Our Priorities Portsmouth title

Our priorities

Image of coastal defences

Delivering the city’s vision for the future

Imagine Portsmouth City Vision

The Imagine Portsmouth vision for 2040 articulates the city’s aspirations for the future and provides a guide for the council in setting its corporate priorities, which are updated annually in the council plan.

Council plan

The council’s current plan sets out how we will work together with partners and communities to deliver the city vision, focusing on standing up for Portsmouth, taking action to improve the city and the lives of residents, and tackling the climate crisis. Also at the heart of the plan is providing the services that residents rely on, and the support services that enable these to be provided effectively.

Our overall council plan is supported by projects and strategies that set out the council’s focus across key areas of our work.

Regeneration and economic development

We are an ambitious and forward-thinking local authority with a multi-million pound economic development and regeneration programme under way, focused on delivering the aspirations contained in the city vision for 2040.

We are updating our Local Plan, the framework for delivering the aspirations and development needs of the city. The Local Plan will include policies on the design of new development, biodiversity and heritage, and will identify strategic sites for regeneration.

We have big ambitions for our city. We have plans for a vibrant, green redevelopment of the city centre, with some of the biggest changes planned for the north of that area. An an outline planning application has already been submitted.

We are working on a masterplan for a new maritime employment hub, new homes for local people and sea defences at Tipner West and Horsea Island East. The proposals for the site will prioritise the harbour’s natural habitats and biodiversity and are supported by councillors from across the parties.

We are building new affordable housing and improved community facilities for local people, including new homes in Cosham and an ambitious scheme for 272 new social rented homes on the former site of two tower blocks at Somers Orchard.

We are also committed to keeping our city safe for future generations, and are responsible for the Southsea Coastal Scheme – the UK’s largest local authority-led coastal defences project. Worth £160m, it will stretch for 4.5km from Old Portsmouth to Eastney and will help reduce the risk of flooding to more than 10,000 homes and 700 businesses.

The council is also focused on economic development, including maximising the potential of the Solent Freeport, through the Portsmouth Gateway Cluster that comprises a customs zone at Portsmouth International Port and Portico and 43 hectares of undeveloped land with full tax incentives at Dunsbury Park – all sites owned by Portsmouth City Council. Solent Freeport will accelerate the creation of high-quality employment space. Investment will be specifically targeted at state-of-the-art growth sectors and ground-breaking approaches to decarbonisation and green innovation. Over 25 years it is expected to create around 32,000 jobs and generate £3.6bn of GVA.

The council-owned Portsmouth International Port is the UK’s best-connected and second-busiest ferry port and a significant contributor to both the local and national economy. It has 4.6m passengers and 250,000 freight movements a year. The council also now has a wholly owned development company, Ravelin Housing, which was established to speed up the recovery of Portsmouth’s housing market by delivering private and affordable homes for sale and rent.

Health and wellbeing

Portsmouth’s Health and Wellbeing Board, made up of the council, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, Healthwatch, National Probation Service, NHS, City of Portsmouth College, Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, Hampshire Constabulary and the voluntary and community sector, has developed the city’s health and wellbeing strategy for 2022-2030, following public consultation.

The strategy sets out clear priorities around the wider determinants of health inequality, including tackling poverty, improving educational attainment, positive relationships, housing, air quality and active travel. As well as informing decisions around service provision and commissioning for Health and Care Portsmouth the health and wellbeing strategy also informs decision-making across wider council services, including education, development, housing, employment and community safety.

Aspirations and learning

Portsmouth is a city where children and young people are encouraged to aspire to be their best, and where we are working to achieve our vision of creating a city of lifelong learning.

We have a young population and are home to nearly 50,000 children. This provides us a huge opportunity to ensure the potential of these children are realised and that they can help us achieve our aspirations.

The Portsmouth Education Partnership brings together all Portsmouth schools and partners to improve attainment and opportunities for all children and young people across the city, with priorities around driving inclusion, expectations and aspirations, as well as teacher recruitment and retention.

Adults have a wide range of education opportunities to choose from at every stage of life that empower them and enrich their lives.

Climate change

The city takes environmental issues very seriously and the council is investing in a climate-change response to make Portsmouth a carbon net zero city by 2030.

Achieving a net zero carbon Portsmouth which is adapted to thrive in future climates will require commitment, innovation and collaboration from all authorities, organisations, businesses, and residents in the city.

Taking positive action to tackle climate change is a priority and our refreshed Climate Change Strategy is the cornerstone for its delivery.

We plan to become a net zero carbon organisation which will lead by example in implementing and promoting sustainable, climate-resilient, low-carbon practices across our operations. To achieve this, we will ensure climate change is embedded within our procurement and funding activities and our commissioning principles, and that all our staff understand the importance of reducing our operational emissions and increasing our resilience. £8.5m has been invested in rooftop solar power – the largest investment by any UK council.

We will continue to encourage residents, visitors and businesses to ‘be the change’ and do their bit to tackle climate change.

A message from the Deputy Leader of the Council

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