Future priorities

Our current Corporate Plan was adopted in 2017, and formally runs until 2021. A scheduled review of the Plan has been delayed in order to allow us to focus our full energies on addressing the COVID pandemic. We hope to return to the development of a new Corporate Plan as soon as possible.

For now, a useful summary of the Council’s priorities is as follows:

  • Recovery – communities and businesses coming out of COVID
  • Resilience – lessons from COVID, financial / workforce resilience
  • Communities – understanding of the engagement and service delivery issues inherent to our rural/urban mix and diverse communities
  • Growth agenda – key strategic location as part of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc (see more below)
  • Healthy living
  • Environmental issues – including climate change, adaptation and the green economy
  • Health – increasing provision in e.g. primary care

The Oxford-Cambridge Arc, covering the area from Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Northampton to Cambridge is a joint Government / local government initiative. It aims to increase economic activity from £90bn to £250bn per year, and to build one million homes in the region by 2050.

The plan includes new road and rail links from Oxford to Cambridge that will pass through Bedford. This is expected to create huge economic advantage, but significant aspects of this development will be delivered by the Council; these include the reimagining of the town centre as we move to becoming a destination that we describe as ‘retail-plus’. The infrastructure required by East-West Rail alone is a major planning project, and every aspect of the overall strategy is underpinned by a profoundly sustainable and low-carbon philosophy.

Working together