Maintaining services and meeting priorities
Thursday, 28 June 2012
Continuing to deliver excellent services, whilst meeting the challenge of national spending cuts and maintaining low council tax levels - were the main achievements highlighted in the County Council's annual review of performance, which was discussed at Cabinet.
The strategic review considers how well the Council has performed against its priorities, which are set out in the Open for Business Plan. It found that over the last year, the Council has delivered an ambitious programme of savings and modernisation, while protecting frontline services and reducing the impact of national cuts on those who need the most support.
Key achievements include:
- Successful delivery of the 'efficiencies and transformation' programme for 2011/12, with £55 million of savings secured.
- Endorsement of the quality of services for some of Hampshire's most vulnerable children, with County Council fostering and adoption services rated as good; and an overall assessment for Children's Services of performing excellently (Ofsted 2011).
- Opening more than 400 units of Extra Care housing and agreeing to invest a further £45 million to support the development of these schemes over the next decade, allowing older people to remain living in their own home, with the reassurance that support is available when needed.
- Increasing numbers of Hampshire schools being rated as good or better by Ofsted inspectors.
- Sending the lowest proportion of waste to land fill out of all County Councils in England for the fifth year in a row (8.33% of household waste).
- Developing the range of services provided in partnership with, or sold to, other public sector organisations.
Commenting on the Council's strong performance over the last year, Councillor Ken Thornber, Leader of Hampshire County Council said: "We have had to make significant reductions in our expenditure to address the loss of Government funding and meet new cost pressures on our budget and that means we are going through unprecedented levels of change."
"The strong performance of the County Council over the past 12 months in meeting these challenges places us in a good position for the future - providing modern, high quality and affordable services to Hampshire residents. I'm pleased that during these tough financial times, the Council has been able to focus on further improvement and investment in services, particularly for the most vulnerable."
Over the next year, the Council is set to build on its success in implementing savings programmes that reduce corporate overheads and generate efficiencies to protect the frontline, by turning its attention to how it can continue to transform and build capacity for the future.