Recovery and renewal from the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing poverty and inequality and responding to the Climate Emergency are the three over-arching objectives of the new East Lothian Council Plan.

Approved by elected members at last week's full meeting, the 2022-27 Council Plan sets out the high level statement of objectives, priorities and strategic goals that will enable the local authority to meet its Vision of: ‘An even more prosperous, safe and sustainable East Lothian, with a dynamic and thriving economy, that enables our people and communities to flourish’.

Objectives and goals

In support of the overarching objectives, there are four thematic goals:

  • Grow our Economy – increase sustainable and inclusive growth as the basis for a more prosperous East Lothian
  • Grow our People – give our children the best start in life and protect vulnerable and older people
  • Grow our Communities – give people a real say in the decisions that matter most and provide communities with the services, infrastructure and environment that will allow them to flourish
  • Grow our Capacity – deliver excellent services as effectively and efficiently as possible within our limited resources

Council Leader Norman Hampshire said:

“In recent years, East Lothian has continued to focus on delivering high-quality public services in an enormously challenging financial climate. This includes work to give children and young people the best start in life, grow the local economy and support older and vulnerable people.

“This has given us a strong platform to build on in the years ahead, but we face new and mounting challenges. The long term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forms the backdrop for the 2022-2017 Council Plan, will not be known for some time, but it is already clear that it has had significant impacts on the economy, health and wellbeing, and public services.

“It has in many ways exacerbated long-term issues such as financial constraints and uncertainty, population growth and uncertainty, demand for affordable housing, the Climate Emergency, poverty and inequality and public sector reform.

“While £40 million of savings have been made in the last 10 years years, the Council Plan highlights that the budget gap between spend and funding received by the council is expected to exceed £40 million over the period of this Council Plan. The document states that, given the scale of the funding pressures, it is increasingly challenging to make the required level of savings without having an impact on local services and doing things differently. Recognising it may not be able to do everything it used to, the council is going to have to prioritise reducing demand through prevention and early intervention and then target resources to those that need most support and empowering and enabling individuals and communities to be resilient.

“That’s why this newly-agreed Council Plan is so important. Our Council Values – Enabling, Leading and Caring – underpin the new Council Plan, as they did throughout our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I believe it will give everyone working across the council, together with our partners, determination to focus on clear priorities which deliver for the communities we serve and work towards our shared vision for an even more prosperous, safe and sustainable East Lothian, with a dynamic and thriving economy, that enables our people and communities to flourish.”

Working together

The Council Plan highlights the value of the council working together with partners and local communities to meet local needs in co-operation, citing the experience throughout the pandemic of close partnership working to support local residents.

It sets out ambitions for East Lothian Council to be an enabling and empowering authority that works with its citizens and communities, the business and third sectors and other public sector partners to deliver the solutions that work best for East Lothian; as well as a more enterprising authority, using initiative and resourcefulness to develop new ways of ensuring services are provided in the most effective and efficient way possible. It also highlights the opportunity to become an increasingly digital authority, fully embracing and exploiting opportunities to use technology to deliver services.

The Council Plan summarises the priorities and key actions that will contribute to meeting the seven objectives.  Actions and commitments will be distilled into a detailed Action Plan while a set of key Council Plan performance indicators against which progress will be tracked over the life time of the Plan.


Published: Thursday, 1st September 2022