As a borough, we have some key challenges ahead of us such as:
- A further £45m to be saved by 2020
- An aging population: 16.2% growth in residents aged 65+
- Increasing life expectancy at birth: currently males 59.7 years, females 61.3 years
- 11.5% of residents claim out of work benefits
- 58% of pupils gain 5+ GCSEs A* - C including English and Maths
- Only 64% of children are school ready at age 5
- 13.5% of our communities rank in the top 10% most deprived in England
Despite the budget cuts and to help us meet these challenges, we have invested £7.5m in local community groups to make sure communities are strong and resilient. We have re-designed children’s services with the introduction of Start Well Family Centres to give every child the best possible start in life.
Through working differently, we have transferred buildings to the community and supported them to deliver local services. We have also reduced the number of office buildings and re-organised our internal processes to make them as efficient and cost effective as they can be.
We have made many of our services digital so that residents have access 24/7 all year round.
We understand the financial hardship that families in the borough are facing so unlike other councils we don’t want to increase Council Tax.
We are also committed to keeping libraries open and keep our frontline staff, such as school crossing patrols, who we know are so valued in their communities.