How we measure our performance

Our Council Plan for 2021 to 2024 sets out what we aim to achieve over three years. Our plan gives us a clear direction to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and build our borough back better and fairer. It focuses on how we collectively deliver our services across the council to best support residents, communities, partners and business. It explains what we want to do, how we plan to do it, and how we'll measure whether we're on track to achieve it.

The Council Plan has been developed by the work that has taken place for the Barnsley 2030 project through a series of activities with residents, businesses, employees and other key stakeholders across the borough to build a picture of what Barnsley is like now and want it to be like by 2030. 

Our priorities

We have five new priorities which are supported by 12 outcomes. In addition, 63 critical success factors (key performance indicators) have been aligned to the outcomes to allow us to assess out performance against each outcome.

  • Healthy BarnsleyPeople can access all the care and support they need, at the right time and in the right place.
  • Learning BarnsleyThe opportunities available for young and adult learners mean that everyone can fulfil their learning potential, helping them build the skills they need to get into work and progress their careers.
  • Growing BarnsleyBarnsley is an inclusive place where everyone can find suitable employment, live in a high-quality home that's right for them, and access the fast and affordable digital resources they need.
  • Sustainable BarnsleyProtecting our borough for future generations.
  • Enabling Barnsley - Our priority to ensure that our council is modern, inclusive, efficient, productive and high-performing.

Performance management

This report is a supplementary narrative report to the quarterly dashboard which provides more detail in relation to performance for the quarter. It's important to review the quarterly dashboard report in addition to reading this narrative report, as it provides a detailed review of each review of each of our critical success factors including a red, amber and green (RAG) rating.

This RAG rating is applied to each of our critical success factors (CSFs), which tracks our progress to achieving our vision of Barnsley, the place of possibilities. Each CSF falls under one of our 12 outcomes, which in turn feeds into one of our five priorities (Healthy, Learning, Growing, Sustainable and Enabling Barnsley). 

We track the progress of each CSF over the year and report on them quarterly where applicable, and provide commentary on the progress of the indicator.

Reviewing the online dashboard will help to provide context on where we're achieving our targets, and where there are areas for improvement. You can also read our latest corporate performance report media release to learn more or watch our animations to see how we’re making Barnsley the place of possibilities.

Quarter 1 2022/23

Healthy Barnsley CPR Header

Key outcomes

  • People are safe and feel safe.
  • People live independently with good physical and mental health for as long as possible.
  • We have reduced inequalities in health and income across the borough.

Case studies

We restrict unhealthy food and drink advertising

We’ve introduced a High Fat Salt or Sugar (HFSS) policy guidance note to restrict unhealthy food and drink advertising. This serves to protect children and adults from exposure to HFSS advertising, which can influence what people eat and drink, as well as how much.

The guidance note is an addition to our advertising and sponsorship policy and follows similar policies adopted by Bristol City Council and several London boroughs. It will restrict the advertising of HFSS products on all council-owned or leased advertising sites. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine research showed that a similar policy on the Transport for London (TfL) network worked well. There was an estimated 6.7 percent decrease in average weekly household purchases of energy from HFSS products, and the average weekly purchases of chocolate and sweets fell by 19.4 percent.

Our guidance note for Barnsley has been developed with support from the food charity Sustain, who advised the Mayor of London’s team on the TfL policy and has been working with over 80 local authorities across the country to introduce local healthier advertising policies.

Organisations across Barnsley come together to celebrate Dementia Action Week

To mark Dementia Action Week (16 to 22 May), organisations across Barnsley came together to encourage people to act on dementia. Across the borough, interactive events and activities took place throughout the week and were planned by the Barnsley Third Sector Dementia Alliance:

  • Age UK Barnsley hosted daily social groups across the borough with memory games and quizzes. On Thursday, they launched a new series of weekly sessions to actively stimulate and engage people living with dementia.
  • Barnsley Independent Alzheimer's and Dementia Support (BIADS) hosted carer support groups and drop-ins throughout the week before inviting people into their day care centre on Thursday for a special open day.
  • Butterflies organised celebratory events for people living with dementia, their families and their carers, including a race afternoon on Thursday.
  • Crossroads Barnsley hosted a Friday coffee morning with a Dementia Action Week theme and a Memory Hub Cafe the next weekend.
  • Making Space organised a dementia tea party in Dodworth on Monday.

