1st Mar, 2021

Council tax freeze as Wychavon chiefs plot Covid recovery

Rob George 7th Feb, 2021

COUNCIL chiefs have unveiled an ambitious package of measures to help the Wychavon district recover from the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The announcement includes a freeze on Wychavon’s share of the Council Tax bill for the fourth year in a row. This means the average Band D household will continue to pay £120.08 for Wychavon’s services from April, although residents may find they still pay more in Council Tax as other organisations may raise their share of the bill.

Other measures revealed at an Executive Board meeting on Wednesday (February 3) include new promises in Wychavon’s corporate strategy on supporting the district’s young people who have been severely disadvantaged by the pandemic, more support for businesses and help to improve people’s mental health.

Coun Bradley Thomas, leader of Wychavon District Council, said: “One day, and we hope that day is coming soon, this pandemic will be over. The job will then begin to rebuild our economy and deal with the damage tackling the virus has caused to the prospects of our young people and the mental and physical health of our residents.

“Wychavon alone doesn’t have the answers to all those questions, but we are determined to play our part in that recovery effort. At the start of this crisis we promised we would be here for you during and after this pandemic. These announcements, on top of the support we continue to provide in many ways, show we intend to keep our promise.”

The proposals in full:

  • Refresh Wychavon’s Covid-19 recovery plan to increase the focus on supporting individuals, communities and businesses most severely impacted by the pandemic.
  • Produce an ambitious economic strategy, setting out how we will support the recovery, regrowth and diversification of the local economy over the next two decades by 31 March 2022.
  • Launch the new Wychavon business hub and engage at least four innovative businesses who can use its services to develop and grow in the marketplace by 31 March 2022.
  • Increase engagement with businesses by holding more business meetings to make sure Wychavon understand the issues companies are facing and can respond.
  • Allocate £100,000 of grant funding to support businesses to develop and enhance their income through creativity and innovation.
  • Work with partners in early years, education and youth provision to address the disadvantage caused to young people by the Covid-19 pandemic and improve outcomes for free school meal eligible children and their families until March 2024.
  • Make another £200,000 available to support social mobility up until March 2024.
  • Hold a high-level partnership event to seek long-term commitments to future investment and improvements in Droitwich West, particularly on the Westlands estate.
  • Invest £25,000 to work with residents to pilot a new health and wellbeing hub in Pershore, focusing on high quality, easily accessible physical and mental health services.
  • Work with partners to reduce the crimes most affecting the district to include delivering education and awareness campaigns on cyber-crime, domestic abuse and road safety by 31 March 2023.

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