“Dealing with Covid-19 and learning how to live safely with the virus remains a priority and we continue to do what is required to keep people safe. The vaccine programme has been a game changer and vaccination uptake in Staffordshire remains comparatively good with booster uptake now above the national average.
We continue to do what is necessary to support those who need us most, including vulnerable residents, the care sector, local communities and businesses. Growing our economy, creating better quality jobs and supporting local businesses with their recovery through the Staffordshire Means Back to Business Programme remains a priority. Putting more money in people’s pockets and improving their financial security, especially at a time when living and energy costs are on the increase, is vital.
The cost of adult social care continues to rise, and we face challenges in the sector although we have seen a reduction in waiting times for assessments since last quarter. We continue to address workforce issues through the Future Social Care Workforce Programme, which is in its early days, but will help us to understand current local issues and needs.
The new model for the delivery of our Children and families’ services introduced last year continues to embed well and our work through the Building Resilient Families and Communities programme continues to support vulnerable families. An Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspection of SEN provision in January found improvements in six out of eight areas under review, with two areas requiring further development. Work continues to make improvements within the service.
The Warmer Home schemes have provided significant benefits to Staffordshire residents, especially given the rising price of energy. To date 3,500 people have accessed the schemes and received help and advice. This includes 507 families benefitting from over 562 home installations, such as gas central heating, replacement boilers or insulation measures.
Despite the pressures facing councils like ours, we will invest to keep growing the county in a sustainable way to make a positive difference in the lives of our residents. We want Staffordshire people to enjoy a better quality of life, in thriving communities, and live longer in good health.
In much more sobering news, we continue to be horrified by the events unfolding in Ukraine and as a county we stand with all those affected by the conflict. Staffordshire has a proud history of helping those who have had no choice but to flee war or persecution. We have set up an Incident Management Team and we are supporting the delivery of the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme. We stand ready to offer Ukrainian refugees a warm welcome to our county should our help be needed”.
Alan White, Leader of the Council
“All council departments continue to deliver against their recovery priorities, whilst progressing with activities in the organisation’s Delivery Plan.
The latest revenue forecast outturn shows a forecast saving of £4.417m (0.8%). This is compared to the previous forecast of a saving of £3.963m (0.7%) at Quarter 3.
Like many local authorities, we still face financial challenges including in adult social care and in children’s social services, but we continue to keep our finances in as strong a position as possible. Well managed finances ensures that we provide good value for money for local tax-payers and means we can continue to invest in our future and growing our economy”.
Ian Parry, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources.
Reasons for the Decision – To consider the quarterly Integrated Performance Report which provides an overview of the Council’s progress, performance, and financial position in delivering against its Strategic Plan and Delivery Plan
Decision – (a) That the report be received.
(b) That the use of £2.702m from the Contingency budget to fund the national pay award relating to 2021/22, be approved. (This is not currently included in service budgets as a pay freeze was assumed during the MTFS).