In addition to these events, Alzheimer’s Society hosted an information event at Library @ the Lightbox on Thursday 19 May. Dementia Action Week is an annual event encouraging people to ‘act on dementia’.

New all-age mental health strategy launches in Barnsley

In June, Barnsley's health and wellbeing board approved a new all-age mental health and wellbeing strategy for 2022 to 2026. The new strategy will help to make sure that Barnsley has the support and culture to enable everyone within the borough to achieve their potential.

Budding young artists show us what matters to them for Director of Public Health report

To showcase the Director of Public Health annual report 2021, an exhibition of artwork created by children and young people took place at Library @ the Lightbox. The exhibition highlighted what mattered to young people in 2019, and what matters to them now. In 2019, we asked children and young people to create artwork around the theme ‘what matters to me?’ to inform the Director of Public Health annual report 2019.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this work had to be postponed. In 2021, we were able to reinstate the project, and children and young people were asked to create artwork with the theme of ‘what matters to me, now?’ to provide a comparison of Barnsley pre and post-pandemic. In 2019, Barnsley children and young people recognised the impact of technology on their lives, referencing the increase in online bullying and inactive behaviour.

In 2021, children and young people told us they want to be outside, in the real world, with opportunities to play and be active. What matters to children and young people now, more than ever, is connection with others, having fun and making happy memories.

New approach to contacts for adult social care

In May 2022 adult social care implemented a new triage hub, integrating social workers at the front door. By the end of June, 2600 people contacted adult social care with over 500 requests for an assessment.

Previously the majority of these contacts would have been referred for an assessment, however only 200 were referred for a care assessment. This is because a more detailed conversation at the front door has allowed people access community support or aids and adaptations to meet their need.

The reablement pathway has also been offered to support and assess longer term needs. For those who have completed a reablement episode via the community pathway, 40 percent had no ongoing support needs.

Making caring visible, valued and supported in Barnsley during Carers Week

In June, we came together with partners to celebrate Carers Week, and the difference unpaid carers make to their families and local communities. This annual campaign celebrates and recognises the role unpaid carers play in our society.

This year’s theme was making caring visible, valued and supported. In Barnsley, it's estimated that over 28,000 people help care for a family member or friend. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for loved ones who would not be able to cope without them.

Achievements and highlights

  • Our children's social care team receive fantastic feedback from their latest Local Government Association (LGA) peer review.
  • Barnsley Council and Barnsley Hospital partner on new financial incentive scheme to support pregnant women to quit smoking.
  • We introduced High Fat Salt or Sugar (HFSS) policy guidance note to restrict unhealthy food and drink advertising.
  • New approach introduced for new contacts to adult social care.

Learning Barnsley CPR Header

Key outcomes

  • People have the opportunities for lifelong learning and developing new skills including access to apprenticeships.
  • Children and young people achieve the best outcomes through improved educational achievement and attainment.
  • People have access to early help and support.

Case studies

Over 94 percent of Barnsley children get their first choice of primary school for September

19 April was National Offer Day and families across Barnsley found out which primary school their children will start in September. This year, we've been able to offer 2,428 children (94.2 percent) their first choice of primary school, up from last year's 93.8 percent. Overall, 2,533 children (98.3 per cent) in our borough received an offer from at least one of their chosen primary schools. Here's a breakdown of the National Offer Day figures in Barnsley:

  • We received 2,577 applications.
  • 2,428 children (94.2 percent) were offered their first choice of primary school.
  • 87 children (3.4 percent) received an offer from their second choice.
  • 18 children (0.7 percent) got their third choice of primary school.
  • 44 children (1.7 percent) didn't get any of their choices but have been allocated a school place by our school admissions team.

We saw 96 percent of families applying for their child's primary school place online this year. This not only makes the process more streamlined, but it also makes it quicker for families to receive their primary school offer.

