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 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 2 2021/22

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Key outcomes

  • 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

Case studies

Transition from children’s to adults social care

We received a referral from a young person who has been in receipt of local authority care from a very young age and was looking to draw on adult social care services as they approached adulthood.

During our conversations with the young person they described themselves as having little independent living skills but could travel alone and budget with small amounts of money.

Quite a lot of support was provided by the children’s home staff team. The young person had needs on the autism spectrum and at times would self harm as they were finding it difficult to manage their own emotions.

Through support from adult social care they have received recovery services support and have developed their levels of independence. They also now only experience occasional challenges with their behaviour which they are managing through reflection and coaching. This has led to the young person securing employment, feeling more confident to engage in a sports club and they are now looking to secure their own tenancy.

Moving Mental Health Forward

In partnership with Creative Minds, a charity hosted by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, we launched an exciting Moving Mental Health Forward scheme.

The scheme aims to help local organisations, groups, and clubs involved in sport, physical activity, and movement to create a positive mental health culture in their settings. It will also encourage settings to be more open to having conversations about mental health and provide support to those who need it.

Organisations, groups and clubs will be able to access training, support events, messaging support, connection to mental health services and be able to access an activation grant fund of up to £1000 to support their efforts.

LGC finalist public/private partnership

Barnsley has experienced higher rates of infection and death during the pandemic than other parts of the country.

Barnsley Council’s Public Health and Regulation team has worked in partnership with XPO Logistics to tackle the health, social and economic harms suffered by some of our most vulnerable communities with significant impact.

A constant common thread in our rates of infection includes deprivation, inequalities and exclusion. Our unique collaboration has prioritised these threads through people, inclusion and wellbeing and is continuing to do all it can to adapt to the ever changing operating environment and health landscape.

Through the recognised value of assessing risk early in the pandemic, the partnership identified the long term nature of the innovative controls required to enable the business to be more resilient and allow them to continue trading throughout the period of emergency restrictions. This has included new buildings, extra buses for workers to allow social distancing, thermographic cameras, sensor toilet and tap installation, biomisting programmes and proximity sensors for staff.

Residents views sought on safety

In quarter 2 we sought Barnsley residents views on crime and anti social behaviour in Barnsley via a survey created by the Safer Barnsley Partnership Board (SBPB).

The survey will help to tackle local issues, helping make Barnsley the place of possibilities where residents and visitors feel safer.

The results of the consultation will be used to plan the next set of priorities that the Safer Barnsley Partnership will focus on in 2022-2023.

Two 'Take a Seat' benches installed in Barnsley

Age Friendly Barnsley, a partnership led by Communities at Barnsley Council together with Age UK Barnsley, is pleased to announce the installation of two new places to sit as part of its ‘Take a Seat Barnsley’ campaign.

The campaign is a response to various consultations and conferences where older people in Barnsley have expressed their wish for more seating to enable them to get out and about. The location, design and size of the seats will vary across the borough, some will be outdoors, some urban, some rural, whilst others may be in shops or indoor areas.

This is a great new initiative, which is not just for Barnsley’s older people, it’s for everyone. The aim is to encourage people to get out and about more by providing suitable stopping places, which will hopefully help combat the physical deconditioning that’s affected people as a result of the pandemic.

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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

LGC finalist Early Help Navigator

The Early Help Navigator Role has been developed and implemented as a partnership between the Early Start and Families Service and Barnsley Hospital.

This is an excellent example of innovation in children's services to provide the right early help and intervention support to families at the right time.

The service, hospital staff and commissioners are proud of the impact this role is having on identifying and signposting to early help services at the earliest opportunity. The purpose of the role has been to engage with children, young people and their families at the point of their attendance at hospital, where assessment based on joint triage and listening to the voice of the child and family identifies that they would benefit from early help services and support. 

The role plays a strong part in our approach to meeting the needs of children who need help and protection, in particular early help enabling them to achieve positive outcomes and meet their full potential.

