Barnsley Council to launch Barnsley’s first ‘Our Borough Profile 2018’

Barnsley Council will be heading to Cabinet next week to present councillors with Barnsley’s first ever ‘Our Borough Profile 2018’ - a new report that provides a detailed, honest, no stones unturned overview of the quality of life in the borough.

The report pulls together information, demographics and statistical data taken from a number of sources to build up a detailed picture of the borough – what we’re doing well, our challenges and what we need to improve. Areas assessed include education, employment, crime and health and wellbeing. This is the first time that all the information has been brought together into one detailed document for Barnsley.

To put the findings into perspective, where possible, the data has been compared to Yorkshire and Humber and England to provide a regional and national comparison. The report also looks at trends over time which shows how performance might have improved or where the gap between Barnsley and regional or national rates might be closing or widening. 

The report highlights some really positive and encouraging figures about Barnsley, including:

  • The percentage of Key Stage 1 pupils achieving the expected standard has increased by three percent between 2016 and 2017 in reading, writing and maths. Figures also show that Barnsley is performing better than regional rates and has improved at an equal or greater rate than that seen nationally and regionally.
  • The percentage of primary schools rated good or outstanding has reached 90 percent - above the regional rate and similar to the national rate.
  • The proportion of 4-5 and 10-11 year olds who are a healthy weight has increased since 2015-16 with Barnsley’s rate significantly higher than the regional and national rate for both age groups.
  • The rate of referrals to children’s social care is much lower in Barnsley compared to the regional and national rates.
  • The rate of Carbon Dioxide emissions in Barnsley are decreasing to an all-time low with the latest figures showing that Barnsley’s rate was lower than regional and national levels.

The report also highlights a number of areas that need greater attention and further improvement – particularly where performance is lower than national or regional rates, including:

  • The percentage of Barnsley’s secondary schools judged good or outstanding has decreased and is now below regional and national rates.
  • The persistent absence rate in Barnsley primary schools has increased from nine to 10.4 percent between 2016 and 2017 with the gap between the national average widening to 2.1 percent.
  • Whilst the rate of under 18’s conceptions has reduced each year since 2010, it is still significantly higher than regional and national rates.
  • Excess winter deaths have increased annually in Barnsley since 2009 with the rate significantly higher than the England rate.
  • The number of business start-ups and active businesses in Barnsley are much lower in Barnsley compared to the regional/national rates.

Cllr Alan Gardiner, Cabinet Spokesperson for Corporate Services, said: “The production of our first ‘Our Borough Profile’ is a very positive step in helping us to make important, informed decisions about the way we use our resources and shape our services. It will provide a solid evidence base – real grounds to show us those areas that require the most intervention and have the biggest impact on the quality of life for our residents. No second guessing – this is real, factual data.

“We’ve ambitious plans for change, improvement and growth and the findings from this report will be critical in helping us do this in line with our priorities. The report shows that we’ve already made huge inroads in improving many areas but perhaps most importantly are those areas that we need to improve and concentrate our resources.

“Our Borough Profile should not be viewed as a corporate council document – it’s a document we’ve created for anyone with a stake in, or love for Barnsley to access. What can communities do to help improve those areas we need to improve and to help each other?  It tells the true story of our borough and communities - where we are and what we need to do to make our borough a better place to live, work and visit.”

The data used for the report is the most up to date information available at time of producing the profile in May 2018 and sources include public health England, census data and Police recorded data. The report will be updated each year with the most up to date data and statistics to keep the profile current and real-time.

The full report can be read here:

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