“We have seen some significant achievements over the final quarter of the financial year – not least the county council’s children’s social care services retaining its overall rating of ‘Good’ by Ofsted. We are one of only three authorities in the West Midlands to achieve and also retain this rating.
Nearly 92 per cent of Staffordshire parents were allocated their first preference secondary school, with 95 per cent being allocated one of their top three preferred schools despite increased pupil numbers.
We are strengthening our focus on improving healthy lifestyles in young people to ensure they can get the best start in life. And in adult social care we have made overall savings over quarter four while reducing the number of days in terms of delayed transfers of care.
Our economic growth programme has seen numerous successes. Completed and current projects within the programme have created and safeguarded a total of
8,500 jobs and delivered 993 houses up to January 2019. The current total financial value of the programme is around £455 million.
Meanwhile we are seeing continued low unemployment, with Staffordshire the joint lowest of the 14 strategic WM local authorities for residents with more people in work and only 1.5% claiming out of work benefits.
Tourism in the county also continues to thrive. Latest figures show that there were more than 26.2 million visits to the county in 2017 – an increase of 1.9% compared to 2016.”
Philip Atkins OBE, Leader of the Council
“Throughout quarter four we have managed the substantial pressures on our finances from both adult and children’s social care. We maintain our focus on improving the county’s economy and supporting people to lead healthy and independent lives.
The latest revenue forecast outturn shows a forecast underspend of £0.93m compared to the forecast underspend of £0.99m at quarter three. We have taken action to close the £35m forecast shortfall for the next financial year, resulting in a balanced five-year budget plan. These final plans were presented to full council in February.
In addition to lobbying government for additional social care funding, we have secured extra funding by successfully bidding to be part of a national business rates pilot scheme.
Our efforts to make efficiency savings and spending controls remain in place across the county council.”
Mike Sutherland, Cabinet Member for Finance
Reasons for the Decision – To consider an overview of Staffordshire County Council’s progress, performance and financial position in delivering against its Strategic Plan and Delivery Plan.
Decision – That the report be received.