Shaping Worcestershire's Future 2017 - 2022
Foreword by the Leader of Worcestershire County Council: Simon Geraghty
Worcestershire is one of Britain’s best kept secrets!
Home to over half a million people, covering 672 square miles, with a diverse mix of vibrant urban areas and idyllic rural communities and one of England’s historic Cathedral Cities at its heart. Our Environment is one of the county’s key features. 85% of the county is rural providing easy access to the countryside. Our country parks, open spaces and woodlands provide great walking and cycling opportunities, helping to sustain good Health and Well Being.
Yet it is also one of the fastest growing local economies in the country; the county is truly Open for Business with many renowned and successful companies, great education (with 9 out of every 10 schools rated good or outstanding) and improving transport links and digital connectivity (with over 90% superfast broadband coverage) to regional, national and global markets.
Record investment is being delivered into road, rail and digital infrastructure and economic “game changing” sites are on course to provide employment land where it is most needed. 16,000 apprenticeships have been delivered between 2012 - 2015 and the county has low unemployment and fewer young people not in education, employment or training. Worcestershire provides a great quality of life for Children and Families. So why do we need to change.
The County Council supports some of the most vulnerable people in society, has responsibility for visible public services like maintaining roads and pavements, street lighting, household waste sites, libraries and country parks to name but a few. We currently oversee around £900m of public expenditure per year – which includes funding for schools and capital investment – and receive around 70% of your overall Council Tax bill. Around 60% of our net revenue budget is spent on social care services for vulnerable children and adults. People are living longer but with more complex needs, and we have more children who need our care. We want to meet resident and business expectations around the quality of roads and pavements we provide as well as investing in priority projects. Therefore it’s vital we have a forward looking plan for the place and the people we serve.
Our refreshed Corporate Plan “Shaping Worcestershire’s Future”, with our four key priorities, will help guide the work of the Council and our relationship with individuals, families, communities and partners over the next five years.
Championing Open for Business
Worcestershire has one of the fastest growing local economies in the country. Being “Open for Business”remains the key priority for the Council. This is vital if both individuals and businesses are to achieve their full potential and if Worcestershire is going to continue to prosper.
A successful and growing local economy will generate wealth for residents and businesses, and this growth will increase Council income, enabling us to invest more in those areas that our residents and businesses tell us are most important to them.
Supporting Children and Families
We are focused on improving outcomes for all children, young people and families in Worcestershire. Our ambition is to see more children and young people achieving their full potential in education and being fully prepared to live happy, healthy, independent and prosperous adult lives.
Keeping children and young people safe is a key priority for this Council and its partners. When the only safe option, for those vulnerable children and young people most at risk, is to come into our care, we will focus our efforts on providing a positive care experience in order for them to thrive and achieve their maximum potential.
Protecting the Environment
Our environment is one of the county’s key features, providing easy access to the countryside and a wealth of stunning scenery. Our country parks, open spaces and woodlands provide great walking and cycling opportunities which support our health and wellbeing vision.
Worcestershire is a diverse county with fantastic examples of a historic and natural environment, which contributes to the unique character of the county.
Promoting Health and Wellbeing
It is our priority, working with partners, to ensure Worcestershire residents are healthier, live longer, have a better quality of life and remain independent for as long as possible.
We will work together with partners and communities to enable Worcestershire residents to make responsible choices when planning their lives to achieve the best possible outcomes. We will enable individuals to become or remain independent, self-reliant and an integrated part of their local communities.