Barnsley’s adult skills and community learning open day

Adult skills and community learning hosted an open day for anyone thinking about returning to learning in May.

The open day was a fantastic opportunity to find out what classes are taking place before the summer. Tutors and advisors were on hand for a relaxed, informal chat, and to answer questions about the courses on offer. Residents were able to tour the facilities and explore opportunities to learn new skills, grow their talents and improve their wellbeing or employability.

Barnsley Council to receive funding for family hubs

We’re pleased to announce that we’ll receive a share of 302m in government funding to support our fantastic Family Centres in Barnsley. We're one of 75 local authorities eligible for a share of the funding to support babies, children and families.

The funding will be used to develop our existing Family Centres, aligning them with the government’s Family Hub approach. This will include giving parents and carers advice on how to take care of their child and make sure they're safe and healthy, supporting them in gaining the best start for life.

Mel John-Ross, Executive Director of Children’s Services, said: “We're delighted to be receiving this funding, to make it easier than ever for families to access support when they need it. Barnsley is a place that fosters and grows ambition, enabling everyone to be the best they can be. This funding will help us continue supporting families to enjoy happy, healthy, and longer lives.”

SEND services showcased at Local Offer Live week

Local Offer Live week ran from Monday 20 to Saturday 25 June 2022. This was a week-long showcase with many events about special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). There were lots of free events to get involved with to help you understand the SEND services and support available in Barnsley. See our Local Offer Live webpage.

There was something for everyone, from SEND coffee mornings to sensory sessions, to help with completing paperwork for short breaks. There were sessions aimed at parents and carers, children and young people, as well as professionals. There were also parent and carer led sessions to help develop the new SEND strategy, which we'll launch later this year.

The week rounded up with a picnic in the park on Saturday 25 June, for SEND families to socialise and give feedback on the week’s events.

Barnsley Music Hub and vocal festivals 2022

The key stage 2 festival showcases the instrumental achievements of pupils aged 7 to 11 who have received first access to music lessons at school. Over 50 schools across Barnsley came together to perform concerts featuring woodwind, brass, string, percussion and more.

Councillor Robert Frost, Barnsley Council's cabinet spokesperson for Place (Regeneration and Culture), said: "Barnsley is a place that fosters growth and ambition, and we're extremely proud of all the young people who have worked with Barnsley Music Hub this year. Every performer has worked hard to hone their skills, and to see them all on stage showing off their talent is amazing. I encourage everyone to attend the music festivals and support our young music makers."

Barnsley Music Service is funded by the Arts Council. It offers children and young people from age 5 to 18 the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, make music with others, learn to sing, progress and enjoy music-making. To find out more, visit Barnsley Music Service or email

Barnsley Schools' Vocal Festival also took place in June. This festival celebrates the dedication and talent of school choirs across Barnsley, and was held at the Metrodome Arena with seven local primary schools taking part.

Achievements and highlights

  • The Family Service Directory - a new one-stop shop for family information in Barnsley - is launched.
  • Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) services showcased at Local Offer Live week ahead of the new SEND strategy to be released later this year.
  • Over 94 percent of Barnsley children get their first choice of primary school for September.
  • The Barnsley Music Hub celebrates children's talent with musical festivals.

Growing Barnsley CPR Header

Key outcomes

  • Business start-ups and existing local businesses are supported to grow and attract new investment providing opportunities for all.
  • People have a welcoming safe and enjoyable town centre and Principal Towns as a destination for work, shopping, leisure and culture.
  • People are supported to have safe warm and welcoming homes.

Case studies

Local businesses celebrated at awards evening

Local businesses joined the Mayor of Barnsley, the BBC's Steve White and our staff to celebrate two brilliant local award ceremonies – the Business Awards and the Best Bar None Awards at the Civic on Wednesday evening.

The night began with Ojay McDonald, Chief Executive of the Association of Town and City Management, presenting our Chief Executive Sarah Norman with the Purple Flag in recognition of the town retaining Purple Flag status for a third successive year.

