What Does This Mean: For you, your family, our communities and the Council?

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Summary

To deliver against our priorities, our journey to reshape our Council alongside our communities and with our partners continues. In response to the pandemic, we’ve truly become an innovative, forward-thinking and flexible organisation. We intend to continue to harness the benefits and efficiencies of working flexibly, reducing our footprint, and connecting our employees more closely with the communities and partners we work with.

We commit to working ever closer with our communities, to build local capacity and allow people to be supported in their area. We will expand our Here2Help programme to provide a single front door of advice and guidance for people, whilst working with voluntary and community groups to strengthen local support.

All of this work sits within our ‘One Worcestershire’ approach to co-ordinating work, investment and priorities across our county. We seek to adopt new ways of working, including co-location and shared service, to embrace a joined-up approach to service delivery that best meets local needs and removes barriers between organisations. We also communicate regularly with our partners in all things we do, to ensure our services do not simply move demand to another organisation – and instead we work together to resolve issues as ‘One Worcestershire’.

Vision and Objectives

Worcestershire is a fantastic place to be, with beautiful countryside, historic towns and excellent connectivity to the rest of the UK. Whether it’s to live, work, visit or invest in, the County has an abundance of opportunity for everyone. We’re passionate about enabling people to achieve their full potential, from having a great start in life, to living prosperous, independent lives in thriving communities.

Our community capacity is growing, enabling people to do more for themselves in their local area – supported by family and friends. We know this provides a better quality of life, and better outcomes, for our residents and communities, and helps foster a true sense of ‘One Worcestershire’.

We also work closely with the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) which is vital in joining-up our offer within our communities. Only by working together can we ensure our communities have the right information, advice and support in place, that is easily accessible, to enable them to become more resilient and self-reliant

Our relationships with our Parish, Town and District Councils have continued to strengthen, which supports the joined-up approach to working closely with our local communities and building local resilience and capacity.

This approach is key to ensuring our limited resources can be focused on those vulnerable people in our society who need support the most. It will also enable us to continue to invest in improving those things you tell us are important and most need improving in the County.

For You, Your Family and Our Communities

Our journey to reshape our Council alongside our communities continues.

We know our community capacity has grown, supporting people to live happy and independent lives, with access to support from within their community. But there is still more to do. We aspire to work even more closely with residents, alongside our key partners, including the Voluntary and Community Sector, to support volunteers and link them together to those that need support.

The successful launch of our Here2Help scheme has shown how committed we are to this and we have expanded the range of resources available. Here2Help will provide support for people of all ages and is available for both residents and organisations to access information, advice, tools and guidance which can help signpost to local support options based on their needs.

A key priority moving forwards is also to expand our Here2Help offer online, via telephone and face to face and through Independence Community Hubs – linking closely with our aspirations to enhance digital connectivity throughout our County. This will bring more opportunities for you to access information, advice and service online and get face to face support in your local area.

Info graphis saying Digital connectivity alongside face to face support will help to enhance connection of our communities and services

We want to keep inspiring you, our communities and individuals to get involved and help us shape Here2Help and other programmes to ensure they align closely with your needs and those of our communities. Thousands of hours of volunteering are done each year in Worcestershire – and as a key employer within the community, we encourage our employees to undertake volunteering activities across the County. We want to keep growing this resource and will work with you and the Voluntary and Community Sector to do that.

We want to keep inspiring you, our communities and individuals to get involved and help us shape Here2Help and other programmes to ensure they align closely with your needs and those of our communities. Thousands of hours of volunteering are done each year in Worcestershire – and as a key employer within the community, we encourage our employees to undertake volunteering activities across the County. We want to keep growing this resource and will work with you and the Voluntary and Community Sector to do that.

For the Council

Councillors working for you.

We are a member-led authority, meaning the people you vote to represent you set the priorities, plans and budget of the organisation. Our 57 Councillors make up the Full Council which meets every two months and sets the budget and policy framework. The Leader and Cabinet provides the political leadership and sets the key plans & policies of the organisation. Overview & Scrutiny committees help review the work of the authority alongside other decision-making committees.

Local Councillors continue to act as leaders for their communities – providing on the ground intelligence to help inform and prioritise the Council’s activity. The Divisional Fund and other funding continue to empower local members to invest in their own solutions and ensure local priorities are met.

Councillors are at the heart of how we develop our policies, working closely with our staff and providing scrutiny and challenge to ensure the intended outcomes most benefit our residents and businesses. Through public roadshows and surveys, the Council engages with large numbers of people each year from communities across the County and this information helps inform decision making.

Our continued focus on engaging with our stakeholders is further enabled through our website and social media platforms. These are a great way to interact and work with our residents – and we are committed to providing more services and solutions through these platforms to enable greater self-service. By joining all these aspects together, our transformation programme will ensure high-quality outcomes for our residents and businesses, delivered by a highly efficient and effective Council.

