Measuring the Council’s performance in uncertain times

Cllr Tim Swift

Calderdale Council has published its annual performance review report, which measures its progress towards being the ‘best borough in the North’ and achieving the aspirations of the Vision2024 for Calderdale.

The report, which will be presented to the Council’s Cabinet on Monday 6 July 2020, covers the period from April 2019 up until the end of March 2020. Although COVID-19 only impacts a short period of this review, the report acknowledges the challenges ahead in responding to and recovering from the pandemic.

The progress of the Council is measured in a number of priority areas, with an aspiration to be the ‘best borough in the North’. Progress is also being measured to support Vision2024, to achieve a talented, enterprising, kind, resilient and distinctive borough.

The perception of the Council’s progress from residents is also monitored and has improved markedly over the past year. Standout performance is in the perception of arts, culture and heritage opportunities and 85% of those responding attended more than one Calderdale attraction or event in the past year.

The value of the borough’s visitor economy saw an increase of 1.4% in 2019/20, to an estimated £349million. Of course, this is one of the areas that will be impacted by coronavirus and challenges going forward include how to support Calderdale’s tourism organisations to help them adapt to the ‘new normal’ and ensure a safe place to visit for all.

Although the challenges ahead are uncertain and unprecedented, one consistency is the kindness of the borough’s residents, with the performance report highlighting that people in Calderdale are more likely than the regional or national average to take part in volunteering opportunities. Recent months have seen an overwhelming community volunteer response to both COVID-19 and the destructive flooding in February 2020.

Other standout achievements for 2019/20 include:

  • A high proportion of the borough’s secondary schools are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted and attendance is above the regional and national average
  • An improvement in the obesity levels of children, particularly for reception age children who are now less likely than their regional peers to be overweight.

The report also highlights areas where the Council has experienced challenges in its performance in 2019/20 and the support and actions being put in place to improve performance in these areas.

The Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift, said:

“Even before COVID-19, councils across the country were facing significant challenges, with financial pressures, rising demand for our services and uncertainties related to the UK’s exit from the European Union. The additional impact from coronavirus means that there may never have been a time of greater unknowns for local government.

“Although the world may be a different place compared to 2019, the annual performance review report helps us to recognise how we performed and directs changes to strategic focus where appropriate.

“Going forward, one certainty is our ongoing commitment to residents and businesses and we’ll continue to build on what makes Calderdale special to help us rise to the challenges ahead together.”

The Performance Annual Review report will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet which will be held virtually on Monday 6 July. The meeting will be live streamed through the Council’s YouTube channel from 6pm.




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