The first awards to be given out were the Business Awards, which celebrated our business community's hard work and resilience through the COVID-19 pandemic. Local businesses, as well as being vital to the strength of our economy, are essential to the health, wellbeing and happiness of our borough and residents.

Councillor Sarah Tattersall, Mayor of Barnsley, said: "The past two years have been challenging, and it was fantastic to finally be able to come together and celebrate the resilience and hard work of our local business community.”

Barnsley bids for major £23.1 million investment projects for Dearne Valley

Five major projects which would help regenerate, renew, and revitalise Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe and Bolton upon Dearne as part of a £23.1 million investment have been submitted to government for approval. Goldthorpe was one of 101 towns invited to bid for Towns Fund investment to help improve skills, digital and transport connectivity, create new jobs, raise aspiration, and revitalise the economic prospects of the area.

The plan is based on four themes of growing Goldthorpe, connecting Goldthorpe, developing Goldthorpe and placemaking Goldthorpe. It was prepared by our Economic Regeneration Team and shaped by feedback from local residents, businesses and organisations through consultation and workshops over the last two years.

The projects are:

  • Employment land: investment to unlock development of major employment growth. It will support long-term commercial development of a 72.9 hectare site off the A635 Barnsley Road, Goldthorpe, South of the Dearne Valley Parkway.
  • Housing: funding will be allocated to regenerate traditional terraced streets through improvements designed to help grow people’s pride in their area and improve residents’ well-being, including physical and mental health.
  • Phoenix Park: this project will help enhance the park's appeal as a destination and thoroughfare between Thurnscoe and Goldthorpe. It will also help the park achieve it's potential to support small scale enterprise and more community activity.
  • Community and Cultural Hub: this project will develop a combined community and cultural hub within the Welfare Park. This will include refurbishment of the Dearne Playhouse, a refreshed and reinvigorated outdoor multifunctional performance and community events space.
  • Heart of Goldthorpe: this project will include a new public plaza and events area providing a central point for community activity.

Barnsley's famous outdoor market launched in a week of celebration

The outdoor market has been revitalised alongside recent developments in Barnsley town centre and businesses are now in their final locations under fresh, modern gazebos which anchor into the ground.

To celebrate, a week of activities were held in including an official opening event in which the Mayor of Barnsley, Councillor Sarah-Jane Tattersall, rang the market bell before live music from Rock Choir South Yorkshire.

Councillor Robert Frost, Cabinet spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture at Barnsley Council said: “It’s great to see Barnsley’s outdoor market flourishing. Barnsley is growing, we have a thriving and vibrant town centre and the market is at the heart of it. “

Leading energy solutions company, SMS, opens distribution hub in Barnsley

One of the UK’s leading energy solutions businesses, SMS plc, has opened it's main distribution hub in Barnsley following a move to a new 52,000 square foot premises at Ashroyd Business Park, off Junction 36 of the M1.

SMS, which is headquartered in Glasgow, specialises in the installation, operation and management of carbon reduction technologies, including smart meters, electric vehicle (EV) charging points, and battery storage systems.

The company has signed a 10-year lease at the high-quality commercial premises, with around 80 jobs set to be created at the new site. Skills and supply chain support has been provided by Enterprising Barnsley, our business support service. In addition to the new distribution hub, SMS is also later this year due to complete the construction of a second Barnsley site.

The 40 megawatt (MW) battery energy storage system (BESS), built on land near Hopewell Street in Stairfoot, will support the UK’s power network with the flexibility services crucial for accommodating renewable energy generation and boosting the national grid’s resilience.

Achievements and highlights

  • Leading energy solutions company, SMS, opens its main distribution hub in Barnsley.
  • Barnsley Museums has announces record breaking visitor numbers for 2021/22, attracting 1,467,938 people over the year.
  • Barnsley hosts 20 tonne Jubilee sand sculpture as part of Jubilee weekend celebrations.
  • Barnsley welcomes twin town officials to celebrate 50th anniversary.

