Council sets path for Fife’s recovery and local service reform

Today (4 March) the Policy & Coordination Committee approved a suite of reports that set out Fife Council’s strategy to help the Kingdom recover, and build back, from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Council and its partners will do everything possible to:

  • make sure no-one is left behind, redoubling efforts on tackling poverty and creating opportunity
  • build on the way Fife has responded to the pandemic, with communities at the heart of renewal 
  • focus on wellbeing, improving local places and taking climate action together
  • innovate and encourage new ways of working with communities

Council Co-leader, Cllr David Ross said: “Many things have changed over the last year - how we live and work, how we use transport and access the environment around us. Some businesses have sadly closed forever while others have radically changed their business models. People who were already suffering from, or vulnerable to, poverty are now worse off and many more have been put in this position.

“While there’s light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the virus, we know things won’t go back to exactly the way they were before. The ongoing effects of the pandemic will negatively impact on health, jobs and the local economy.

“And although lockdown has led to a fall in carbon emissions globally, it’s not enough to prevent potential climate catastrophe. We must tackle the climate emergency with local action.

“The Council has played a crucial role in supporting Fife’s businesses and communities through the pandemic and will continue to play a critical role in helping everyone recover. We recognised this early on and set up working groups to look at what would be needed in the future.

“The reports and recommendations we approved today set out the part the council will play in restarting and rebuilding our society as well as the approach we’ll take to reforming our services. We must seize this opportunity to make significant changes and improvements as we head into the recovery phase – and today was an important decision making point to shape our future work.”

Council Co-leader, Cllr David Alexander added: “Covid has obviously had a massive impact on all our lives. And it will continue to do so for some time to come, which is why all this analysis and planning work is so vital.

“Based on the strategies we’ve agreed today, we’ll capture the work to be done in a three-year plan - a refreshed Plan for Fife – that will come back to committee for approval in June.

“It will build on our 10-year ambitions and focus our joint work on leading economic recovery, tackling poverty and combatting climate change. The emphasis on these priorities will be supported by new ways of working, to make our public services sustainable and to build wealth in our communities

“Residents and voluntary groups worked willingly together, and alongside the public sector, to help their own community and support others’ wellbeing during the pandemic. We’ve talked about a real, positive sense of a Team Fife and that’s what we’re aiming to build on. Strong local leadership will make sure solutions involve the community and reflect local priorities.

“We’ll do more to prevent food insecurity, drug and alcohol misuse, and improve mental health and wellbeing.

“And we’ll work with Fife’s key organisations and communities to keep money in the local economy, make the most of all the skills and assets available - and to make sure investments benefit local residents as much as possible.”

Contacts:

Fife Council Co-leader, Cllr David Ross

Fife Council Co-leader, Cllr David Alexander