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Introduction to the Council Plan

At the heart of our plan is ensuring we provide maximum value for money for the council tax our residents pay. We'll do this by delivering the most efficient and effective services we can.


Our key priorities

Our key priorities are:

  • resilient, healthy and safe communities
  • high performing, value for money and resident focused services
  • effective early help for individuals and communities
  • a prosperous and green Derbyshire

The plan is reviewed and updated annually to ensure it continues to reflect our ambitions and priorities, and to report on our progress in delivering the commitments set out in the plan. The outbreak of coronavirus and the ensuing pandemic has had a significant impact on the work of the council. The plan reflects the vital community leadership role the council will continue to play, in ensuring work with partners and local communities addresses both the challenges and opportunities presented by COVID-19.

The plan also reflects the future aspirations the council has for Derbyshire including: maximising the benefits of becoming a county deal pathfinder area; driving forward Vision Derbyshire to develop a collaborative working model across all local authorities; exploring opportunities to maximise heritage and tourism based growth; and delivering the levelling up agenda across the county to help boost economic performance and investment in the area, and improve opportunities and outcomes for all people and places.

Headline initiatives

Over the next 12 months we will move forward on delivering the following headline initiatives:

  • delivering devolution and the levelling up agenda across Derbyshire as one of 9 early County Deal pathfinder areas, helping to boost economic performance and improve opportunities and outcomes for people and places
  • leading the county's economic and community recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic delivering a £15 million fund to support local businesses and residents in need
  • investing £40 million in well managed roads and pathways and developing sustainable methods of travel
  • taking action on climate change, providing community grants for sustainable and green projects and delivering the Green Entrepreneurs scheme to help local people and businesses to reduce carbon emissions
  • working with partners to benefit the health and wellbeing of people in Derbyshire by better integrating health and social care and developing the Achieving Greater Futures and Better Lives transformation programme
  • driving forward the ambitious improvements in children's services to positively strengthen outcomes for children and young people, resulting in children's services being judged 'good' or better by Ofsted
  • mainstreaming the Thriving Communities approach, working alongside communities to improve resilience and outcomes for local people and communities, reducing demand for high-cost services
  • promoting our employees' wellbeing and developing their potential

Introduction

There are so many reasons to be proud of Derbyshire and to be grateful that we live in such a wonderful county.

Derbyshire means so many things to so many people. We have beautiful countryside, varied towns and villages, diverse industries and businesses, culture, and heritage. And we are proud of our close-knit, spirited communities with residents supporting and looking out for each other in tough times and good.

As a county council we need to reflect the many and varied views our residents and visitors have of Derbyshire and be at the heart of what makes our county tick, bringing together the best services we can to help people live the lives they choose, help businesses to grow and prosper and support our communities and economy to thrive.

The last 2 years have been the toughest most of us will have faced, with pressures and uncertainty continuing to affect the council and our communities.

We face significant budget pressures now and in the years ahead, compounded by the continuing impact of COVID-19 and the significant rise in demand for adult and children’s social care. While we continue to lobby central government for additional resources and transform the way we operate, we know that tough decisions lie ahead if we are to ensure the continuation of some of our most vital services to support people who need them most.

As a council, providing those services, while ensuring we continue to invest in our schools, our infrastructure, our young people, our health, our economy, our environment and our climate change work, is key to the success of our county. We cannot afford to drop the ball in these areas and so many more, and as an enterprising council we will continue to find ways through these difficult times.

The last 2 years have seen huge adjustments to the way we work, and we continue to demonstrate that we can do things just as effectively and efficiently, using our resources wisely, but in different ways. We are more agile and flexible and change across the authority continues at pace, including how we deliver our services and how we work day-to-day.

To ensure we are best placed to meet the continuing challenges we have adopted a new leadership model, appointing a new managing director who will work alongside me and my team to provide strong, accountable leadership and ensure we have the capacity to deliver our ambitious plans and our county thrives now and in future.

Taking the time to refresh our Council Plan is extremely important, as we can recognise the achievements made, revisit our priorities and reshape where needed, as well as ensuring we are progressing with vital programmes of work and introducing new initiatives that will drive us forward and help us to overcome the challenges ahead.

It is vital our residents feel reassured that we are up to the challenge, which as well as leading the post-pandemic economic and social recovery includes the integration of health and social care, driving forward Vision Derbyshire to develop a collaborative working model across all local authorities, and harnessing the opportunities that a devolution deal for Derbyshire presents.

This is intertwined with delivering the levelling up agenda across the county, working closely with our partners. We know this important work will help to boost economic performance and investment in our county and greatly improve opportunities and outcomes for our communities.

It is a priority for the council that initiatives and programmes we put in place tackle inequalities and support social mobility, ensuring all our residents have equal access to any available opportunities and that no person or place is left behind.

Our refreshed Council Plan makes our continued ambition for the county and our residents very clear.

We will continue to listen to what is being said and work alongside our communities and partners to ensure we are delivering the best we can for Derbyshire.

Councillor Barry Lewis, Leader of Derbyshire County Council