We have an ambitious vision for our Borough and our Council Plan focuses on the three priorities of Our people, Our place and Our prosperity. The Coronavirus pandemic has led us to further prioritise this in terms of: poverty and health inequalities, the climate emergency and community wealth building. In the round this means we need to grow our economy in a way that honours and values our people and our planet. This needs to become integral to all that we do. In Barrow it’s called Growing Forward and is intrinsically linked to both our Council Plan and COVID recovery.
In the last 12 months alone we have secured over £34m of funding for a range of programmes and initiatives. This includes being one of the first cohorts of towns to secure a Town Deal - £25m for Brilliant Barrow. We have declared a Climate Emergency and are delivering a £2m Low Carbon Barrow programme. We are driving heritage and cultural revival and growth through a Heritage Action Zone, investment in our Dock Museum and being a key partner in a Creative People and Places programme. On top of this we are currently awaiting the outcome of Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Fund bids which could bring in a further £18m.
If you’ve done some research you’ll know that Barrow isn’t without its share of challenges. As a relatively isolated coastal town, with a strong industrial heritage, it has suffered from decline, deprivation, poor health and associated issues. Last year the Council declared a Poverty Emergency and we are about to launch a poverty truth commission. But we have a strong and passionate voluntary and community sector and some incredible, ground-breaking work being carried out to tackle some of our deep-seated social issues. We’ve a long way to go, but we’re determined to put our residents at the heart of everything we do and to ensure that any renewed prosperity benefits all in our community. The Council is determined to become more compassionate and to work with our residents in different ways to enable them to build the infrastructure and networks they need to thrive and flourish.
We are working through the Love Barrow Together coalition which brings together partners from across the public and third sector and collectively we are testing and piloting new ways of listening to and working with our residents. This includes building a positive, hopeful narrative for our borough which will build on the pride, strengths and gifts that are already evident.
And I can’t talk about our Borough without referencing our extraordinary natural capital. With over 60km of coastline, three National Nature Reserves and a wealth of other protected and recognised habitats and landscapes, it’s little wonder that the Borough was rated #1 for natural assets per head of population by the RSA.
Of course, we also know that local government itself is likely to be changing in Cumbria in the next few years. The Borough Council has been clear that this is a significant opportunity for our place, our people and our economy. Moving to a unitary model will give us the opportunity to deliver our vision at scale and pace. To be involved in this significant transformation from the start is a fantastic opportunity to influence the shape and focus of local government for generations to come.
For the right people, these posts give a once in a life time opportunity to lay the foundations for the future of local government in Cumbria, while continuing to serve our residents and deliver high quality services. If these opportunities excite you, please read the information on this site and submit an application.