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Masterplan sets out council vision

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Front
Masterplan sets out council vision

A GLORIFIED document has been produced detailing Dumfries and Galloway Council’s performance and its vision for the next six years.

However, council staff injected a dose of reality into it after being asked for their views.

The Council Plan 2023-28 details the local authority’s current position and maps out its vision for the next few years.

The vision statement reads: “Our ambition is to be a successful region, with a growing economy, based on fairness, opportunity and quality public services, where all citizens prosper.

“Working in partnership, with connected, healthy and sustainable communities, the region will be the natural place to live, work, visit and invest.”

The 27-page document went out to public consultation and three council staff focus groups were held to gather their thoughts on the plans, with some workers clearly not buying the flowery picture being painted.

Some commented that the vision “does not reflect the perception of the region now”, and that it is “important to make it clear that the vision is where the council wants the region to be in 2028.”

The feedback also stated: “The vision was noted as being ambitious and staff would like to see a vision achieved but recognised that this will be a challenge.”

This plan has been developed following a programme of engagement and involvement of all 43 councillors. It details council principles in four key areas: safeguard our future, support our citizens, support our communities, and be a responsive council.

Actions include tackling the climate emergency by transitioning to a carbon neutral region, and protecting and enhancing the region’s natural capital and habitats through conservation and sustainable development.

Targeting resources that can help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people was also listed, along with work to address inequalities, and offer digital services.

There were 51 comments from respondents about putting greater emphasis on the climate emergency, as well as feedback about the poor condition of the region’s roads and the state of the large town centres.

All comments were taken on board and amendments were made to the plan. Once approved, the document will be published on the council’s website.

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