Policy Agreement – Bridgend County Borough Council

This agreement is between Bridgend County Borough Council and the Welsh Assembly Government. It sets out our shared vision and priorities and how we will measure success over the three years from April 2004 to March 2007.

Our vision is for a sustainable future for Wales where action for social, economic and environmental improvement work together to create positive change:

- promoting a diverse, competitive, high-added value economy, with high quality skills and education, that minimises demands on the environment;

- action on social justice that tackles poverty and poor health, and provides people and their communities with the means to help themselves and break out of the poverty trap;

- action in our built and natural environment that enhances pride in the community, bio-diversity, promotes local employment and helps to minimize waste generation, energy and transport demands;

- strengthening Wales’ cultural identity and helping to create a bilingual country;

- ensuring all our children and future generations enjoy better prospects in life, and are not landed with a legacy of problems bequeathed by us;

- supporting people to live healthy and independent lives;

- promoting openness, partnership and participation.

There are four strategic priorities which we will focus on as we turn this vision into reality:

- helping more people into jobs;

- improving health;

- developing strong and safe communities and

- creating better jobs and skills.

We have chosen the following as key measures of progress:

Helping More People into Jobs

1. We will increase the proportion of young people who continue in education or work-based training at aged 16. Our targets for this are:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

% in education of work-based training at 16

79.2%

80.7%

82.2%

83.7%

2. We will seek to increase the rates of attendance in secondary schools. Our targets for this will be:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Rate of attendance

90.8%

90.9%

91.0%

91.5%

3. We will aim to reduce the number and percentage of 15 year olds (and within that, those in local authority care) leaving full-time education without a recognised qualification. Our targets for this are as follows (with numbers of pupils in brackets):

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

All pupils

2.3% (39)

2.1% (38)

1.9% (33)

1.7% (29)

Looked-after children

0.77% (13)

0.70% (13)

0.63% (11)

0.57% (10)

Strong Safe Communities

4. We will increase the number of foster placements within a safe setting in the local community, by reducing the reliance on the independent sector agencies. Our targets are:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

The number of children looked after on 31 March in:

a) Independent residential

b) Independent foster placement

12

51

11

46

10

40

9

35

5. We will reduce the average time taken to remove abandoned vehicles. Our target for this will be:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Time taken

16 days

15 days

13 days

11 days

6. (a) We will eliminate the use of bed and breakfast accommodation for homeless families, except in emergencies. Our targets for this are as follows:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Number of families

1

10

We are working towards achieving the national homelessness strategy objective of eliminating the use of Bed and Breakfast accommodation for homeless families with children, except in emergencies, by 2007 through joint working with the Welsh Assembly Government.

(b) We will reduce the average length of time people spend in temporary accommodation by the end of the period of the Agreement. Our targets for this are as follows:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Length of stay (days)

42.31

41

38

34

7. (a) We will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from non-domestic Council buildings by the end of the period of the agreement. Our targets for this are as follows:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Percentage reduction

0%

0.5%

2%

6%


(b). We will improve the energy efficiency of the private and public sector housing by the end of the agreement. Our targets for this are as follows:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Percentage improvement

3%

6%

10%

12%

Improving Health

8. We will increase the number of GP referrals in the Leisure Service Health Improvement Scheme, and track continued use of the devised exercise programme. Our targets for this are:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

1. Number of clients

2. Number completing 12 week programme

3. Number still exercising after 6 months

4. Number still exercising after 12 months

395

214

178

178

450

320

200

200

400

300

210

190

450

450

240

220

9. We will aim to ease the blocking of beds in hospitals by older people by reducing the rate of delayed transfers of care for social care reasons. Our targets for this are as follows:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Number of people (per 1000 population aged 75 or over)

3.72

Less than 4

Less than 4

Less than 4

10. (a) We will provide help for older people (over 65) to live at home focusing on those with greatest need. Our targets for this are as follows:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Number of people (per 1000 population aged 65 or over)

127.7

125

123

120

(b) We will reduce the number of older people supported in care homes. Our targets for this are as follows:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Number of people (per 1000 population aged 65 or over)

31.02

31

30

29

11. (a) We will increase the percentage of first placements of looked after children that begin with a care plan in place. Our targets for this are as follows:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Percentage of placements

83.2%

85%

90%

95%

(b) We will increase the percentage of looked-after children who have a plan for permanence in place at their second review. Our targets for this are as follows:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Percentage of looked-after children

N/A

60%

75%

100%

12. We will reduce the percentage of children looked after at 31 March each year who have experienced one or more changes of school during a period or periods of being looked after, which were not due to transitional arrangements. Our targets for this are as follows:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Percentage of looked-after children

20%

18%

15%

10%

Creating Better Jobs and Skills

13. We will increase the number of jobs created in SMEs through Council Objective 1 backed grant support programmes. Our targets for this are:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Number of jobs created

122

130

140

150

14. We will increase the average number of GCSE points in the maintained sector in Bridgend. Our target for this is:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Points

40

40

41

42

Fundamental Themes

15. We will achieve a greater level of compliance with the Generic Equalities Standard for Local Government in Wales:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Level of Standard achieved

Level 0

Level 0/1

Level 1/2

Level 2

16. We will achieve a greater level of compliance throughout the County Borough with the Green Dragon Environmental Standard:

 

Baseline

2004/5

2005/6

2006/7

Level of Standard achieved

No level

Level 0/1

Level1

Level 2

10 March 2005