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.
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 Barnsley - People can access all the care and support they need, at the right time and in the right place.
- Learning Barnsley - The 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 Barnsley - Barnsley 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 Barnsley - Protecting our borough for future generations.
- Enabling Barnsley - Our priority to ensure that our council is modern, inclusive, efficient, productive and high-performing.
This report is a supplementary narrative report to the quarterly dashboard which provides more detail in relation to performance for the 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 (CSF), 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 are achieving our targets, and where there are areas for improvement.
Quarter 1 2021/22
- People are safe and feel safe
- People live independently with good physical and mental health for as long as possible possible
- We have reduced inequalities in health and income across the borough
Key achievements and activities
- April: Good Food Boxes support families to stay healthy over Easter
- May: What's Your Move website launched to help improve physical activity levels
- June: School Street road closure project celebrates Clean Air Day 2021
Our good food boxes were available over the Eater and spring half term holidays. They contained ingredients to make delicious and healthy meals at lunchtime over the school holidays. They were funded by the Department for Education and contained high quality fruit and vegetables, bread, cereals and potatoes to create nutritious lunches. The boxes also contained an activity pack which included lots of healthy activities to enjoy over the school holidays.
Children's Social Work health check
Each year we ask our social work workforce to share their views about the council and the environment in which they work. Some of the highlights of this year's survey include:
- 98.8% feel that Barnsley is a good place to work all or most of the time
- 97.6% feel positive about their role with Barnsley children and family services
- 97.6% agree that the organisation is a learning organisation with a positive learning culture
- 97.6% agree that communication between staff and managers is effective
We remain an employer of choice, and 2020 has been our fourth consecutive year of having zero Agency Social Workers.
COVID 19 vaccination under 40 years
The Barnsley Vaccination Community Engagement Group has identified key areas for vaccination focus as defined by our local intelligence Groups include; migrants, maternity/sexual health services, young adults (age 18 +), young people (up to 18), men under 40, geographical areas and workplaces.
Vaccination data, as at 10 August 2021, suggests that 84% (171,934) of Barnsley residents aged 18 and over have had a first dose and 74.5% (152,583) have had a second dose.
Take up of vaccinations in the age groups 18 to 35 are around 67% on 3 August 2021.
Reds in the Community are launching a brand new programme, Team Talk, designed to support the mental well-being of men in Barnsley through social activities and chats with like-minded people.
We fund the initiative to create a place where men can meet, open up, take some time out and talk about things in a relaxed and supportive environment.
“I am smiling underneath my mask”
This was a quote from one of the staff asked about her role as a Reablement worker. Working within very strict health and safety policies and until recently social distancing guidelines Reablement has continued to be a cornerstone to the way Barnsley is responding to the Pandemic. With a focus on getting people home and building their independence, 52% of people in June had no on-going support needs after support from team. The team has worked in partnership with the Hospital and community health teams to support hospital discharges and relieve capacity pressures in the community.
A day in the life of… Director of Public Health Annual Report
Back on Tuesday 3 November 2020, we asked people who lived and worked in Barnsley to complete a diary entry for that day, recording their thoughts and feelings about their mental and physical health. The diary entries have been read and analysed to create the Director of Public Health report 2020. This year the report focused on the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on our lives.
We received 320 entries, and six key themes were identified:
- Having good mental health and positivity
- Keeping our spirits high
- The importance of a good job and work-life balance
- Our connections with others
- Helping each other and community spirit
- Our self-care
The findings are backed up with anonymous quotes from residents. The quotes showed a range of experiences and emotions, including sadness, boredom, isolation and fear - but also love, care, hope and connection.
- 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.
Key achievements and activities
- April: 93% of children get their first choice of primary school
- May: SEND Preparation for Adulthood Strategy discussed at cabinet
- June: Barnsley schools invited to virtual Climate Change Conference
The Power of Learning on Mental Health
The Wellbeing Team within Adult Skills and Community Learning are working hard to support learners in developing improved wellbeing and mental health. Through creative activities including art, sugar craft and sewing as well as positive thinking classes, learners develop new skills, become more active, connect with and support others and learn to pay attention to the present. Research and experience shows us this can have an amazing impact.
In her recent feedback, one learner told us: “If I can do it anyone can, from not seeing a future and wanting to end my life at worst, to feeling life has never been better this is who I am and what I want to do.”
The barriers created by mental ill health and wellbeing issues can have an enormous impact on our lives and now, more than ever before, we need to be supporting those in our community to find the strength to work towards overcoming them. Every step a learner takes makes a difference from growing the confidence to converse with others, to developing the motivation and resilience needed to move on to further learning or employment.
Our libraries support World Book Night
World Book Night is the annual celebration of books and reading that brings people from all backgrounds together for one reason – to inspire others to read more. World Book Night is presented by The Reading Agency in partnership with Specsavers.
Reading can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing, and this year, as part of the celebration, Barnsley Libraries have delivered 160 copies of Stories to Make You Smile, a collection of uplifting short stories, to Barnsley Hospice and Barnsley Hospital staff, with help from the Barnsley Hospital Library, Knowledge and Information Service. These books will be distributed to the amazing staff, who have worked so hard and tirelessly during the past year.
