Our Strategy, and good news for Staffordshire families

 

I wanted to make sure that you had all had a chance to familiarise yourselves with the Plan on a Page, the short version of the council’s Strategy.  We have now linked this firmly to our Delivery Plan, which many of you have been involved in. I’m enormously grateful to everybody who has made this a reality.

Many of you will hopefully remember our efforts in the past 2 years to link the Delivery Plan to our medium term financial strategy (MTFS), which we have now achieved. This allows us to align responsibility, accountability and authority, a theme that many of you will have heard me banging on about.  This year, the Delivery Plan is more focussed with only 23 activities, covering the major change programmes. I’m now content that we’ve got Business As Usual (BAU) running well, and I’m happy for that to be covered in Directorate and Team Plans.

The reinforced link to the strategy is however new, and this is what I’d like you to take a little bit of time to read and understand if you haven’t already. Look out for a toolkit in the coming weeks that will help managers and teams talk about the strategy in more detail, and what it means for their day to day work. It will include an interactive version of the plan on a page and other information to make sure our strategy is something that continually guides what we are doing, rather than sitting on a shelf gathering dust

There are two pieces of good news which I’d like to share with you. Our Building Resilient Families and Communities has been awarded Earned Autonomy status. What this means is that we get £5m of government funding up front (in the past we have received payment from Government based on results) so we can develop our work further and faster. The feedback on the quality of the application and on the work that we’re doing in Staffordshire has been effusive. Simply put, Mick Harrison, Barbara Hine and the team are achieving great results for the most troubled families in our county, and, with Earned Autonomy, we can do more.

Secondly, the results of the uptake on the Government’s initiative to provide 30 hours of free childcare have been published, showing that more than 6,000 families in Staffordshire are enjoying this excellent opportunity. This is the highest total in the West Midlands, which means that more families are able to access work and study, and enjoy a better quality of life. The innovative approach undertaken by Laura Ballinger, Matt Biggs and our team to include employers as well as families and providers is clearly working, which is great news indeed.

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