Agenda item

Corporate Plan Annual Report 2021/22


The Leader presented the Council’s annual Corporate Well-being Self-Assessment Report (2021/22). This was the fifth and final Annual Report of the Council’s Corporate Plan 2017-22.  This reflected and self-assessed the achievements this Council made in 2021/22, where to improve our performance and as a look forward to the new five-year Corporate Plan that would also be presented today. 


This was the first year which Newport City Council had to Self-Assess its governance and performance arrangements under the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act.


The Leader welcomed the opportunity to present this report with the Chief Executive and her Executive team to the Council’s Overview Scrutiny Management Committee in September.  The report was also presented to the Council’s Governance and Audit Committee for the first time as required by the Local Government Act. 


Both recommendations were included in the report and considered as part of the draft Annual Report presented at this Cabinet meeting.


Looking back at 2021/22, the covid pandemic was still prevalent across our communities in Newport and restrictions were still in place which continued to disrupt many services.

As restrictions eased and we started to return back to normal routines, further pressures started to emerge as a result of inflation, the Ukraine conflict and managing backlog of work following the pandemic.


Many of these pressures continued to impact the delivery of our services over the next five years and it would be important for us all to learn the lessons of the last couple of years, taking the opportunities to improve our services and preventing as best we can the impacts of these external pressures on our communities.


Despite all of these challenges, officers from across the Council, our partners in Newport and community leaders continued to go above and beyond for the people, and businesses of Newport.


Looking back at the last financial year, many of our major city centre projects came to fruition with the opening of the Indoor Market, Chartist Tower and the Market Arcade.


We also announced our next major project to develop the Knowledge Quarter, creating a brand-new leisure centre alongside a new campus for Coleg Gwent.  Not only would these provide opportunities for local jobs, but it would help continue the improvement of the City Centre, changing the way which we use our spaces for retail, leisure and community involvement.    


The Annual Report recognised the work of our school community and our Education services to ensure our future generations had the best opportunity to maximise their potential and support the continuing growth of the city. 


The Council was also fully aware that our future generations needed to live in a city that enhanced and protected our environment which was why we declared last year an ecological and climate change emergency and launched a Climate Change Plan to become net carbon zero by 2030. 


Finally, this report also highlighted the challenges faced which would need to be considered over the next five years.


The pressures that social services were facing was not unique to Newport, and despite the hard work of staff, carers and families there would be very challenging times over the next five years to ensure that we had a sustainable service to safeguard our most vulnerable and disadvantaged residents.


In concluding, the report identified 14 recommendations where we could strengthen our governance and performance arrangements. 


It was important as Cabinet Members to ensure we supported and promoted the excellent work that our service areas were delivering and to challenge where we could improve on our performance. 


Following approval of this report it would be published in Welsh and English on the Council’s website and as per the Local Government Act requirements, be shared with the three regulatory Bodies (Audit Wales, Care Inspectorate Wales and Estyn).


Comments of Cabinet Members:


§  Councillor Davies, wanted to celebrate the opening of the Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Gwenlli recently.  Additionally, IT equipment in Newport was recognised as the best in Wales, during lockdown and now in schools.  An example of this was when Councillor Davies recently attended a pupil parliament where pupils worked on their individual laptops.  Attendance however was a massive challenge and this was where learning opportunities was life changing, the Cabinet Member wanted to thank educational welfare officers for their hard work.


§  Councillor Harvey, agreed with the Deputy Leader’s comments that work with schools was ongoing.  Councillor Harvey thanked staff for their incredibly hard work including Flying Start and family intervention.  Funding £270K across communities was available during the pandemic and the staff in education did an amazing job under the circumstances and therefore supported the Plan.


§  Councillor Hughes was pleased that the hard work of social care staff was recognised during the pandemic as well as the work of domiciliary care staff.


§  Councillor Forsey added that the Council had made a good start on zero carbon.   In addition, the air quality monitoring progress had seen improvements due to the use of electric vehicles, including council Electric Vehicles.



Cabinet endorsed the Annual Report 2021/22 for publication and to be submitted to Welsh Government and the three regulatory bodies.

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