‘Doncaster has the assets and talent to match many cities’ says Mayor Ros Jones

Doncaster has the ‘assets and talent to match many cities’ according to Mayor Ros Jones as the council unveils a new ‘improvement strategy’.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 11:19 am

A motion was passed to approve the ‘Doncaster Delivering Together’ – a new borough strategy setting ambitions and goals up to 2030.

Mayor Ros Jones said the strategy was in essence a ‘road to recovery’ following the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic and has eight key themes centred around ‘people, place and planet’.

The eight priorities in the 40-plus page strategy include tackling climate change, developing skills, making Doncaster ‘the best place’ to do business and creating ‘good jobs’.

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Covid-19 has uncovered inequalities in the borough, said Mayor Ros Jones

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Other priorities include creating ‘safer, stronger, greener and cleaner’ communities, nurturing a child and family-friendly borough, building transport and digital connections as well as promoting the borough and its cultural, sporting and heritage opportunities.

Council bosses said in the five years to 2020, the borough had ‘record levels of employment, house building and investment, together with an increase in the number and variety of businesses.

In 2019, the proportion of Doncaster’s young people reaching a ‘good level’ of development at early years Foundation Stage was ‘above the national average’ and the gap to the national average Attainment 8 scores (GCSEs) had started to close.

The long-term trend showed an improvement in healthy life expectancy and good progress being made in enabling people to live independently in the place they call home for as long as possible.

Despite the progress, Doncaster is said to be the 41st most deprived area in England – out of 317 – and quality of life ‘varies significantly across the borough’.

The report said that Covid-19 has also disrupted the borough’s progress and ‘worsened inequalities’, especially for those with underlying health conditions.

Mayor Jones said: “Doncaster is the largest metropolitan borough by area in England with a growing population and growing track-record of delivery. It has the assets and talent to match many cities.

“This is not about “business as usual – we need a step change to ensure everyone is part of Doncaster’s success because residents deserve it and the changing world around us demands it.

“Covid-19 has highlighted inequalities in the borough – and in some cases worsened them. But the virus hasn’t shaken our ambitions to build a better borough – where no one is left behind.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.