Our vision is to create a district with a strong economy that offers a great quality of life to residents.
Our Corporate Plan sets out our New Council vision and how we will work to achieve it, leading to thriving communities, growing businesses, high prosperity and low inequality where people enjoy better health throughout their lives.
To do that with reduced budgets, we know we need to change the way we do things, by redesigning our services, and building a different relationship with the community.
This will see us focussing on how we can enable people to do more for themselves, make the best use of our resources and work in partnership with our public, private and voluntary sector partners.
Supporting communities to do more for themselves and each other
We’ve stopped thinking about ‘the council’s resources’ and started to think about how we can use all of the skills and talents in our community to make the most of what we have. For example:
- Our Cities of Service programme – I’m In – is looking at how volunteers can play a role in helping to solve local issues. As a City of Service, Kirklees is identifying the local challenges we face, encouraging volunteers and measuring the impact they are having.
- Our award-winning Comoodle project is helping the Council to share its own assets with groups who want to do something for the benefit of their community. The website also supports community groups who have stuff, skills and space with others who need it.
- The It’s Up to You project works by asking local people to suggest their ideas for activities or projects that will bring people together and make their community a better place. At a community event, people then vote for the ideas and projects they would like to see happen and the most popular receive small amounts of money to make the idea a reality.
Keeping vulnerable people safe and in control of their own lives
Making sure our most vulnerable adults, children and young people are as safe as possible will always be an absolute priority for Kirklees Council. This includes the effectiveness of our specialist services and interventions to protect those at risk. Being aware of any weakness in our systems and processes, and taking appropriate action to remedy it, is a key part of this. For example:
- We are working with our partners to join up health services with social care. Examples include using new technology to to help people with very complex needs to stay in their own homes and remain independent for longer.
- Through the Stronger Families Programme, we have turned around the lives of more than 1000 families in Kirklees. These are families struggling with problems such as domestic violence, crime, abuse, drugs and poor school attendance. The programme helps to deliver better outcomes for families at the same time as reducing costs for the Council and its partners.
- We have put in place a new Children’s Services Development Board, chaired by the Chief Executive, to oversee a programme of improvement – supported by the Director for Children and Young People Services. We’re seeking to create an environment which ensures abuse is prevented and promotes understanding that safeguarding is a responsibility for everyone.
Focussing resources on things that only the Council can do
Faced with significant budget challenges, it’s really important that the Council focuses its resources on things that only the Council can do, and finds new ways of doing things. For example:
- We’re making things easier for people by providing more services online, so that people can self-serve and support themselves. To help people do that, we’ve launched a new website, which can be used on smartphones and tablet computers, and helps people to things at their own convenience, 24/7.
- We will continue to target limited resources to meet community needs. This means that some current services will be a lower priority, and could be reduced, provided in a different way, or stopped altogether. The Council will continue to talk to residents about their priorities and endeavour to work with community groups to develop alternative delivery methods where we can no longer afford to do things ourselves.
- We’re reducing our costs right across the Council by doing things more efficiently. We’re proud that we have saved £103 million so far, with minimum impact on the community.