HEALTH, jobs and the Barrow community have been put at the top of a new council plan for the next four years.

The high-level document will set the priorities for the borough and guide how Barrow Borough Council spends public money between 2020-24.

It aims to make the area a ‘great place to live, work and visit’ with the health of residents and making the town centre vibrant among the goals.

Sam Plum, the council’s chief executive, said the ‘key document’ had been a work in progress and would go to the full council in January for adoption.

She told councillors: “It sets out what our ambition is for us as an organisation. Once agreed it will be the council’s plan and we will be working with a group of officers to make sure we have the right resources to deliver those priorities. It’s really important that we all support what’s in it and champion it.”

Council officer John Penfold said the plan had three priorities ‘people, place and prosperity’.

The council wants to enable residents to live happy, healthy, productive lives, create a vibrant, safe and welcoming place and support the economy to thrive and benefit all residents, he said.

“We know there is a shipyard across the bridge doing an absolutely brilliant job with lots of high-value careers,” said Mr Penfold. “What we are going to try and do is give the people of Barrow access to those high-value careers by providing training and helping them to get the qualifications they need to access those jobs.”

“We realise not everybody will want or be able to do those jobs so we also want to diversify the job market and see the creation of other jobs that people can apply for – that way we can increase the prosperity of the borough.”

Cllr Lee Roberts, deputy leader of the council and the Labour member for Parkside, said: “The plan has been reinvigorated and hopefully it will be successful in driving the ambitions of the council. We do all of this for one reason – to be a compassionate council.”

Hazel Edwards, leader of the opposition Conservatives, said: “A plan like this goes across politics. You couldn’t disagree with the sentiments expressed here and the important thing is that we are unanimous on this.”