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District Dispatch - 8 February 2023

Last week, I explained that our councillors have agreed to move to the next stage of consultation on Chichester's Local Plan.

District dispatch 1

I'm pleased to say that the consultation is now live and will run until 17 March. You can view it here on the Chichester Local Plan document 2023 (opens new window) and can find out more about the Local Plan, including frequently asked questions on our Local Plan web pages. We have also created three overview documents for the three key sections of the plan area. These documents provide a brief overview of the challenges facing the Local Plan, how we have addressed these, and the key points relating to each area. You can read them here in our Local Plan updates page.

This consultation is a very specific one, which invites people to comment on three specific questions or tests. Respondents are asked if the plan has met the legal requirements; if it has been positively prepared and is justified, effective and consistent with national policy; and if the council has engaged and worked effectively with neighbouring authorities and statutory bodies. Once completed, all comments will be packaged alongside the plan for the Planning Inspector to consider as part of the independent examination on behalf of the Government.

I'm pleased to tell you that our council is one of more than 40 local authorities across the South East to have joined together to hold Southern Water to account over pollution and infrastructure failings. The group has been set up in response to issues including flooding; sewage seeping into people's homes, gardens and roads; the ongoing problem of discharges into rivers and waterways; and the inability to deal with additional development. Unfortunately, we don't have the direct power to regulate Southern Water, but as local authorities working together, we can do our utmost to apply pressure to seek the required action needed to end this catalogue of failings. You can read more about this in our latest news section.

Last week, all of our councillors were updated on the positive progress of a number of key actions that have been completed, or are underway, to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the district. As part of the council's Climate Emergency Action Plan, a detailed progress report has been produced. This highlights over 60 actions that the council has taken, or is currently taking, to reduce its own carbon emissions by putting climate change at the heart of its operations, as well as introducing campaigns and projects to help residents, businesses and organisations to reduce their carbon footprint too.

There are a range of actions including the introduction of two new electric vehicles to the council's refuse collection fleet, which is the council's biggest source of emissions. The council is producing an inspirational film about climate change made with Chichester school students and a professional film company. In addition, two specialist officers have been appointed; one to provide greater support to small and medium-sized enterprises looking to become more sustainable; and the second to increase engagement with not-for-profit organisations and households to help them reduce their emissions. You can find out more about this in our latest news section and you canwatch our Climate Action update¬†video (opens new window) highlighting some of the work we have been doing.

Finally, if you have children or grandchildren and are wondering how to entertain them during half term, you may be interested to know that it is Pirate and Smugglers Week at The Novium Museum! You can take part in fun pirate and smuggler themed events including interactive storytelling, craft activities and a Smugglers trail. The Novium Museum will also be holding an Art of Chichester Family Day on Friday, 17 February. This free event encourages you to explore your creative side by taking part in as many creative stations in The Art of Chichester exhibition as you can! For more information and to book, visit the Novium Museum what's on webpage (opens new window).

Best Wishes

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council