Rising star award for our apprentice

Barnsley Council’s apprentice Corey Barron won the Rising Star award at the Sheffield City Region Apprenticeship Awards 2021. Dominic Blood and Joe Cartwright were also nominated for an award in the Health and Public Service Apprentice of the Year category, while James Morris was nominated in the Mentor of the Year category.

Corey has shown true grit and determination alongside a passion for IT whilst supporting colleagues. This award recognises his efforts and outstanding individual contribution. He is a key team player who has worked hard to achieve his personal goals alongside his colleagues who are immensely proud of what he has achieved.

Barnsley Libraries Summer Reading Challenge

Organised by charity The Reading Agency and the UK public library network, the Summer Reading  Challenge was the UK’s biggest annual reading promotion for children aged four to 11.

The Summer Reading Challenge combines free access to books with fun, creative activities during the summer holidays. Throughout the challenge, library staff and young volunteers support the children, helping them to discover new authors and illustrators and to explore a wide range of different types of books and ways of reading.

This year, The Reading Agency teamed up with WWF for a very special nature themed challenge 610 children took part in the challenge with almost half completing it! During the challenge period 485 children became new members and 1744 children’s books were issued.

GCSE results published

We collected the GCSE results from schools across the borough and we’re extremely proud of what pupils have achieved in what has been such a difficult year.

Almost all schools have seen improvements compared to 2019 the last year when students sat exams. In 2020 GCSE pupils were centre assessed based on what their teachers expected them to achieve in exams. However, this year, students have been given a teacher assessed grade that considers a range of evidence, including practice exams and coursework.

First Class BSc for one of our degree apprentices

After four years studying part time at Sheffield Hallam University as a Degree Apprentice within our IT Services, Josh Parker has been awarded a First Class Bachelor of Science with Honours Digital Technology Solutions Professional Degree (Security). Well done Josh!

Sara Hydon, Head of IT, said: "Degree Apprenticeships provide real life work experience, whilst applying the academic theory you gain from studying a degree. Josh was the first of our Apprentices to achieve a degree and we cannot begin to tell you how proud we are.

Success for Sue with Adult Skills and Community Learning

Sue started her learning journey with Barnsley Adult Skills Community Learning after feeling isolated. Learning has improved Sue’s confidence, and now she’s working towards gaining a degree with the Open University.

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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

LCG awards finalist for Principal Towns

The £5 million Principal Towns scheme was developed to support economic growth aligned to the needs of our local areas. It is delivering change across areas, including the public realm, employment, culture and art, environment and health, security and local businesses in our Principal Towns of Cudworth, Goldthorpe, Hoyland, Penistone, Royston and Wombwell.

Investment has been made into a shop front grant scheme, enabling shops to apply for a grant to improve the front of their shops, using local contractors to carry out works. The grant scheme has been extremely successful, not only in the physical works of improving the shops on the high street but also providing work for local Barnsley businesses.

Improvements to local high streets has been invaluable since COVID 19 resulted in the need to shop locally where possible.

Also, due to COVID 19 and the need for economic recovery, a further 1 5 million has since been allocated to develop investment plans for Principal Towns. Our ambitions are for these to deliver  interventions, such as business development, digital training, business led high street alliances, cultural opportunities, environmental improvements, education and skills development, created in partnership with local communities.

Glassworks official opening

The Glass Works opened and the new Public Square was unveiled on Thursday 9 September 2021.

This multi award winning development is something significant for Barnsley. It's built upon Barnsley's strong traditions and sense of community and provides a modern, accessible and inclusive destination for all.

We support the concept of The Glass Works Square being the new heart and soul of Barnsley and as such presented 'Love Art' by The Dream Engine at the opening event. This outdoor art show has a 12.5 metre inflatable heart as its stage and offered an aerial dance performance to engage the thousands of people that watched the show.

