A new commission has been set up aimed at helping Cheshire and Warrington recover from the pandemic and developing a “fairer, greener economy” to create “lasting benefits” for residents and businesses.
The Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Commission has been set up by the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership together with the three local authorities – and committed to a vision of building a “better future” post-Covid.
The commission is the first part of the wider new vision, with hopes businesses and local communities will see improvements in four areas – economic growth, health, sustainability and inclusivity.
It will act as a catalyst for and provide advice on the overall delivery of the new vision.
The goal is a brighter future with “better outcomes for all” – delivering jobs, improving health, protecting and enhancing the environment, and taking positive action to address inequalities and tackle poverty.
The commission will be chaired by Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East, and Robert Davis, chief executive of EA Technology. The other two authorities involved are Warrington and Cheshire West and Chester councils.
Cllr Corcoran, co-chair of the new commission, said: “I look forward to working with our partners to develop and deliver robust proposals to deliver both a sustainable and inclusive economy.
“This is particularly important as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a profound economic impact across Cheshire East. The new vision emboldens our focus on creating plentiful opportunities for all generations, tackling environmental challenges and to promote equality and wellbeing.”
The commission will now look at a wide range of issues including decarbonising industry, ensuring communities are supported to access high quality training and skills to improve their job prospects and income levels, addressing fuel and transport poverty, overcoming digital exclusion, improving physical and mental health, and better managing land and natural resources.
Its steering group will bring together a diverse range of views from the public, private, and third sector.
The full membership will be announced shortly and include members drawn from carbon-intensive industries and agriculture, along with health and social care, and experts from the third sector experienced in tackling disadvantage and promoting inequality.
It will take evidence from residents, businesses, academics, interest groups and young people giving a voice to everyone who has an interest in a sustainable future for the sub-region.
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Cllr Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Cheshire and Warrington has one of the strongest economies in the UK.
“However, we now face some unparalleled challenges as we recover from the impacts of Covid and grapple with the existential threat of Climate Change. A true measure of our success will be the extent to which economic growth improves the lives of all of our residents, leaving no one behind and ensuring that we create truly sustainable prosperity for future generations.
“The establishment of the commission will enable us to draw on the expertise of our businesses and give a voice to our communities to share their real lived experience, challenge traditional thinking and bring new opportunities to the fore.”