To receive such announcements as may be made by the Leader.
The Leader highlighted a number of issues of key importance to her as Leader of the Council which were as follows:-
Waste & Environmental Services
• The Council had moved from landfill to an “energy from waste” solution, with new waste contracts and the opening of Cheshire East Environmental Hub.
• The Council had been a Finalist in “Go Procurement” awards for its compost facility procurement.
• Redesign and refurbishment of Crewe and Macclesfield Customer Service Centres had taken place.
• The Council had been shortlisted as a finalist for Contact Centre of the Year.
• The Council had retained its top 4* ranking for the Cheshire East website.
• There had been a 3% increase in participation in the annual Summer Reading Challenge.
• Refurbishment of Macclesfield and Wilmslow libraries had taken place.
• Improvements to leisure facilities, including a new Fitness Gym at Sandbach Leisure Centre had taken place.
Rural and Culture
• Tatton Park had successfully launched its Farm ‘Field to Fork’ project, The Gardener’s Cottage at Tatton park had been voted ‘Cheshire’s Tea room of the year’, Green Flags, Green Heritage flags and heritage flags had been awarded across the Council’s parks.
• The Council had recommissioned the ‘No Second Night Out’ Service and increased the number of beds from 4 to 6 with new temporary accommodation provided in Crewe for the homeless.
• Policies and procedures had been updated and a restructure of Strategic Housing Services had been undertaken in order to ensure that there were sufficient resources to deal with the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.
Highways and Infrastructure
The following highways schemes were moving forward:-
• Congleton Link Road, Poynton Relief Road, Middlewich Eastern Bypass and dualling of the A500.
• During the winter, the Highways Service had received 18,914 enquiries of which 17,481 had been resolved. In addition the council exceeded its target for the year to upgrade 9,000 street lighting columns with LEDs.
• The Council continued to work collaboratively with Government and Network Rail to develop a preferred concept for an enhanced Crewe HS2 Hub station.
• The Council had also completed its Supported Bus Service Review with a series of changes made to bus services from 1st April 2018.
• Over 6,000 applications, with 92% of major applications had been determined within target timescales and 90% of non-major planning applications determined within target timescales.
• Earlier in 2017/18 the Council’s Local Plan Strategy and Design Guide was adopted.
Local Government Chronicle Awards 2018:-
• Emotionally Healthy Schools had been shortlisted in the ‘Children’s Services’ category.
• LSCB Neglect Campaign had been shortlisted in the ‘Campaign of the year’ category and the LSCB Neglect Strategy/Campaign had been launched in April 2017.
• Entitlement to free early education for working parents of three and four year olds changed from September 2017 from 15 to 30 hours per week. Take up of the 30 hours in Cheshire East was one of the highest in the country.
Delayed Transfers of Care (DTOC)
• National figures for October 2017 had put Cheshire East top out of 151 Local Authority areas in England areas for avoiding ‘bed blocking’.
Early Help Framework
• Commissioning of the Care at home and care with accommodation & Carers Hubs had taken place.
• The appointment of an Independent Chair of the Adults Safeguarding Board had taken place as well as an improvement in the process of Deprivation of Liberty with regard to safeguarding assessments and reviews.
Public Health, Partnerships and Communities
Community Safety achievements included:-
• Poynton PSPO: Implementation of the first Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in Cheshire East Council.
• Stay Safe Operation – Congleton: Partner agencies supported the Police to address increasing issues of Anti Social Behaviour in town and park locations in Congleton to keep young people safe.
• Crewe Town Centre: work was undertaken to deal with issues in Crewe Town Centre relating to Anti Social Behaviour. All alongside the Cheshire East Alcohol Harm Reduction Plan finalised in March 2017.
• Signs of Safety, was officially launched in September 2017. The Council’s strategy had been identified as a national exemplar.
Cared for Children and Care Leavers
• The Ignition Panel had been shortlisted for the iNetwork and Children and Young People Now awards in 2017.
• Regional Adoption Agency (RAA), ‘Adoption Counts’, was launched on 3 July 2017 in partnership with Manchester, Salford, Trafford and Stockport Councils.
• There were only 2.2% of NEETs/‘not known’ young people in Cheshire East, compared to a national average of 6% when the statistics were published. The Council had the third lowest level of youngsters not employed or in education in the UK.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
• The 0-25 SEND Partnership completed a number of key pieces of work to improve outcomes of SEND children and young people in 2017-18.
• The SEND inspection recognised significant improvement in the strategic leadership of SEND but also confirmed the areas for improvement that the Council had identified in our self assessment.
• Cheshire East was one of only 19 local authorities whose expression of interest to develop a free school was approved by the DfE last year.
Education Participation and Pupil Support
• A high proportion of parents/carers had been given their first choice of school for their child in September.
Education Infrastructure and Outcomes
• Cheshire East along with Cheshire West was also successful in two applications in Round 2 (2017-18) to the Strategic School Improvement Fund, totalling over £1. The Lifelong Learning team achieved the highest overall achievement rates across the Cheshire and Warrington area.
Legal and Democratic Services
• 17 elections/referendums had been successfully delivered, including the “snap” Parliamentary Election in June.
• There had been a review of the Constitution.
• There had been a record performance in marriages for the Registration Service inspection of the Registration Service.
Final reference was made to the Brighter Future and Cultural Transformation and the importance of supporting staff working in the front line services who were very much a part of the good news stories shared today.