Sustainable Barnsley CPR Header

Key outcomes

  • People live in great places, are recycling more and wasting less, feel connected and valued in their community.
  • Our heritage and green spaces are promoted for all people to enjoy.
  • Fossil fuels are being replaced by affordable and sustainable energy and people are able to enjoy more cycling and walking.

Case studies

Experience Barnsley Museum shortlisted for national Family Friendly Museum Award

Experience Barnsley Museum has been shortlisted for the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award. The charity Kids in Museums has run a prestigious annual award for 16 years, recognising the most family friendly heritage sites in the UK. It's the only museum award to be judged by families.

From late March to early June, families across the UK voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. A panel of museum experts then whittled down hundreds of nominations to a shortlist of 16 heritage attractions. Experience Barnsley Museum is competing against two other museums in the Best Accessible Museum category.

The Best Accessible Museum category celebrates museums making excellent efforts to include families with children or young people who have special educational needs and disabilities. Shortlisted museums will also be given feedback on how they can further improve their offer for families.

At Experience Barnsley, visitors can uncover the incredible story of Barnsley, told through centuries-old artefacts, documents, films and recordings donated by people living and working in the Borough.

Councillor Robert Frost, Cabinet spokesperson for Place, said: “One of Barnsley Museum's main objectives is to be accessible to all. We want everyone to feel welcome, safe and included when they visit. We're delighted to have been shortlisted in this category as it's something we as an organisation feel so passionately about.”

Over the summer, the finalists will be visited by undercover family judges who will assess the shortlisted museums against the Kids in Museums manifesto. Their experiences will decide a winner for each award category and an overall winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award 2022. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.

Electric waste collection vehicle to be added to fleet

Our waste collection crews recently trialled a fully electric vehicle in Barnsley and found it was up to the challenge of emptying commercial waste bins across the borough. We already have 33 fully electric vehicles, which amount to 15 percent of our fleet, but this would be the first large commercial vehicle.

Councillor Higginbottom, spokesperson for Environment and Transport, said: “Making greener choices in the vehicles we use as a council is helping reduce carbon emissions and decrease our reliance on fossil fuels.”

Barnsley Museums at Worsbrough Mill to receive £180,000 to support community volunteering opportunities

Worsbrough Mill has been awarded £180,000 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, delivered by Arts Council England. Worsbrough Mill is an incredible place to volunteer with huge potential to support the community further. This fund will be used in collaboration with a range of partners from across Barnsley using partnership between local stakeholders to create new, high quality, volunteering opportunities.

The fund will develop skills and address loneliness and isolation, prioritising those most in need who face barriers to participation. The Volunteering Futures Fund was launched last year and will be distributed by Arts Council England. It will break down barriers to volunteering and enable organisations across the arts, culture, sport, civil society, youth and heritage sectors to continue their valuable work within local communities whilst volunteers enjoy the personal benefits of making a difference.

Those set to benefit most from the funding include young people and people with disabilities. Colleges, local councils, schools, health and wellbeing organisations are also among the recipients of the Fund.

Supporting National Clean Air Day

We supported National Clean Air day in June to remind everyone how we can play our part in improving air quality in our communities.

This year, the focus of the campaign is on how air pollution damages every organ in your body and can contribute to conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, dementia and strokes. Residents from across the borough have been asked to make a pledge and make a change.

In Barnsley, we’re always looking for ways to reduce pollution and create a cleaner, greener, healthier and more sustainable Barnsley and reach our goal of a net-zero Barnsley by 2045.

Household waste recycling centres consultation

In June, residents and businesses were invited to give feedback on our household waste recycling centres by taking part in a consultation. The current contract to manage and run the centres across Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham is due to end in October 2023.

The three councils are inviting residents' opinions on how the current service is run and where any improvements can be made. This will help us understand what changes, if any can be made to improve the service from October 2023 onwards. We’re also seeking opinions from local businesses on their waste disposal needs.

Councillor James Higginbottom, Cabinet spokesperson for Environment and Transport said: “Recycling and reducing waste is a really important part of protecting our environment. We want to encourage people to recycle wherever possible and our household waste recycling centres are integral to how we achieve that.

