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How well is your council working for you? Annual report appraises performance


Cardiff Council's ambitious programme to create a stronger, fairer and greener capital city is evaluated in a new report which rates the progress being made by the authority.

The report looks to provide an honest assessment of the council's work over the past year and uses feedback from residents, the scrutiny function and government auditors to ensure the council's review of performance is fair and balanced.

Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas said: "Our ambition is to make Cardiff a greener, fairer, and stronger capital city. To achieve this, we must focus on delivering the best public services we can.

"This report offers an important measure of the progress we have made in realising our ambitions. The judgements made in it have also taken into consideration the wider political governance of the Council, and our residents and rightly so."

The Council's assessment of its performance is considered by the authority's Performance Panel, which brings together all the Scrutiny Committee Chairs, the Policy Review and Performance Scrutiny Committee, the Governance and Audit Committee, and Council alongside resident surveys to ensure a balanced assessment of performance is delivered.

The report shows that the council has improved educational standards; delivered on the largest council housing development programme in Wales; created over 1,000 new jobs and safeguarded 900 in the local economy last year; reduced numbers of people sleeping on the streets; and worked on climate change projects through the One Planet Cardiff strategy.

Cllr Thomas said: "I was pleased with what this Council has delivered over the past year, not least in the context of a global public health crisis. We delivered a good education for children in Cardiff - clearly recognised by Estyn in their latest report - and invested significant amounts in building new schools and improving the school estate.

"We also delivered on the largest housing development programme in Wales, and plan to build even more new council houses in the years ahead. We have massively reduced rough sleeping and there are signs of post-pandemic economic recovery too. The Council created over 1,000 new jobs and safeguarded 900 last year, city centre footfall is bouncing back and the pipeline of major events - a feature of life in Cardiff - has returned.

"The reform of the waste services has been progressed with the implementation of the four-day working week and the segregated recycling trial points to a way forward with contamination reduced from 30% to 6% based on the initial analysis.

"Major strides have been taken to address climate change through the One Planet Cardiff strategy. Works totalling £61m have been delivered to improve sustainable transport, the Lamby Way Solar Farm project has been completed, and construction of the Heat Network has begun.

"All that said, we recognise areas which need improvement and there are some major challenges ahead brought about by the cost-of-living crisis which will have a major impact on the council's budget. I am clear that the mark of a good performance system is one that allows us to recognise where progress is being made and identify areas where intervention is needed to address areas of challenge. That's exactly what this report does by providing a fair and balanced assessment on which future planning can be based."

The report highlights a series of risks faced by the council moving forward, including:

  • How the cost-of-living crisis will affect the council's budget
  • The rise in demand for children's and adult services, and
  • Achieving Welsh Government targets for recycling.

Cllr Thomas said: "This report covers the 2021/22 financial year, since then a number of emerging challenges have escalated significantly. Russia's invasion of the Ukraine has triggered a global economic shock - most notably with the price of gas - which will have a major impact on the Council's budget.

"The cost-of-living crisis, coming so soon after the public health crisis, will place untold pressure on households, particularly those on low incomes. They will turn to the Council for support. There are also significant system problems which we are grappling with. The availability of placements for looked after children and the ability of hospitals to discharge patients present huge challenges for the public services which had not fully crystalised during the period covered by this report.

"Our recycling rates are not where we want them to be, however, the position for the first quarter of this financial year is above 64% suggesting that our interventions are beginning to take hold. Residents across the city will have to work with us if we are improve recycling rates and tackle the climate emergency, we can't do it alone. We know we have a really challenging period ahead and all the signs appear to be pointing towards more public sector cuts, more austerity, more damage to services.

"However, I want to put on record my thanks to everybody across the public sector who gave their all throughout the pandemic to continue to deliver vital services to the most vulnerable people in our society. Our teachers and school workers, refuse workers, social services and carers, meals on wheels teams, everyone who put themselves on the frontline every day. I also want to thank all the backroom staff - in fact every council employee - who played their part keeping services running as part of an incredible effort to keep our city safe throughout the pandemic. It's astonishing to think we have just come through this once in a generation event only now to be faced with a cost-of-living-crisis. My promise to residents is that your council will be here to help you through that in every way we can, just as we were here for you through the pandemic."

The Annual Wellbeing Report 2021/22 will be considered by the council's Cabinet on October 20thbefore being brought to Full Council on October 27 for approval.

The full Annual Wellbeing Report 2021/22 can be read  here.


10 facts from our Annual Wellbeing Report 2021-22

Every year we publish a statutory well-being report.

It's full of facts and figures about the services we provide - here are 10 of them, to give you an idea of what you will find inside.

As part of a £1 billion Council-led programme to deliver 4,000 homes over ten years, 683 of the first 1,000 homes have now been delivered, with 131 completions in 2021/22.

15 Council parks and green spaces have been awarded full Green Flag status.

As part of Cardiff's One Planet Cardiff Strategy, 20,000 trees were planted across the city in 2021/22.

In 2021/22, over £2.5m has been invested in play areas and parks infrastructure

The Council has expanded its Electric Vehicle (EV) fleet to 70 vehicles and delivered 59 EV charging units. Completion of the Bus Retrofit Scheme has put 36 Electric Buses on our roads

Estyn's 2021 report was published in February 2022 and noted sustained improvement in the quality and effectiveness of Education Services in Cardiff

The number of rough sleepers has remained low, with recorded figures as low as 11 during 2021/22 and consistently below 25, compared with 130 pre-Covid. 

The Council has reconstructed 112 roads and resurfaced, surface treated or reconstructed 46 footways, comprising a total of circa 190,000 square metres of surface treatment.

During 2021/22, the Council played an active role in creating 1,190 new jobs and safeguarding 912 jobs within the local economy.

Cardiff became the first local authority in Wales to achieve membership of the WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities.

You can read the full report  here.