Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance
“We have demonstrated our commitment to growing our economy, ensuring people can lead healthy and independent lives and supporting vulnerable residents throughout the last quarter.
To help address the growing demand for residential and nursing care we took the decision to invest £1.2million in a new facility in Burton. Our Warm Homes Fund has gone from strength to strength since its launch last summer, enabling eligible families to get connected to gas and have central heating systems fitted.
The need for children’s social care continues to increase and we are now investing £8.1 million in this area to recruit more frontline staff, focusing on preventative measures to keep children out of the care system. In April we launch the Together4Children adoption agency. This is a joint initiative with Stoke-on-Trent, Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire councils, meaning we can share information on children and prospective parents.
Staffordshire’s economic growth programme created or protected nearly 10,000 jobs and delivered 2,390 houses up to December 2019. We saw a rise in apprenticeship starts over the last financial year while average wages in the county have increased. Major projects such as the Lichfield southern bypass and Stafford western access route will really pick up pace in 2020 and we will be supporting the LEP in delivering our Local Industrial Strategy.
We have worked hard to strengthen closer collaborative working with our district and borough partners – setting up formal and structured strategic plans to enable us to deliver on our priorities together. These district, borough and town deals are already making a difference to communities and businesses and we anticipate significant progress in 2020.
It is encouraging that we have near full employment in Staffordshire, however our efforts remain on securing better skilled, better paid jobs for our residents. This ensures Staffordshire remains a leading location to live, work and invest.”
Philip Atkins OBE, Leader of the Council
“We are continuing to ensure that county council finances are managed carefully and effectively. The forecast outturn for quarter three shows an overspend of £4.4 million, accounting for just under one per cent of the council’s overall budget.
Cost pressures resulting from children’s care services have grown as the number of looked after children has increased, in addition to the demands placed on us from adult social care.
Our saving and efficiency drive continues across county council operations whilst ensuring ongoing support for our more vulnerable residents. We always aim to achieve the best value for money for our residents wherever spending is necessary.”
Mike Sutherland, Cabinet Member for Finance
Reasons for the Decision – To consider an overview of the County Council’s progress, performance and financial position in delivering against the Strategic Plan and Delivery Plan.
Decision – That the report be received.