Cheshire East Council is on track to deliver its open, fairer and greener vision for the borough.
The council’s corporate policy committee received a report on progress towards its corporate plan priorities over the last 12 months.
The council’s corporate plan sets out 20 priorities under the aims of open, fair and green. Cheshire East Council aims to be an open and enabling organisation, which empowers and cares about people and is working to make the borough a thriving and sustainable place.
The report showed that the council continues to deliver around 500 services to 398,800 residents. With around 3,500 staff and just over 3,000 staff in Cheshire East maintained schools.
Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Despite the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and setting up new services and support for residents and businesses, significant progress has been made over the last year.
“I would like to thank staff at the council for their flexibility and their continued dedication to delivering services over the last year.
“Cheshire East is a place where people want to be. Our population has increased by 7.7 per cent (28,700) since 2011 and we remain the third largest authority in the North West (behind Manchester and Liverpool).”
Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader, said: “The last year has seen some key achievements against our strategic aims. For ‘open’, we have moved to a committee system style of decision making and made it easier to access data about the council. We also rolled out a customer charter as part of the new customer experience strategy.”
Councillor Corcoran added: “Under ‘fair’, we have been supporting Ukrainian and Afghan refugees, approved the ‘all age carer strategy’ for 2021-2025 and continued to focus on achieving excellence in social work practices – with the quality of our social working improving, according to the report received by Ofsted in December 2021.
“There has been a notable focus on improving services for those with special educational needs. And a high proportion of our schools continue to be rated good or outstanding.
“Under our ‘green’ priorities, we have enhanced capacity in the housing standards and adaptations service and approved key strategies for homelessness and rough sleeping, with 717 residents prevented from becoming homeless.
“We have seen 600,000 visitors to our libraries with over 1.5 million books borrowed. Visits to our leisure centres remain strong with over 2 million visitors alongside a thriving Learn to Swim scheme. We have also refurbished Nantwich leisure centre and continue to progress work at Congleton.
“We have also continued to make progress with carbon neutral ambitions. We have planted 22 hectares of trees since 2019, secured £4.8M funding for energy efficiency improvements for people with disabilities, supporting their independence, and reduced the council’s carbon footprint.”
Councillor Browne concluded by saying: “Tatton Park is continuing to develop with its business plans for the future, alongside investments in parks and playground equipment across the borough. We have also made significant progress on major infrastructure projects such as the Poynton Relief Road, bus service improvement plan and other regeneration projects such as Macclesfield and Crewe – with Crewe being shortlisted as a HQ for Great British Railways.”
The meeting concluded that overall Cheshire East Council has made good and significant progress despite the challenges and progress has been made in all areas towards achieving a vision of an open, fairer and greener Cheshire East.