This main show was supported by walkabout performers, amazing bands and local groups like Barnsley Met Band, Frumptarn Guggenband, Stagecoach Performing Arts as well as storytelling with our very own Library @ the Lightbox.

We estimate over 10,000 people watched one of the shows on Saturday 11 to go with the amazing footfall figures of the opening of The Glass Works Square on Thursday 9 September.

Barnsley manufacturer ups production by 25 per cent

Barnsley-based engineering company has increased production by 25 per cent this year following a hike in post-pandemic orders.

LNS Turbo UK, based at Waterside Park, Wombwell, manufactures chip disposal systems for industrial cutting machines. The company’s increased capacity productivity has been supported by a programme of lean manufacturing development, organised via Enterprising Barnsley.

LNS, who currently employs 61 people, aims to recruit an additional ten people within the next 3 months, including two new engineering apprentices through the AMRC training centre.

The longer term outlook is also positive and there are plans to invest £1 million in the facility in 2022 to target new markets.

European visitors inspired by Barnsley’s digital campus

Visitors from across Europe were given an insight into how Barnsley has developed its thriving digital business community last week.

Representatives from Roeselare in Belgium, Alytus in Lithuania, Novska in Croatia and Rzeszow in Poland were welcomed to the Digital Media Centre (DMC) to learn more about the business hub and the Enterprising Barnsley business support programme.

Their visit marked the launch of 'Tech Revolution 2.0', a knowledge transfer network led by Barnsley and set up by URBACT, an ERDF funded programme committed to supporting urban renewal in smaller cities and towns across Europe.

Over the next eighteen months, the participating towns will work together to develop their own digital economies and create jobs, inspired by Barnsley’s example. URBACT recognised Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre and Enterprising Barnsley, the business support arm of Barnsley Council, as examples of good practice in digital transformation four years ago.

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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

Energising Barnsley with solar solutions

An innovative community energy project to be delivered in partnership with Energise Barnsley was approved by Barnsley Council Cabinet in July. The initiative will be the first of its kind in the UK and  leads the way in financing solar initiatives.

The key benefits from the proposal are:

  • Increasing the average energy efficiency score of Berneslai Homes properties.
  • The potential to save tenants money on their energy bills
  • Reduce carbon emissions over the life of the project
  • Provide £487,000 for community projects
  • Create and secure six jobs through the installation of the solar panels (PV)

Barnsley now has over 600 homes and 16 non-domestic properties with solar PV; with income associated with the installations (the feed in tariff scheme FITS) helping to pay back the original 2013 council funded project in full and paying back the community investors in 2015 with a 5% community bond.

The remaining FIT income associated with the 2013 installations will be allocated to energise Barnsley to raise community investment to install another 1000 solar PV's across the council's housing stock, in addition to maintaining the systems. This allows us to put money back into the community by reducing their energy bills and reducing their home's carbon footprint.

Local contractors (electricians, solar installers, roofers and scaffolders for example) will be trained to install and maintain the solar PV systems.

The programme will be available to those residents living in suitable properties (subject to survey) and, where possible, those at most risk of fuel poverty in Barnsley.

Urbed Town Centre Strategy

In Q2 we sought views on a new plan looking at how Barnsley Town Centre can move towards being zero carbon and the direction future development should take.

The draft plan has been prepared by award winning design and research consultancy Urbed. The report is an exciting opportunity to consider the future of the Town Centre. It suggests measures for post COVID recovery and looks at future trends.

It reflects on work already planned such as The Seam (the Digital Campus at the Courthouse site including DMC 01 and DMC 02) and the Heritage Action Zone on Eldon Street, and suggests other interventions that will complement the fantastic regeneration work that has taken place already through the Glassworks, library and new town square.

This future strategy will ensure that the Town Centre is vibrant, safe and accessible for everyone.

Suggested projects include more green space within the town centre, as well as more housing close to the town centre, better links to enable active travel like walking and cycling, and increased take up of public transport.

