To receive details on the progress that has been made to deliver the updated objectives of the Our North Tyneside Plan 2021-2025.
Cabinet received an update report on progress in delivering the objectives of the
refreshed Our North Tyneside Plan 2021-2025 as set out in the ‘Our North Tyneside
Performance Report’ attached to this report at Appendix 1.
The Council Plan was refreshed last year following the Mayoral Elections on 6 May 2021 to reflect the policy priorities of the incoming administration. Following consultation with residents and key stakeholders, Full Council agreed the refreshed Our North Tyneside Plan 2021-2025 on the 23 September 2021.
A refreshed Our North Tyneside Plan Performance Report had been developed to monitor progress against the new priorities and objectives set out in the Council Plan.
This report when read in conjunction with Appendix 1 provided an overview of performance since the start of the plan and identified the agreed activities that the Authority would pursue in the future. In addition, it provided comparator information, such as national or regional performance, as there were several issues where North Tyneside was facing similar challenges as other parts of the country.
As with all areas, the COVID-19 Pandemic had understandably had an adverse impact on a range of different performance measures including the number of jobs available, new business start-ups, homelessness presentations and acceptances, waste and recycling collection, tourism and visitor levels to libraries and sport and leisure centres. Over time performance in these areas would improve as the borough recovered from the impact of the pandemic and the social restrictions placed on activity to control community transmission. The priorities and objectives in the refreshed Our North Tyneside Plan builds on the work carried out over the last 8 years and addressed the key challenges to build a better North Tyneside.
Performance against some of the measures set out in the Council Plan had been challenging over the last two years. The COVID-19 Pandemic had had an adverse impact on a range of different areas, just as it had in other local authority areas as well.
· In terms of the local economy; the number of jobs available and new businesses start-ups reduced.
· Tourism to the area had been negatively impacted by restrictions placed on the entertainment and hospitality sector to control community transmission.
· Visits to libraries and sport and leisure centres had been far lower than normal due to closures and restrictions placed on the services.
· There was an increase in the number of residents presenting as homeless and accepted as priority homeless due to the “Everyone In” Programme put in place to care for rough sleepers.
· Following the Authority’s best performing years for recycling and waste collection when alternate weekly waste collection was introduced, the pandemic had led to the highest volume of waste being collected from households in 2020/21 as residents spent significantly more time at home.
However, over time the Authority would see improvement in performance as the borough recovered from the impact of the pandemic and the restrictions placed on normal activity. The priorities and objectives in the refreshed Our North Tyneside Plan builds on the work carried out over the last 8 years and addressed the key challenges to build a better North Tyneside.
Some of the highlights of the Our North Tyneside Plan Performance Report were:-
· North Tyneside Council’s carbon emissions had reduced by 52%, ahead of the previous target to cut emissions by 50%, with plans being developed to deliver Net Zero 20 years earlier than the government’s national target.
· The Embedding Equality Programme was successfully launched in September 2021 with eight workstreams to reduce inequality and eliminate discrimination.
· Regeneration work was underway in North Shields, Whitley Bay and Wallsend, with a master plan being developed for the North West area of the borough.
· The Council Tax Support Scheme was extended to backdate claims up to 26 weeks rather than 4 to support more low-income families.
· Work to address health and socio-economic inequalities were being delivered through a number of initiatives including the: -
o Holiday Activities and Food Programme
o Household Support Fund
o Poverty Intervention Fund
· Delivery of the Affordable Homes Programme was on track and a 10-year Delivery Plan was agreed by Cabinet in February 2022.
· The Authority continued to support volunteering and build capacity with a number of initiatives.
· The education offer in the borough was strong compared to national and regional comparators, however an area of focus was to close the gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils.
· Work to improve the working conditions of carers was underway including the introduction of a Social Care Academy and the national living wage increase was brought forward to December 2021 from April 2022, recognising the invaluable job that the Authority’s social care sector did.
Resolved that the progress that had been made to deliver the updated objectives of the Our North Tyneside Plan 2021-2025, be noted.