Council shows progress in care, jobs and digital services
Warrington Borough Council is performing well in protecting vulnerable people, supporting jobs growth and improving on-line access to services, according to a new report.
The council’s latest quarterly performance report reveals that progress is being made in a number of key areas. These include:
Vulnerable children and young people: 54% of all children and young people with a family support plan have shown improvements in their outcomes following support from services. This is above the council’s target (50%) and an improvement on the previous quarter (52%). At the same time, the council’s work to provide stable foster care or residential care placements is having an impact, with 90% of Warrington children having either one or no placement moves.
Vulnerable adults: The Advanced Quality Alliance (AQuA’s) benchmarking report for frail, older people – which looks at areas such as re-admission rates, delayed transfer of care (bed days) and permanent admissions into residential care – has shown Warrington as one of the best performing authorities in the region. In addition, Care Quality Commission inspections show 88% of Warrington’s care homes are now rated as ‘good’, or ‘outstanding’.
Employment: The latest figures indicate that Warrington is maintaining its position as better than Northwest and England averages for employment, as improvements continue in reducing the number of out of work benefits claimants and increasing numbers of those economically active. There are currently 1.03 jobs for every resident aged 16-64 eligible to work, comparing to the figure for England (0.84) figures.
Digital services: Over the most recent quarter, 49% of customer contacts received have been digital. This is an increase of almost 10% on last quarter and almost 20% from the same time last year. It is an indication that the work being done to improve digital content and make online services simpler for customers is having an impact.
Regeneration: The Time Square Regeneration Scheme continues to make good progress, with the appointment of a contractor to construct a multiplex cinema, restaurants units, permanent market hall, council offices and public square. The temporary market due to open at the end of August, with the new multi-storey car park on Academy Way due to partially open in October.
Executive board member for personnel and communications, Cllr Hitesh Patel, said: “It’s vital that we deliver services which improve life for our most vulnerable people, as well as ensuring Warrington is a place of opportunity. That’s why it’s great news that we are making good progress in the areas of care and employment. It’s also pleasing to see that our investment in digital services is benefiting our customers.
“There’s still a lot to do, but this shows we are heading in the right direction and improving some of the services which matter most to people. The improvements we are making are down to the efforts of each and every one of our staff, who are working hard to help us overcome the huge pressures caused by the Government’s cuts to local authority budgets.”