Barnsley Council's new Council Plan has been approved by Full Council, which clearly sets out how it will successfully deliver its new priorities and outcomes for the next three years.
The new Council Plan has been heavily influenced by the extensive consultation and engagement work that has taken place for the Barnsley 2030 project through a series of activities with employees, residents, businesses and other key stakeholders across the borough to build a picture of what Barnsley is like now and what we want it to be like by 2030.
The plan also reflects the ambition to build our borough back better and fairer following the major impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has brought out the best in our communities, and we look to the future with enthusiasm and optimism, but we need all our employees to continue in their hard work to make that happen.
Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: “We’ve made great progress since our last corporate plan. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Barnsley hard, and over the next three years to 2024, we want to build our borough back better and fairer. The pandemic has also brought out the best in our communities, and we look to the future with enthusiasm and optimism.
“We’ve got ambitious plans for change, improvement and growth to allow everyone to be the best they can be because our borough is a place that fosters and grows ambition. Our new plan gives us a clear direction over the next three years and how we collectively deliver our services across the council to best support residents, communities, partners and business. This is particularly important in times of limited resources.”
Sarah Norman, Chief Executive of Barnsley Council, said: “We’re extremely grateful to everyone who has played their part helping to shape our new council priorities.
“We know that this plan will help us make sure our council strives to be even better and makes a real difference for you. We want to build and drive forward our role as a modern, inclusive, efficient, productive and high-performing council. Our new vision, priorities and values will enable us to do just that.
“It’s important that we continue on this ambitious journey together and work with you - our communities, businesses and partners to look further forward into our future possibilities.”
Some of the achievements since the last corporate plan from April 2017 to the end of December 2020, include:
- More people in work: 5,063 private-sector jobs have been created.
- Support for business: 476 new businesses created and 854 businesses supported to expand.
- Town centre regeneration: improvements to the Town Centre have gathered pace in recent years, with the successful opening of Market Kitchen, Falco Lounge, Library @ Lightbox. Completion of the Glassworks project is expected in late 2021.
- More visitors: more than 4.5 million visitors attended our sites in the last four years contributing almost £100 million to the local economy.
- Bright futures for our young people: the number of young people from Barnsley, aged 10 - 17 entering the Youth Justice system for the first time has dropped from 79 in 2017 to 14 in 2021.
- Looked after Children4% of children in care are placed in family placements.
- Improving attainment: the percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard or above in KS2 combined reading, writing and maths has increased from 59% in 2017 to 66% in 2019.
- Increased activity levels: over 25,000 people cycled, walked, scootered and ran nearly 150,000 miles during the six-week game phase of ‘Beat the Street’ in 2019, resulting in a 7% decrease in the number of children being inactive.
- Helping people to be independent at home: 1,098 people using Home Assessment and Reablement services, and 3,769 people using Assistive Technology to help them live independent lives in their own homes.
- More services online: there were 4,345,781 unique page views of the Barnsley.gov website in 2020.
- More people helping their local communities: 33,608 volunteers worked with Area Teams, which has a cashable value of £1,5620.184 in volunteering hours.
The council will regularly monitor progress against several key outcomes, keeping residents up to date about their achievements and areas for improvement throughout the three-year life of the new plan.