Achievements and highlights

  • The Victorian past of Elsecar is brought to life in a stunning new digital reconstruction.
  • £13 million plus investment to make sure Barnsley's council housing stock is maintained to a decent standard approved by Cabinet.
  • Penny Pie Park transformation reaches final stage with new outdoor spaces coming to life.
  • Electric waste collection vehicle added to council fleet after successful trial.

Enabling Barnsley CPR Header

Key outcomes

  • Our council is modern, inclusive, efficient, productive and high-performing.

Case studies

Celebrating Barnsley - the place of possibilities

June marked a whole year since the official launch of Barnsley's vision and ambitions for 2030. Over the last 12 months, our 2030 Board – made up of key stakeholders from across the borough – have been working together in partnership to drive our ambitions forward. Watch some of the fantastic stories from people that share our vision and the contributions they’ve made to Barnsley.

If you have a story to tell about you, a colleague, or a resident, please share it with us, and together we can inspire others to believe in the possibilities that Barnsley offers.

Councillor Sir Steve Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: “I’m really pleased with what we’ve achieved together with our partners over the past 12 months. It’s right for us to celebrate our fantastic borough and the people who live, work and visit here.

Barnsley really is the place of possibilities with the noticeable transformation happening across the borough, including the town centre, The Glass Works, and the range of job opportunities available in Barnsley at the moment. You can find out more on our Barnsley 2030 webpage.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Order of Distinction Award for health and safety achievements

We're celebrating after landing an internationally-recognised award for demonstrating high health and safety standards for 21 consecutive years. We've received a RoSPA Order of Distinction Health and Safety Award for working hard to ensure our staff get home safely to their families at the end of every working day.

Organisations receiving a RoSPA Award are recognised as world leaders in health and safety practice. Every year, nearly 2,000 entrants attempt to achieve the highest possible accolade in the UK's longest-running health and safety industry awards.

Julia Small, RoSPA's Achievements Director, said: "This is a fantastic and well-deserved accomplishment. All our award entrants demonstrate their unwavering commitment and passion for keeping people safe at work.

Reasonable adjustment disability passports

We've recently launched reasonable adjustment passports, creating a helpful tool to support disabled employees and those with health conditions. The benefits of the passport include:

  • supporting conversations between an employee and their line manager about the disability or health condition and any workplace adjustments needed.
  • formalising a record for that conversation, detailing adjustments agreed and when these should be reviewed.
  • encouraging conversations around less visible disabilities such as mental health conditions.

Importantly, if a staff member moves roles or gets a new line manager, it will help their new manager understand what workplace adjustments they have already been receiving and avoid starting the process over again.

Employee support – Menopause cafe

In April, we hosted the first Menopause Cafe session which was opened to employees on our employee support forum.

The event, which was sponsored by UNISON, brought together colleagues in a relaxed environment to share their own experiences and discuss tips and tricks to what has helped them when suffering from the side effects of the menopause. It also provided us with an opportunity to look at ways we can support staff in the workplace.

Barnsley wins e-tendering contract management

In January 2022, we announced that our e-tendering provider switched from Proactis to new provider, Mercell. Since then, we’ve shared a number of success stories from the Strategic Procurement and Contract Management team, highlighting the achievements and benefits reaped as a result of the transition. We’re delighted to share yet another fantastic update from the team.

Since the new contract went live, our Strategic Procurement and Contract Management team have been working hard to roll-out system training, ensure continuity and lead the way regionally. Responsibility of managing the contract with our e-tendering provider, Mercell, has recently been up for renewal via the Strategic Procurement Group (SPG) for Yorkshire and the Humber.

SPG vote bi-annually on which authority will contract-manage the e-tendering provider and we’re delighted to announce that this year, Barnsley was successful.

Achievements and highlights

  • We were successful in securing contract management of e­-tendering service.
  • We launched reasonable adjustment passports, a tool to support disabled employees and those with health conditions.
  • We received RoSPA Order of Distinction Award for health and safety achievements.
  • June marked a year since the official launch of Barnsley's vision and ambitions for 2030.