The Plan for Somerset
Somerset deserves the best services, opportunities and investment possible and this business plan sets out how we will look to achieve these ambitions.
The plan gives our residents, businesses and communities a clear view of our strategic direction for the next two years, and provides the organisation with a single point from which all further strategic planning can flow. It describes the outcomes we are setting out to achieve and our key priorities that will enable this, how we will deliver on the plan and how we will evidence this delivery.
First, among some of the major initiatives on the horizon and issues we face, we will be dealing with the Coronavirus and its impacts for years to come. Our strategy to invest to boost the local economy is important and ambitious. Climate change is an issue that must be addressed and the public rightly expect us to take a lead on this. Local Government Reform is coming to Somerset, disbanding councils and creating a new approach to running services. This plan describes what we will begin and continue to do to serve the residents of Somerset over this time. To work locally with our communities to build resilience within our county, to invest to support business and the economy through this difficult period, to build social value into all that we do, and to serve as a focal point for all strategic planning for the organisation.
Somerset has a strong foundation on which to improve the lives of our residents.
- A mixture of both rural and urban areas and blessed with four Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 15 National Nature Reserves and Exmoor National Park.
- Prior to the pandemic Somerset had low unemployment levels and a mixture of agricultural, engineering and tourism economies.
- Somerset County Council works well with our partners and we have a strong and wide-ranging voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.
Challenges to overcome
But there are also challenges in Somerset to overcome.
- The climate emergency increases risk of flooding, sea-level rises and coastal erosion.
- Somerset has an aging population which places greater demand on our social care services, and needs more opportunities to attract young people to stay or move into the county.
- There are areas of the county where people don’t have the same opportunities for employment or education that need targeted support and the pandemic will not have improved this. More widely the economy needs a further boost to help Somerset recover.
Continuing to grow
The Council has delivered a lot of great work under the last business plan and it is from this foundation that we wish to grow. The County Council Vision set out the tenets of our organisation and these remain true.
- A thriving and productive County that is ambitious, confident and focussed on improving people’s lives.
- A County of resilient, well-connected and compassionate communities working to reduce inequalities.
- A County where all partners actively work together for the benefit of our residents, communities and businesses and the environment in which we all live.
- A County that provides you with right information, advice and guidance to help you help yourself and targets support to those who need it most.
Download the full Business Plan for more information
Out of these, 4 overarching outcomes helped shape the work of the organisation, these have been refined and continue through this business plan.
- A County Infrastructure that drives recovery, supports economic prosperity, productivity and sustainable public services.
- Safe vibrant and well-balanced communities able to enjoy and benefit from the natural environment whilst addressing climate change.
- Fairer life chances and opportunity for all
- Improved health and wellbeing and more people living healthy and independent lives for longer
Somerset County Council has done this with the encompassing theme that to deliver these outcomes we need to meet the Council’s own challenges. This is why a fifth outcome joins the existing four to describe how we will do this.
- Meeting the challenges for the people of Somerset through innovation and improvement