Southwark's Borough Plan

Our priorities and promises to Southwark residents

Find out about our priorities and promises to residents and how we will deliver these during the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can read the full updated plan, download a summary of the updated borough plan (pdf, 127kb) or read the summary below.

Our priorities

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our borough. Responding to and recovering from the pandemic is an unprecedented challenge and will be our biggest priority in the months and years ahead. Our plan sets out the bold action we will take to:

  • create a fairer and more just society
  • deliver new quality, affordable homes
  • tackle the climate emergency
  • rebuild the local economy
  • give young people in our borough the best opportunities in life

Our values

  • treat residents as if they were a valued member of our own family
  • be open, honest and accountable
  • work for everyone to realise their own potential
  • spend money as if it were from our own pocket
  • make Southwark a place to be proud of
  • always work to make Southwark more equal and just
  • Stand against all forms of discrimination and racism 

Keeping Southwark safe during COVID-19

The pandemic is the biggest challenge we face as a borough and we know it will take a great deal of time and effort for the borough to recover. Our priority is working with the NHS and community to stop the spread of COVID-19 and supporting residents and businesses to help them get through the pandemic.

We will:

  • build our Community Support Alliance to support residents
  • strengthen local test, trace, isolate and support
  • roll out vaccinations
  • support residents and businesses to follow COVID-19 guidance

Southwark Together - tackling racism and inequality

Southwark is a unique and vibrant borough and our residents and communities are our greatest asset. We’re committed to making Southwark more just and fair, and taking positive action to tackle inequalities which still affect too many people.

We will:

  • strengthen our approach to equalities, embedding it in everything we do as a council
  • increase representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic residents in community leadership positions
  • ensure the council’s workforce is reflective of our communities
  • celebrating the rich diversity of the borough

A green and inclusive economy

Rebuilding Southwark’s economy after COVID-19 will be a big challenge. We’re committed to supporting local businesses to recover and rebuild and continuing to grow Southwark’s economy.

We will:

  • help 5,000 people into work including a Southwark Green New Deal to create 1,000 green jobs
  • help our high streets to be thriving and vibrant
  • guarantee access to education, employment, training or volunteering for every school leaver
  • support residents who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19

Tackling the climate emergency

The climate emergency is one of the biggest issues affecting our borough and requires urgent and ambitious action. We’re committed to delivering our ambitious Climate Strategy to make Southwark carbon neutral by 2030.

We will:

  • plant 10,000 new trees
  • halve emissions by 2022
  • make council homes greener
  • improve air quality
  • make Southwark a low traffic borough, with more space for walking and cycling

Tackling health inequalities

We want to reduce health inequality so whatever your background, you can live a healthy life. We’re committed to breaking down barriers that prevent our residents leading healthy and active lives.

We will:

  • close the gap in health inequalities that affect our Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities
  • tackle food insecurity and obesity
  • support domestic abuse survivors
  • invest in our leisure centres so residents can continue to access high quality leisure services

Homes for all

Having a decent home is the foundation of everything in life. We will leave no stone unturned in meeting the housing needs of our borough, including by building new homes our residents can afford.

We will:

  • increase the number of council homes with at least 1,000 more by 2022
  • work to end rough sleeping in Southwark
  • take action to reduce the number of empty homes in the borough
  • make sure our existing council homes are clean, safe and cared for
  • drive up standards in the private rented sector

Great start in life

We want every child in Southwark to grow up in a safe, healthy and happy environment. We’ll continue to invest in our young people to ensure they have the opportunity to reach their potential.

We will:

  • support schools to ensure that children don’t fall behind because of COVID
  • close the attainment gap between the most and least advantaged pupils
  • support 100% of children and young people with a diagnosable mental health need
  • work towards 100% inclusion of pupils in Southwark schools
  • introduce more ‘school streets’, closing roads at primary schools to improve air quality and road safety

Thriving neighbourhoods

We want every part of Southwark to be vibrant and thriving, with good services and facilities within a short walk or cycle. We’ll work with local communities to develop plans for our neighbourhoods, supporting town centres and helping people to stay local.

We will:

  • develop neighbourhood charters and action plans with local communities
  • ensure new developments have enough GPs and parks and are child-friendly
  • open new libraries and a new modern leisure centre
  • provide free and affordable broadband in community buildings and estates across the borough  

Equality and diversity

The council is committed to making our borough fairer and more equal. The Borough Plan sets out a number of commitments to equality. You can read more in the documents and webpages below.

Page last updated: 27 November 2020

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