96.9% of Barnsley children get their first choice of secondary school this year
The largest percentage of first choice offers achieved in recent years led to families across Barnsley celebrating the excellent news that their child had secured their preferred choice of Secondary School.
The increase to the use of the online process for families has led to a more streamlined, and effective approach and as a result of the effective partnership working between the Schools Admissions team and Secondary Schools, 2607 children received their first choice.
LGA Apprentice of the Year event
Casey, our Learning and Development Apprentice, recently took part in the LGA Apprentice of the Year event. It was an exciting opportunity to learn, network and showcase her skills with other apprentices. You can read Casey’s full story below:
"I had to think on my feet during some of the activities and this was quite a challenge, but taking part in the activities made me realise how much I've learned during my apprenticeship, and I enjoyed demonstrating the knowledge I've gained and putting this into practice"
Casey, Level 3 Learning and Development apprentice
Operation Encompass approved by 100% of schools in Barnsley
This is a national incentive which ensures that safeguarding leads in schools are made aware when a child is a risk from domestic abuse within a 24 hour period. Schools already work hard to ensure that safeguarding takes place, but by working collectively together, we can ensure that children are supported and their behaviour and actions are understood.
Signing up to the initiative reflects the commitment from everyone involved to further safeguard and protect our children and young people.
- 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
Key achievements and activities
- April: Let's Get Barnsley Back in Business campaign launched
- May: Fantastical Beasts visited the town centre
- June: The Glassworks wins a major national regeneration award
New HQ building takes shape for multiple services provider
Work is progressing on a new HQ building for industry leaders USL at the Enterprise 36 industrial park in Tankersley, Barnsley.
USL Group provides services to the telecoms, utilities, construction and energy sectors.
Barnsley Economic Renewal Plan
A £2m economic recovery programme to help Barnsley’s communities and businesses bounce back from COVID-19 and adapt to the changes it will leave has been approved. The programme is designed to help protect existing jobs and bring new jobs to the borough by supporting economic recovery in the short and medium-term. This will be achieved through a package of immediate interventions to help stabilise the local economy and return it to growth.
Barnsley’s Fantastical Beasts visited Barnsley town centre between 29 May and 13 June. Eight giant willow beasts inspired by local legends were hiding in various locations of the town centre. The free trail started at Barnsley Town Hall and a special bonus beast was located at the Metrodome.
Barnsley posts UK’s strongest growth in job opportunities
A study of 63 cities and large towns by think tank Centre for Cities found that job postings now exceeded pre-pandemic levels in nine locations, led by Barnsley, with a 21% rise in the number of job ads tracked. The parcel company Hermes is building its largest warehouse in Europe in the town, spending £60m on a distribution hub named Colossus near Junction 36 of the M1 and creating 1,300 jobs. Asos also has a large warehouse just outside the town.
Principal Towns – Shop Front Scheme
Throughout Quarter 1 there have been a further 41 shops sign up to the shop front grant scheme, taking the total number of shops completed or with a funding agreement to just over 450. Barnsley Libraries are excited to be able to share the news that over the last few weeks, they have been updating their signage as part of this scheme
Planning Award for the Glassworks
The Glass Works has been crowned the winner at the prestigious Regeneration Award at the Planning Awards 2021.
The Awards, which are organised by the industry leading planning resource for town planning professionals in the UK, are one of the most coveted and respected awards within the property industry and reward excellence in professional planning work, placemaking, urban design, economic development and regeneration.
The judges said that the Barnsley town centre scheme was “a great example of how strategic development and targeted investment can play a huge part in revitalising a local economy”.
BMBC Acquisitions programme
Last financial year’s acquisitions programme was hugely successful, with the £3M budget fully utilised acquiring 28 properties across of a range of property types in areas of housing need. A third of these were highly energy-efficient new-build homes. In addition to increasing the overall provision of affordable housing stock within the borough, one of the key objectives of the programme is to add properties for which there is a specific need not met by the existing stock profile.
Berneslai Homes has a particular demand for larger family homes, larger bungalows and properties which are suitable for adaptation. These property types featured in last year’s acquisitions and will continue be a key focus for this financial year.
- 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
Key achievements and activities
- April: Approval sought for more electric vehicles
- May: Dearne Valley Wetlands designated Site of Special Interest
- June: Work of volunteers celebrated during Volunteers Week
Sustainability and climate change team celebrate Earth Day
Barnsley Council’s Sustainability and Climate Change team are celebrating Earth Day today to demonstrate our support for environmental protection. We’re doing this by making our own pledges to cut our own personal carbon emissions to contribute to a more Sustainable Barnsley!
Community litter pick for World Earth Day
Worsbrough Environmental Group organised a community litter pick/ environmental work day on World Earth Day.
Worsbrough Tidy group had already identified an area that was desperately in need of cleaning up but went beyond their capacity. With help from other services and organisations the area was cleaned up to a manageable state that local residents and the Tidy Group could keep on top of. The group identified key services that could support either before or on the day, including Kingstone Ward Alliance as the area identified ran into the Kingstone Ward.
