Every year we have to review of our performance across a number of areas where the council works – things like education, adult social care, the environment, highways, the economy and others.
The results of the reviews are published in our annual Focused On Our Performance report.
This year’s report reviews our progress for the year 2020/21 and is now available online https://www.wrexham.gov.uk/service/council-plan-2020-2023 and was discussed by our Executive Board on 12 October.
What’s in the report?
It measures our performance against our 6 Well-being Objectives and Improvement Priorities set out in our 2021-23 Council Plan.
Not surprisingly this year’s report highlights the services that continued to be provided by the council workforce during the Covid-19 Pandemic and praised employees and volunteers for their “team spirit” by adapting to new working conditions, changing roles in response to pressures and came up with innovative solutions to support our communities.
Leadership at the council has praised the workforce in their valiant efforts in the way it responded to the pandemic and the help and support provided to the communities of Wrexham County Borough.
The workforce has responded at pace to ever changing situations and have risen to the challenge under extreme pressure. Throughout the pandemic, vital services have been maintained as a result of the determination and flexibility of the councils workforce and they have supported the most vulnerable in their time of need.
The workforce was proactive and creative in redesigning services and adopted new ways of working to ensure critical services continued, sometimes in new roles. Through the efforts of the workforce during the Pandemic some examples of response included:
- Providing accommodation to people who were homeless or rough sleeping during the pandemic.
- Ensured local businesses and companies received advice and paid out over £3.5 million in grants.
- Supporting schools and childcare settings to remain open to provide childcare to the children of key workers and for those who met the criteria for provision due to vulnerability.
- Delivered an early provision of food and supplies issued for children and vulnerable adults through volunteers from our current workforce.
- The delivery of key critical services including bin collections
- Maintained emergency repairs
- Distributed iPads to care homes to support virtual family visits.
- supported the unprecedented local rollout the TTP service and of the Covid-19 vaccinations
The report goes on to discuss that despite the pandemic and disruption to the work towards our 6 Well-being Outcomes and Improvement Priorities there were also a number of successes including:
- The relocation and developed a new Visitor Information Centre in Chester Street complementing the regeneration and investment taking place in this part of the town centre.
- The availability of on-line services for customers, which has continued to improve throughout the year, with 24 additional services available online and more than 60,000 service requests received online during the year.
- Despite delays during Covid-19 lockdown, construction work has continued to progress well on the development of our modern Community Health and Wellbeing Hub at Crown Buildings.
- The multi-agency VARM group has continued to work collaboratively to implement solutions to protect the vulnerable and reduce the impacts of anti-social behaviour.
- We are one of the leading Welsh local authorities with regard to the installation of electric vehicle charging points in publicly accessible car parks.
- The Accelerated Improvement Board which has delivered sustained improvement in Children’s Social Care over the year.
We will now move forward as lock down eases and progress work on the Wrexham Town Centre Master Plan to revitalise the business sector and ensure Wrexham is a sustainable and thriving commercial centre.
We’re working to secure funding to buy unused commercial properties in the town centre and by working with the business and local community change the mix of the use of properties in the town centre to increase more housing options to help meet the local housing demand.
We’re hopeful that two bids to the UK Government’s Levelling Up fund for the Wrexham Gateway (£18m) and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site (£15m).
Cllr Mark Pritchard, Leader of the Council, said, “This has been the most challenging year ever that we have faced and it is to everyone’s credit that we find ourselves in the position we are today.
“There’s a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to and I am incredibly grateful to everyone, staff, members, our voluntary sector, businesses and residents for their resilience and ability to change and adapt to new ways of doing things during the lockdown and after.
“I look forward to seeing work progress on ambitious plans to make Wrexham a place that we can all be proud of.”