Highlights from our annual report 2016-17
Introduction from council leader, Councillor Sohail Munawar.
Our annual report summarises key achievements during 2016-17 and how we are ‘growing a place of opportunity and ambition.’
We have refreshed our Five Year Plan for the council and set out our priority outcomes which are about putting people first.
We continue to feel the squeeze of government austerity cuts to local government services and it is more important than ever we are focused on the right priorities.
We have a sound financial strategy in place that means we are able to generate income to the council to help pay for frontline services and protect the most vulnerable in our community.
We are also working with our partners in the public sector, with businesses and with the voluntary and community sector to join up what we do to improve the lives of people in Slough.
Perhaps our greatest strength as a place is our communities and I am proud to lead a council which represents people from a very diverse range of backgrounds who get on well together.
Our economy remains strong and the opportunities presented by major infrastructure developments such as Heathrow and Crossrail means we are attractive as a place for business to invest.
We will continue to use these opportunities to generate benefits for local people - whether through the provision of jobs, training or apprenticeships; or generating income to provide improvements in local services.
In this annual report you will be able to see key statistics and evidence of the progress already made against the Five Year Plan.
Our success is down to the hard work and commitment of our workforce and I thank them for the service they provide every day to Slough.
Outcome 1 - Our children and young people will have the best start in life and opportunities to give them positive lives
The Claycots expansion
- In 2016 Slough was 9% above the national average of pupils achieving A*-C grades in maths and English at KS4.
- At KS2 pupils in Slough were 2% above the national average in their achievements in reading, writing and maths.
- Cabinet approved £18.75 million in an ambitious school places strategy to create 840 new places via school expansion.
- 96% of children in Slough got one of their top three choices in reception schools and 94% in secondary schools.
- Education Services transferred back to SBC and we appointed a Director of Children's Services for first time in three years.
- Every nursery and Children's Centre in Slough is rated as good or better by Ofsted with 84% of under fives registered.
Outcome 2 - Our people will become healthier and will manage their own health, care and support needs
The outdoor gym equipment
- We increased the number of health checks carried out in Slough to more than 2,300 and completed 301 falls risk assessments.
- In 2017 Slough launched a one-stop shop for healthy lifestyle advice reaching 450 people including 50% from deprived wards.
- Our £55m leisure strategy continues to move forward with work underway on our new leisure centre and ice arena.
- We also opened and fully completed our community sports stadium Arbour Park with help from Roy Hodgson.
- Our adult social care team won an award for Transformation of Support Services.
- We hosted Slough Fest to celebrate World Mental Health Day and supported more than 900 people through our recovery college.
Outcome 3 - Slough will be an attractive place where people choose to live, work and visit
- We brought our libraries back in house and had 579,834 visits to our libraries including 212,579 at The Curve.
- 518,066 books borrowed including 293,857 children's books from Slough Libraries and 4,800 kids took part in our Big Read.
- It's not just books at Slough Libraries - 49,434 children and families attended more than 2,300 events across our libraries.
Outcome 4 - Our residents will have access to good quality homes
The Lydia Court housing launch
- We launched a new housing strategy setting out our ambition to regenerate neighbourhoods, improve quality and supply.
- Work has started on 104 new homes in Wexham Green through joint venture with Morgan Sindall Investments.
- We started new council homes at Lydia Court - named after former Mayor Lydia Simmons, the country's first black lady Mayor.
- With Slough Urban Renewal we completed the Milestone development on Ledgers Road including 23 new council homes.
- We moved into phase two of our small sites housing strategy which will deliver 120 new council homes across Slough.
- We opened our first emergency housing facility in over 40 years - providing 12 double bedrooms and kitchen facilities.
- We signed an RMI contract with Osborne to improve service for council tenants – more than £100m will be invested.
Outcome 5 - Slough will attract, retain and grow businesses and investment to provide jobs and opportunities for our residents
- We opened our new flagship library and cultural centre at The Curve which had more than 212,000 visits and held 518 events.
- We held our first property investor day - demonstrating our economic strengths and connectivity to London and the world.
- We purchased the old TVU site which will deliver £550 million into Slough including 1,400 new homes.
- Our two year programme to upgrade our streetlights to LED lights has already seen more than 7,500 of our 11,000 lights replaced.
- We delivered a balanced budget with no front line service cuts despite the cuts we continue to receive from government.