Council to build houses again in Melton as part of new ‘mission’

New Melton Borough Council chief executive Edd de Coverly (right) and council leader, Councillor Joe Orson EMN-180514-131543001
New Melton Borough Council chief executive Edd de Coverly (right) and council leader, Councillor Joe Orson EMN-180514-131543001
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Melton Council may soon begin building new homes again as part of a major change in direction for the authority.

Councillors have approved a set of recommendations to prioritise certain objectives which also include boosting tourism and tackling environmental issues like fly-tipping and dog fouling.

A refreshed mission is now in place for the next five years as a result of the findings of a Corporate Peer Challenge carried out in December by representatives of other councils and members of the Local Governance Association.

The initiative found that the council had planned too many projects and needed to prioritise. It also advised that the council should reorganise to ensure decisions are made quicker and more effectively.

Council leader, Councillor Joe Orson, said his appointment last year, just before chief executive Edd de Coverly began in post, meant it was the ideal time to reappraise the council’s vision.

“We are modernising and resetting the direction of the council to ensure it better reflects the agenda in 2018 and the issues we are currently grappling with,” said Councillor Orson.

“This reflects greater reognition of our efforts to tackle the low wage economy, increase housing availability and boost the profile of the area to encourage tourism, whilst also incorporating our ambition to become more commercial and an employer of choice.”

The council wants to set up its own housing company by the end of this year as part of the reorganisation.

Mr de Coverly said the move would enable more residents to find somewhere to live and also provide valuable income to the council.

He said: “We’ve looked into how we can intervene more directly in the housing market, not just as a social provider but also in the provision of new homes for sale.

“We’ve built a few in recent years but this would be on a much more significant scale.”

A Town and Place Partnership will also be set up in a bid to get more visitors into the town and increase investment into it.

The partnership will involve invited representatives of key relevant organisations and agencies, as well as councillors and officials, and it will be co-ordinated by an independent chair person.

This would replace the town area committee, which has been disbanded because its duties overlapped with several other committees.

The council’s new vision will also see a newly-created role of environmental enforcement officer at a cost of £40,000.

Mr de Coverly said: “We know how important issues such as dog fouling and fly-tipping are to people in the borough and the new officer will work proactively to prevent these offences.

“They will also take enforcement action against offenders and instigate prosecution proceedings.”

l A consultant is set to give recommended options for the next phase of the council’s sports and leisure village in the next three months.

The council has asked for ideas on what can feasibly be provided on the Burton Road site, with artificial pitches, a clubhouse, a football stadium and water sports facilities having been suggested as potential options on the site.