London city council was in a self-congratulatory mood Monday night.
According to a report from city staff, 97.4 per cent of the goals within city council’s five-year strategic plan have been completed or will be completed before the end of 2019.
“I think when we all looked at the strategic plan in the beginning and saw how many objectives there were, we thought ‘that’s a massive amount and we might be setting ourselves up for failure,’ but we didn’t.
“Ninety-seven per cent is phenomenal,” said Coun. Stephen Turner.
Some of the accomplishments include a 10 per cent reduction in debt, 351 kilometres of road reconstruction and a 35 per cent reduction in collisions causing injury or death.
“This is a significant amount of work and I think the real takeaway here is that local government matters,” said Mayor Matt Brown.
“When civic administration and council are working in a cohesive way, they can make a huge difference,” he said.
While many councillors took the opportunity to praise city staff and themselves for a job well done, outgoing Ward 12 Coun. Harold Usher said more work needs to be done on diversity at city hall.
“I think we’ve improved a great deal with what we set out to do based on this plan, but I want to say — and I don’t mean this as a critique, but as a caution — we still have a long way to go,” said Usher.
“Based on what I’ve seen here, I think we’re going to improve on that over the next four years.”
There are some goals in the plan that could fall behind schedule including the Back to the River project, a youth shelter, and closing the gap in the north part of the Thames Valley Parkway.
The strategic plan is aligned with city hall’s multi-year budget, both of which run until 2019. The incoming council, which will be sworn in Dec. 3, will oversee the new strategic plan and multi-year budget set to run from 2019 to 2023.