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Leader's portfolio

'Delivering a sustainable and prosperous New Forest and putting our community first'

Councillor Edward Heron, Leader of New Forest District Council

On this page:

Portfolio holder introduction

The accelerating impact of climate change, the use of natural resources and the damage to nature with habitat erosion and the disappearance of cherished wildlife are all areas of concern.

We recognise these challenges, and we will prioritise actions to increase sustainability, protect our natural resources, and reduce our impact on the environment.

Partnership working remains a key priority to achieve more together.

This includes working with the Local Enterprise Partnership and other public bodies to co-ordinate and encourage businesses and appropriate infrastructure connectivity opportunities, delivering a prosperous New Forest.

The establishment of the Solent Freeport will provide a hub for global trade and investment, promoting regeneration and job creation in support of the local economy.

We will actively engage with government, the county council and our other Hampshire and Isle of Wight partners in exploring a County Deal.

There is continued commitment to delivering modernised and innovative services, putting our community first and the outcome of the electoral review will ensure continued, effective democratic representation for all our residents.

Recognising the importance of our people in delivering high-quality services, we will strive to be an employer of choice, providing flexible and modern workspaces and technology through the smarter working initiative.


Our priorities are:

  • ensuring sustainability is at the centre of our decisions to preserve resources and the environment for future generations
  • excellence in services to our residents and continuing to maintain front line services
  • being an employer of choice
  • working with regional and local partners to ensure the prosperity of the New Forest area
  • ensuring effective democratic engagement and representation

Key activities

Our key activities are:

  • development of a strategy and action plan that ensures sustainability underpins all of our actions
  • deliver the Organisational Strategy and respond to changes in working arrangements through the continued roll out of the smarter working initiative, looking at where and how our staff work
  • respond to the outcomes of the staff survey and deliver the HR Strategy to support recruitment and retention
  • work with partners to deliver the greenest Freeport, securing sustainability and prosperity for the New Forest area
  • annual review of the economic investment in the New Forest
  • ensure that all council assets are used in the most sustainable way to support communities and the local economy
  • actively engage with partners, including the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Government Association, in exploring a County Deal

Action plan and achievement measures

This plan of specific actions that will directly contribute towards the delivery of the priorities within each portfolio.

These actions will be refreshed annually to keep them up to date.

Achievement indicators for each portfolio have been identified to help monitor progress against the delivery of the priorities and provide tangible measures of success.

Progress updates on specific actions and achievement indicators will be reported to the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Panel during the year.

Specific actions 

Specific actions are:

  • annual review of the economic investment in the New Forest
  • in partnership with the LEP and other public bodies, support funding bids to the government to enable improvements in infrastructure
  • actively contribute to the development of the Solent Freeport
  • implement actions to make the council an employer of choice and continue to implement smarter working initiatives responding to the changes in where and how our people work
  • all council projects to demonstrate sustainability in their outcomes and the best use of assets
  • actively engage with government and Hampshire and Isle of Wight partners in exploring a County Deal

Achievement indicators

Achievement indicators are:

  • proportion of portfolio indicators above or on target (%) 
  • increase in vacancies filled first time (%)
  • level of customer satisfaction (%)
  • number of projects that New Forest District Council are leading on with key partners that will result in more sustainable use of assets (Number)

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