Our Council

As we support the transformation of our communities, the pace of our own evolution continues to accelerate. Our model focuses on driving forwards Worcestershire’s economic and social development and providing high-quality services whilst maintaining excellent value for money for our residents and businesses. To do this, we continually strive to innovate and look for the most efficient and effective ways to deliver our services to achieve the best outcomes for Worcestershire. Through our ‘One Worcestershire’ approach we work closely with our partner organisations to understand the best way to support people, whilst removing duplication and inefficiencies. Together (including Worcestershire County Council, District Councils, Schools, Academies, Police, NHS and Fire and Rescue) we represent over 36,700 people across the public sector in Worcestershire highlighting the scale of our organisations and the importance they work seamlessly together.

We seek to adopt new ways of working, including co-location and shared service, to embrace a joined-up approach to service delivery that best meets local needs and removes barriers between organisations. We also communicate regularly with our partners in all things we do, to ensure our services do not simply move demand to another organisation – and instead we work together to resolve issues as ‘One Worcestershire’.

Within the Council, we continue to monitor our performance and drive through improvements to our day-to-day operations. It’s vital we continue to have a culture that embraces change and empowers staff to think of even more innovative solutions to the challenges we continue to face – growing demand for services and limited resources. Our preventative approach seeks to resolve issues before they arise which can improve outcomes for service users and reduce costs.

We’ve grown our commercial and commissioning capacity to keep costs down and ensure the best value for money for our services. We will continue to encourage the use of the local economy in the provision of goods and services, and champion this approach across the whole of Worcestershire’s public sector.

The Council will continue to harness the potential of digital solutions and encourage a ‘digital by design’ approach to the provision of its services. Together with the investment to grow community capacity and in developing digital infrastructure through the provision of faster broadband, we will ensure the Council is at the forefront of the digital revolution and embrace digital solutions for our services – particularly in the way we manage our business – where possible. This will support residents and businesses to self-serve when accessing our services which speeds up the process for them whilst reducing our costs, allowing us to invest in the key priorities of our residents.

Digital technology will also support our management and decision making through the provision of real-time data and trend analysis. This will support our data-driven decision-making approach, ensuring we focus our resources on key areas that will provide the best outcomes for Worcestershire. It’ll also help us understand and forecast potential demand or identify areas where we can improve our approach. #

To deliver against our ambitious transformation programme and continue to deliver great services we must continue to invest in our workforce. Our Workforce Strategy is designed to build an organisation with the personal and collective resilience to drive us to have a high-performance culture, and employees who are valued and supported.

We will also expand our provision of apprenticeships within the Council, providing opportunities for people to forge a career within Local Government and support the Council’s succession planning through investing in local people and providing support to our leaders of the future.

Info graphic saying One Worcestershire - our combined public sector workforce in Worcestershire is nearly 37,000

Our Finances

We have made great strides to become a more self-sufficient Council through raising our income streams and reducing inefficiencies and costly processes. The delivery of 17,360 new homes since 2015 and business growth of 40% since 2010 has provided us additional income to invest in our County, including supporting our demand-led services and delivering on key priorities that the public tell us is important – such as better roads and pavements.

Our investments into tackling congestion, improving public transport and providing enhanced infrastructure will support the continued growth of our economy, delivering what you want us to deliver whilst providing us more income to invest in Worcestershire. This is the model for our Council of the future.

Alongside our growth in income, we’ve been rigorous in driving down our costs. Since 2015 we have delivered over £140m of budget savings, including a reduction of £16m through back-office efficiencies and process automation. We will continue to streamline our organisation and reduce cost to allow us to focus our resources in areas of priority for our residents. This will include the rationalisation of our assets where these do not meet a core business function or provide long-term strategic opportunities.

We know the demand for our services, specifically Adults and Children’s Social Care, is forecast to increase over the next period, and we have already made record investment into these services that support the most vulnerable in society. Our work to help communities, unlock support at a local level and to enable people to live safely and independently, continues to a vital part of our Medium-Term Financial Plan – in reducing that demand for our most costly services, whilst providing better outcomes for the needs of our residents.

Our ambition for the County remains as strong as ever, evidenced by our 3-year capital programme which will help provide an even stronger future for Worcestershire. This includes around £120m of capital funding for significant highway improvements, rail investment and education to improve Worcestershire’s connectivity, ease traffic congestion, and support our growing County.

We will continue to work with partners to leverage additional funding into the County to fund our capital and regeneration ambitions. Already we have supported over £87m of Central Government capital funding through the Getting Building Fund and Local Growth Fund to support the delivery of key investment sites and town centre and high-street regeneration across the County.

By 2027 the Council will be a leaner, more efficient organisation which will have adopted further digital and self-service solutions to reduce our costs. We will work even more closely with partners as ‘One Worcestershire’ to leverage additional funding for our County, its businesses and people. Our operating model will evolve as we deliver services more closely with these partners, reducing duplication and inefficiencies and providing a better service for customers. This will be pivotal in being able to review our assets and service processes to drive through further efficiencies whilst not impacting the provision of services to those that most need them

How we will measure this

  • Council Tax in the lowest 25% of all County Councils across the UK
  • Improving resident’s satisfaction with the County
  • Lower than average back office \ processing costs
  • Higher proportion of our interactions done via cost-effective methods (including internet self-serve, chatbot etc.)
  • Reduction in our estate costs and improved efficiency