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Economic recovery

  • 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.
  • Continue to support the delivery of Covid business support grants, especially the management of the Additional Restrictions Grant.
  • Increase the number of business meetings we host to ensure we continue to support businesses during this challenging time.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of Worcestershire Economic Strategy and Worcestershire Covid Economic Recovery Strategy.
  • Work with our partners to create and start to deliver master plans to attract inward investment and increase the vibrancy of our three towns by 31 March 2024.
  • Launch a £100,000 Wychavon growth grant to support business growth and diversification.
  • Support vital rural services with the creative use of the Additional Restrictions Grant.
  • Working with businesses and other stakeholders, use the Vale and Spa brand to further build awareness of local tourism attractions and accommodation to take advantage of staycation opportunities.   
  • Continue to implement the Town Centre Recovery Action Plan and secure funding from the Reopening of High Streets Safely fund and the Welcome Back Fund.  
  • Deliver five open air cinema events in Broadway, Droitwich Spa, Evesham, Pershore and one of the villages.
  • Investigate the costs, benefits and opportunities for outdoor screenings of live events and further outdoor events and festivals during the winter months.
  • Investigate the impact of the pandemic on young people’s skills and career opportunities and develop a plan of action to help address the any disadvantages caused.

Social recovery

  • Learn from the experience of ‘Everyone In’ and adopt policies that ensure emergency accommodation and support is offered to rough sleepers and consider what additional work we can do to prevent/reduce the number of rough sleepers in the future.
  • Work with key partners to prevent individuals in financial hardship from becoming homeless though early intervention, advice and support, encouraging people into employment where possible. 
  • Work with partners in early years, education and youth provision to address disadvantage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and improve outcomes for free school meal eligible children and their families across the district.
  • Undertake Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance accreditation and implement changes set out in the Domestic Abuse Bill (2020) including contribution to the new Domestic Abuse Strategy, embedding new working practices and increasing the number of domestic abuse champions in the district. 
  • Work with partners to tackle loneliness and social isolation for all ages, including developing a rural South Worcestershire Good Neighbour Network, holding a series of community engagement events, developing a community asset register, piloting a phone buddies scheme and exploring social prescribing.
  • Identify inequalities resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and update this recovery plan in light of the findings.
  • Provide a comprehensive suite of safeguarding training available to all staff and councillors to improve understanding of different types of vulnerabilities and the reporting of concerns.

Community recovery

  • Identify the challenges and opportunities currently faced by the district’s voluntary and community sector and their services (including foodbank) and how best we can support them.
  • Create a £150,000 community recovery grant fund to support community groups/organisations that specifically require funding to assist with their day-to-day running costs to aid recovery from the pandemic.
  • Support the development and promotion of a Worcestershire community service directory to enable residents, parish and own councils and service providers to search for community groups, organisations and charities local to them and based on their local needs.
  • Develop and implement an asset-based community development strategy that supports the building strong, resilient and sustainable communities.
  • Engage with communities, town and parish councils and key partners to identify any key recovery issues and adapt this plan in the light of any issues that emerge.
  • Work with Wychavon Leisure to ensure their recovery plan is robust and increases the usage of the centres to improve the health and well being of our communities.

Environmental recovery

  • Invest £100,000 over four years to promote the growth of the low carbon economy in Wychavon including increasing our investment in the Low Carbon Opportunities Programme and apprenticeship grants to business working in green technologies.
  • Work with partners to provide more opportunities and facilities for walking and cycling including a bike hire scheme, installing new cycle racks and ensuring active travel measures are incorporated into the new settlements in the South Worcestershire Development Plan Review.
  • Map and deliver a Wychavon Nature Recovery Network, as part of the wider Worcestershire Nature Recovery Strategy, which identifies and prioritises areas for habitat restoration, creation and connectivity.
  • Create ten hectares of new wetland and work with the Heart of England Forest and other partners to restore, enhance and create 30 hectares of Biodiversity Action Plan priority habitats in the district by 31 March 2024.

Organisational recovery

  • Review our Emergency Planning and Business Continuity Planning systems to make sure we have the correct resources and contingencies to meet future emergencies.
  • Consider and act on the recommendations made by the scrutiny group on emergency planning including roles and responsibilities of parish and town councils and district councillors.
  • Assess the impact of Covid-19 on our finances, Grow, Save and Charge plan and address any areas where investment is required for recovery.
  • Implement our agile working policy once Covid restrictions are lifted and ensure that all staff have the necessary resources and support to work in an agile manner.
  • Continue to develop a responsive, collaborative and innovative working culture including:
  1. Completing the roll out of M365, use of Teams and other technology
  2. Launch of a new intranet
  3. Review of office space to encourage and promote collaborative working
  4. Cross-council collaborative working projects, for example project peers, secondments, project teams
  5. Review post-pandemic communication cultures
  • Review our staff health and wellbeing strategy and action plan in light of learning from the pandemic, anticipated longer term health impacts and staff needs/expectations. Offer mental health support to staff to support personal and organisational resilience.
  • Carry out mini reviews of services to identify lessons learnt from the last year, impacts on services, performance and resilience, and upcoming challenges. Use the findings to inform the future delivery of services and the way we work.
  • Consider how we conduct meetings in the future and use of technology and other improvements to support successful hybrid and virtual meetings

The actions in this plan have been shaped by the findings and recommendations from our LGA Renewal and Recovery Panels and the Covid-19 Review Group’s recommendations. They include a number of our promises, actions from service plans, some leftover actions from our original recovery plan and some new actions, which are shown in bold.