positive outcomes.” 

As part of the discussion surrounding Suffolk’s Strategic Recovery Plan, the group agreed to allocate the investment across the following strategic themes:

  • Climate Change – £1.5m to implement the Suffolk’s Climate Emergency Plan agreed and launched by Leaders today
  • Inclusive Growth – £2.05m towards supporting Suffolk’s businesses recovery and the potential Haughley Junction rail upgrade 
  • Supporting Communities –  £2.6m to invest in future housing projects, improve literacy levels, identify families most in need of support and strengthen the local care offer for young people
  • Engagement – £0.139m – to support Youth Healthwatch projects and develop a countywide approach to engaging communities

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