Calderdale is well on track to becoming the best borough in the North.
That’s according to the Council’s annual performance review report, which will be discussed at the next Cabinet meeting on Monday 11 June.
It’s thanks to good progress over the last 12 months on priority areas that make a difference to local people, including:
- A reduction of over 50% in the time between a child becoming looked after and moving in with an adoptive family.
- A 13% increase in the take-up of two-year-old early education funding over the last two years, placing Calderdale 20th in the country.
- An increase in Superfast Broadband coverage to 93.6%, and more Calderdale residents having basic digital skills (77% of adults).
- A 3% reduction in people aged 65+ receiving long-term social care, with improvements in choice and independence for our more vulnerable residents.
- One-third less waste being sent to landfill in 2017/18 than the year before.
Cllr Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources, Performance and Business Change, said:
“Our overall ambition is to be the best borough in the North, and everything we do is based on our priorities to reduce inequalities, create a sustainable future and grow the economy.
“We’re delighted that Calderdale is now ranked 5th out of 20 northern boroughs – up two places from last year. This means we’re performing well on key actions that have the biggest impact on local people’s lives. We know there are also areas for improvement, and we’ll continue to strive to get better. Priorities for 2018/19 include stepping up action on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour and developing the Northgate site to provide a brand new sixth form college in Halifax town centre. We will continue to build our Vision 2024 to make Calderdale a place where people want to live, work and visit.”
Growing the economy
It’s been a really exciting year for Calderdale’s economy. The reopening of The Piece Hall – which has seen footfall of 1.75 million since August 2017 – and other major developments like the new Central Library and Archives and the regeneration of Square Chapel Arts Centre and Calderdale Industrial Museum have led to Halifax being compared to major cities in Europe.
The Council sees this as the start of a transformation, putting the town and the wider borough on the map nationally and internationally as a heritage and cultural destination. During 2017/18 Calderdale’s visitor economy rose by 11%, is worth £328 million and supports over 6000 jobs. The number of children’s books issued by the Central Library last year was over three times higher than before the move to the impressive new building.
The Council continues its commitment to encouraging local people to be more active to improve health and wellbeing. 2017/18 saw Calderdale being successfully selected as one of 12 pilot sites for major funding by Sport England to increase physical activity and help make Calderdale the most active borough in the North by 2021. The Council will continue to use its unique landscape, parks and open spaces and inclusive activities to help everyone get involved.
Boosting the quality of education also remains a priority. 90% of Calderdale schools are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, and key stage attainment continues to improve at twice the pace of the national rate. Millions of pounds of Council investment into new buildings at Todmorden High School and Copley and Moorside Primary Schools will build on this success.
The winter weather created some challenges in 2017/18, but the Council spread 31,000 tonnes of grit on its roads to keep Calderdale safe and moving. £19 million has been spent on a number of major capital schemes to improve transport and flood infrastructure, and grants to over 1,350 homes and 590 businesses are helping them to prepare and build resilience for any future flooding.
The Council will continue to build a sustainable future by spending around £75 million over the next three years on capital projects for roads, street lights and flood defences, and by building on the great resilience of Calderdale people. Their outstanding kindness is reflected in the fact that 1,500 volunteers completed projects at 200 locations last year, across hundreds of community projects.
The annual report measures the Council’s performance against 78 key indicators, showing how it is doing against its own targets and compared to other councils. Information on how the Council is performing is available all year round on Calderdale Data Works.
The report will be discussed at the Cabinet meeting on Monday 11 June 2018 at Halifax Town Hall from 6pm.