Electric vehicles in council fleet
Cabinet have approved the replacement of 11 more petrol and diesel vehicles in the council’s fleet with ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs). It takes the number of electric vehicles in the council fleet from 30 to 41. Where it isn’t possible to replace vehicles with ULEV, for example with very large vehicles such as refuse collection vehicles, these will meet the very latest emissions standards. A further 55 vehicles will be ordered on behalf of Berneslai Homes, seven of which will be ULEVs.
This was made possible by the installation of electric vehicle charging points for up to 30 vehicles at the council’s Smithies depot last year. All the electricity to charge the vehicles is purchased through the council's 100 per cent renewable electricity tariff.
The new batch of vehicles, including those ordered for Berneslai Homes, will give a reduction in tailpipe emissions of 75 per cent compared to the vehicles they replace. This helps the council work toward its goal to achieve carbon net-zero by 2040.
New site of special interest
A cluster of sites along the River Dearne and its tributary the River Dove, including our own Worsbrough Mill and Country Park, has been officially recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England.
Natural England has officially notified that the Dearne Valley Wetlands is a SSSI for its nationally important bird species, including the willow tit, as well as wetland birds such as bittern, garganey, lapwing, redshank and avocet.
The SSSI links different pockets of valuable habitat in the Dearne Valley area between Pool Ings near Royston in the north, a large area between Worsbrough in the west, and Adwick Washland in the east.
Natural England worked with a number of organisations on the SSSI proposal, including the RSPB, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Garganey Trust, Environment Agency, Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster councils, together known as the Dearne Valley Green Heart Partnership.
Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: "This designation demonstrates that through much hard work and commitment, it’s possible to see tremendous recovery of habitats and animals in areas where more than a century of industry has weighed heavily on the landscape.
"We are now able to look forward to further recovery of our natural environment alongside further growth of our economy, through sustainable development and enhancement of this SSSI going hand-in-hand."
- Our council is modern, inclusive, efficient, productive and high-performing
Key achievements and activities
- April: Barnsley's roadmap out of lockdown plan published
- May: New Council Plan 2021-24 launched
- June: Barnsley 2030 Plan launched
Silver well at work award
We’ve been awarded the Silver BeWell@Work Award as part of our ongoing commitment to improving our employees' health and wellbeing, and we are well on the way to achieving the Gold level.
The South Yorkshire BeWell@work Award is designed to help businesses work towards and develop good practice in workplace health and wellbeing. It helps organisations create a culture that aligns with their overall business goals, enhances reputation and helps make an organisation a great place to work. This is a fantastic achievement and couldn’t be made possible without the work carried out by the Wellbeing stakeholder group in putting together the Pulse surveys and developing and implementing the action plans. This is a great example of our value ‘We’re a team’.
Our programme of work to define our new ways of working has moved on significantly in Quarter 1.We are progressing a range of workstreams across the People, Workspace, Localities and Digital and continue to monitor and review our progress via Smart Working Board. Smart Working Principles have been agreed with SMT and BLT and the Smart Working Policy drafted and agreed . We have Set up a Localities Theme and agreed objectives and outcomes. A Separate BU6 Task and Finish Group has been set up to address their specific issues.
Change Management engagement sessions have been delivered to managers and employees and Smart Working Masterclasses delivered by IODA, over 1800 attendees. A Workspace Procurement & Design route has now been agreed and new furniture install being progressed on Level 1 Westgate. A New M365 based Booking System is now in development with Agilisys.
Vulnerability index development
We undertook a short project as a ‘proof of concept’ for our plans to extend the application of a ‘vulnerability index’ to alternative use cases – in this case working with the CCG to understand whether the tool could be useful for prioritising outpatient waiting lists at the hospital. We developed the technical components and database architecture required to build the index in a more generic way, such that it can be applied more easily to alternative use cases in the future. We also worked with the Information Governance team to understand the barriers and opportunities to data sharing. Our conclusion was that the tool could be extremely useful in this (and other) context(s), and we will work collaboratively with the CCG to iterate the product in the future.
Test and trace payments
We have received 1,132 applications for the test and trace support scheme in the first quarter of 21/22 of which 602 claims have been successful, paying out £301,000 to the community of Barnsley.
Social media reach
The investment in our social media channels is clearly paying off. The positive engagement data is testament to the work of the Communications and Marketing team and the engaging content they're creating to target information on our channels.
For Quarter 1 the total number of people engaged on Twitter was 11,338 and the total number of people engaged on Facebook (Likes, shares and comments) was 104,197.
A thank you from the Office of National Statistics
The Office for National Statistics (ONS), thanked the council and everyone who has been involved in supporting this process and for your contribution to its success. This was a truly collaborative piece of work from colleagues across the council who provided information linked ONS with key contacts in private and voluntary sectors, attended the planning group meetings and provided data and information.
Jason Zawadzki, Deputy Director of 2021 Census Operations said: “I would like to thank you for your support over the last few months; it has been invaluable to us and contributed to the high response rates we have achieved. Your support in the lead-up to Census 2021 and in the period around Census Day has helped boost return rates.