£3.8m restoration project at Cannon Hall

A major new woodland discovery trail, boats back on the lake for the first time in nearly 100 years and two miles of new paths are just some of the new features at Cannon Hall Museum and Gardens thanks to the project.

The bulk of the £3.8m funding has come from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support this Parks for People initiative, dubbed Restoring the Glory, Revealing the Secrets, and has been four years in the making with the major elements now ready for public unveiling this weekend.

The woodland adventure trail is now open and project highlights include:

  • 1 hectare of new play space created with the trail
  • Three historic building completely restored (ice house, privy
    midden, cottages)
  • 24 000 cubic metres of silt dredged from lakes
  • New lake banks created with this silt
  • 10 000 new plants
  • More than 2 miles of new pathways
  • Major drainage work
  • Fairyland refurbishment
  • Pleasure grounds restored to original beauty
  • New chainsaw sculptures arriving late summer
  • New volunteer hub in former gardener’s cottage
  • Renovated the derelict north range glass house

Boats have now permanently returned to the lake for the first time in almost 100 years after 24,000 cubic metres of silt was dredged from the water and more than two miles of new pathways have been laid following major drainage improvements.

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Key outcomes

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

Case studies

Public Services Network Accreditation

We achieved our Public Services Network (PSN) accreditation in Q2. PSN compliance is a way to report our security arrangements to central government. 

It is how we demonstrate that our organisation’s security arrangements, policies and controls are sufficiently rigorous for us to allow us to interact with the PSN and those connected to it.

National Registrars Day

On 1 July we celebrated National Registrars Day by saying a massive thank you to our registrars who’ve worked incredibly hard during the pandemic and played a key part in registering some of life’s happiest and saddest moments.

The new national day has been created to recognise the efforts from registration officers across England and Wales, and will be celebrated every year on 1 July, the anniversary of when the service was formed in 1837. 

Registration services across the country were placed under an extreme amount of pressure when the first national lockdown was announced. While our team adapted to this new style of working really well, they had to contend with significantly more deaths during peak weeks and were often the first people that recently bereaved people spoke to about their loss.

No Place For Hate Campaign

Our No Place for Hate campaign launched on Monday 19 July, championing our borough to be the place of possibilities where nobody faces abuse, online or in their community.

It’s easy to forget that, behind our social media accounts, are real people trying to do their jobs. We want to make it clear being the victim of targeted abuse is never part of someone’s job or role, whatever sector they work in. No Place for Hate in Barnsley isn’t just a council campaign. To really make a  difference, we need everyone to show a united stance against hate and abuse in our borough.

Annual canvass

The annual canvass took place in July 2021. The canvass ensures that we can keep the electoral register up to date, identifying any residents who are not registered to vote so that they can be encouraged to do so.

Corporate Debt Team shortlisted for prestigious awards

The Corporate Debt team have been shortlisted for the following awards at the IRRV Performance Awards (Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation)

  • Revenues Team of the Year
  • Most Improved Team of the Year
  • Excellence in Innovation (Operational) in partnership with Arum

The team have demonstrated continuous improvement which has enabled us to deliver an excellent customer facing service and deliver positive outcomes for the council.

The team have achieved:

  • the highest business rates collection (98.27%) and the only authority to see an increase in the previous year’s performance in its benchmarking group throughout COVID-19
  • the third-highest Council Tax collection rate (96.26%) in the benchmarking group throughout COVID-19
  • increased customer satisfaction by reducing call abandoned rate and call wait time by 50% in the last 3 years
  • by working with Arum, the team demonstrated that innovation is possible without investing huge amounts of money into new technology
  • created a dedicated COVID-19 financial support helpline ensuring customers remained supported and our priority
  • shown that utilising commercial techniques from the private sector can work in a local authority
  • is one of only five authorities to see an increase in performance in 2020-21