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Foreword by Councillor Simon Geraghty, Leader of Worcestershire County Council

Our County

Simon Geraghty

 

Our County Worcestershire has it all. Nestled in the heart of Britain, our County is home to around 600,000 people. Whether it’s exploring the historic City of Worcester, walking up the Malvern Hills or enjoying a day out with the family at the West Midlands Safari Park, there’s something for everyone. Our County with its vibrant urban areas and picturesque rural communities, situated between the edge of bustling Birmingham and the idyllic Cotswolds, presents a hugely attractive place for residents to live, people to work and those who visit.

Our continued investment in improving our highway, rail and digital infrastructure is ensuring the County is truly Open for Business. Worcester Six, Malvern Hills Science Park and Redditch Gateway are great examples of where we’ve supported business to grow and create new jobs in the County, and continued investment in our digital offer will ensure our residents are equipped to access future opportunities as we experience a shift in working patterns and value quality of life alongside earning potential.

Worcestershire is already home to a highly skilled workforce, supported by good educational attainment and schools that we continue to invest in and work alongside. With our vibrant communities and a myriad of exciting attractions and places to visit, we know this makes us a great place for Children and Families to thrive and achieve their maximum potential.

The County is blessed with an outstanding Environment with easy access to beautiful countryside and waterways. They are home to many rare and important wildlife habitats and provide great recreational opportunities for our residents to enjoy.

Our country parks, 4,600km of public rights of way, and a growing number of attractive walking & cycling routes provide ample opportunities for our communities to exercise and support their Health and Wellbeing. Our health and social care journey, moving to prevention and promoting independence, is also crucial in supporting people to live in good health for longer and lead fulfilling lives.

Worcestershire provides a great quality of life and excellent opportunities for all. We know we must continue to adapt and harness the benefits of change to maintain this and unlock our future potential.

The best way to do this is through our ‘One Worcestershire’ approach, as public, private & voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations, working together to address the challenges we collectively face and support our residents and businesses.

The Council

Worcestershire County Council delivers an array of services which support our residents and businesses. These include providing social care for some of the most vulnerable in society, helping the next generation get the best start in life through education, investing in our transport network, disposing of household waste sustainably, provision of library services & country parks and supporting health & wellbeing within our communities. We oversee over £1 billion of public expenditure each year and employ over 2,600 full-time equivalent staff across the Council and Worcestershire Children First, making us one of the largest organisations in the County.

Already we have made great strides to become a more financially self-sufficient organisation, with almost all of our net revenue budget being raised locally through Council Tax and Business Rates.

We have grown our income streams, become more commercial and focused on those things that residents & businesses tell us are important and need improving.

We now need to work more closely than ever in harnessing the potential of our communities and partner organisations to maximise our resources and capacity to continue to deliver

Around 69% of our net budget goes towards providing adult and children’s social care. We will always ensure we support society’s most vulnerable. To achieve the best possible outcomes, we know we cannot do this alone, and therefore we will work more closely with our communities to build local capacity to enable people to live independently in their local area for longer. We must also ensure we continue to be ambitious for our County and invest in the schools, transport system and employment sites that our growing County needs for our residents and businesses to thrive.

Our refreshed Corporate Plan, which continues with our four key priorities, helps build on the progress we have made over the last five years and sets out our ambitions for our County and the organisation to 2027.

We will work even more closely with partners, to continue to build on the ‘One Worcestershire’ approach to address countywide issues and drive further economic growth.

We will also ensure what we do is sustainable and continues to protect the great quality environment we all enjoy in our County. As an organisation we are also working more smartly, with the adoption of flexible and mobile working arrangements, which reduces our footprint and supports wider partnership working through the co-location of services. This is an ambitious plan and one we can only achieve by working together with you, our residents, businesses and partners.

Our plan for Worcestershire

Our Corporate Plan sets out our priorities for the County and the services we provide. It highlights how the Council will evolve its way of doing business to be able to deliver them and ensure its resources are used to maximum effect. We will continue to grow our income generation opportunities, invest smartly in our County and operate more commercially to reduce costs. We’ll be working even more closely with our partners and communities to maximise local capacity and reduce duplication of resource. We will continue to enhance our engagement with businesses and seek to raise the County’s profile further to attract more investment, jobs and opportunities for all.

We will empower our communities to live prosperous, independent lives through building community capacity, developing local resilience and sharing best practice. The Council should only intervene when necessary as we know early action by individuals, families and communities working together can often provide more sustainable solutions than the Council acting alone. Through our Here2Help service we will enable people to build stronger communities.

We will work with our schools and education providers to achieve excellence in education and ensure more school places are provided in the right locations to support housing growth. Our health & social care system will work more closely than ever before to deliver services in a more integrated way to improve outcomes for patients and service users.

Continued investment in our highways & transport network alongside key employment sites and the regeneration of our towns & City Centre will ensure our residents are able to access better paid and higher skilled employment locally. The plan also ensures we continue to enhance our environment, reduce our carbon footprint on our path to Net Zero and dispose of our waste sustainably

This plan sets out our vision for how we will achieve this and moves on our journey to be an enabling authority which prioritises investment and support in areas most important to our communities and businesses.

Working together we will ensure Worcestershire continues to thrive.

Simon Geraghty 
Leader, Worcestershire County Council