Following on from a previous post on 2013 achievements, here’s a further run down of the top Derby achievements of the past year.
Continued promotion of the ‘Fair Deal for Derby’ campaign
The step was taken to combine with six other Derbyshire Labour councils to lobby the Government for a fair distribution of cuts to local government funding.
There is evidence to suggest that cuts are disproportionately affecting the most deprived areas.
Derby has lost £8.7 million in government grants and financial support between 2011/12 and 2012/13. This equates to a cut of 4%
Reductions in our funding per head of population show that since 2010, Derby has lost £75.77 for each person compared to the national average of £61.90 across similar sized councils.
The fair Deal for Derby is something I continue to back, and despite little movement from central government, will continue to push for a better funding distribution for the people of Derby.
Read more about the campaign here.
Support for residents affected by the Bedroom Tax
Derby Homes pro-actively communicated with tenants regarding the changes and provided budgeting and benefit advice to those affected.
The council is facilitating tenants to downsize, arranging mutual swaps and making funds available to meet the costs involved in moving house.
Campaign against Pay-Day Lending
Motion passed at Council opposing pay-day lending and promoting credit unions as an alternative for short-term borrowing.
We blocked access to payday loan firm websites on city council computers to promote safer ways of getting quick cash.
People are directed to alternate places to get a loan, such as credit unions which are smaller non-profit organisations that offer far lower interest rates than the payday loan firms.
Derby United Credit Union offers loans at 26.8% APR while Wonga.com’s offer can be around 5,853% APR.
People are being hit hard by payday loan companies’ astronomical charges, so we promote Derby United and Erewash Credit Union.
Derby Arena drawing close to completion
The project is being delivered on time and within its budget. Derby Arena is due to open in early 2015, and is costing £28m funded by the £57m leisure strategy.
Derby Arena seeks to capitalise on a sector of the leisure market that generates more than £3 billion to the UK economy and is part of our Olympic 2012 legacy.
Derby Arena is 14,500m2 (156,000 sq. ft.) and will include:
- 250 indoor cycling track: track cycling (beginner, school, women’s, club, veterans sessions, track leagues, track cycling events)
- Infield sports hall: all activities that can take place in a sports hall including badminton, basketball, netball, wheelchair basketball, volleyball martial arts, table tennis, trampolining
- Fitness gym and group exercise studios
- Cultural events, exhibitions, product launches, conferences – up to 5000 people standing and sitting (1500 permanent seats)
- Cafe and bar/hospitality
Duckworth Square re-development announced
We announced £5 million worth of investment in Duckworth Square, one of Derby’s regeneration priorities.
We’re working with the Assura Group to develop an ultra-modern health campus on the site with the aim of becoming an asset for the local community.
Refurbishment of the Silk Mill
The Derby Museums Trust began the first stage of the refurbishment of the Silk Mill with a £700,000 re-fit of the ground floor.
The new space is being designed with help from ‘citizen curators’.
Opening of re-designed frontage at the railway station
The opening of the £2.2 million scheme included a better bus interchange, improvements to the taxi rank and lighting, new public art, increased cycle parking and a new car parking layout.
Council recognised by a number of national and regional awards including:
LGC Award – Management Team of the Year
LGC Award – Business Transformation
LGC Award – Council of the Year Finalist
MJ Award – Public Private Partnership Winner
MJ Award – Children’s Services Winner
MJ Award – Best Achieving Council, Highly Commended
Green Apple Gold Award for contribution to the Built Environment and Industrial Heritage.
Purple Flag Award recognising the diversity and safety of Derby’s nightlife
The scheme takes into account a number of factors, including variety, safety, cleanliness and ease of access.
Derby was highly commended for its variety of real ales, micro-breweries and partnership working between the council and local venues.
Green Flag Award recognising the quality of Derby parks and green spaces
The scheme, run by Keep Britain Tidy, recognises the best parks and green spaces across the country.
Green Flag was awarded to Alvaston Park, Chaddesden Park, Derby Arboretum and the National Collection of Hydrangeas at Darley Park.
Blue Plaque Scheme recognising influential figures from the city’s past
The initiative is a partnership between the Council and Derby Civic Society, with 20 historical figures nominated in its first year.
Together, we erect Blue Plaques across Derby to celebrate famous people who have strong links with the city. Blue Plaques are traditionally erected on a building or a site to mark the connection between that location and a famous person or event.
The Council and Derby Civic Society asked local people to suggest who could be honoured with a Blue Plaque in the city. They needed to be people who have been dead for at least 20 years; had a long lasting effect; have wide public support and have a clear link to a building or site in Derby.
There are plans to add electronic tags to the plaques that would link to a web site where there would be more information about the person.
15 year anniversary of twinning arrangement with Toyota City
A delegation made up of representatives from Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council and South Derbyshire District Council visited Japan.
The visit aimed to promote Derbyshire as a tourist destination and recognised the contribution made by Toyota to the regional economy.
Ensuring that Toyota Manufacturing, based in Toyota City, understand our commitment to the £500 million they have invested in Derbyshire and the 3500 jobs they support directly and the 1000’s in the supply chain.
Launch of the Big Conversation
The Big Conversation was launched with the intention of engaging residents on the future of public services in Derby, at a time when local government faces unprecedented financial pressures.
More information on the big conversation can be found here.