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South Cambs Council clocks up ‘impressive’ achievement record

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South Cambridgeshire District Council beat its target of new council homes last year, with 91 added to its stock against the target of 70.

It is one of a number of successes the council says have come about in a year which have been reported to councillors in their annual ‘state of play’ business plan progress report.

Cllr John Williams, lead cabinet member for resources, said: “The number of targets reached and exceeded is impressive across all departments.

“It’s important we keep setting standards high and moreover, as a modern and caring Council, it’s imperative we maintain goals and go above and beyond to support residents in our district.

“The achievements are possible thanks to the hard work of all our dedicated Council teams.”

Councillors heard about successful performance in a meeting on achievement in areas like environmental protection, affordable homes, and growing business.

 Additionally, a “mystery shopper” update given during the meeting, showed almost nine in ten people (88%) spoke to a contact centre team member on their first attempt when ringing South Cambridgeshire District Council and 100% were offered help or assistance.

 More than 65 year-end measures were covered in the scrutiny and overview committee on June 8 at Cambourne Hall during a summary of progress made during the 2022-23 financial year.

The Business Plan Progress Report is a year-end report covering the Council’s four key areas of growing local businesses and economies, affordable housing, being green to the core and being a modern and caring council.

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Among successes:

Growing Local Businesses

  • More than £1.37m of Government funding secured to support local business.
  • 207 in-person visits made to local businesses.
  • 78 businesses signed up to receive our markets toolkit which helps support people to set up new markets within their communities.

Housing that’s Affordable for Everyone to Live In

  • Completed 91 new council homes in the last year, exceeding the target of 70.
  • £1.7m of social housing funds secured to insulate and improve energy efficiency of Council properties, including solar panels.
  • Adopted a new empty homes strategy to proactively bring empty homes back into use.

Being Green to Our Core

  • Electric vehicle charging points installed at sheltered housing sites in Willingham and Meldreth and a new EV Charge Point Grant set up.
  • 140 trees planted on two sites in Bourn and Great Abington, and 50 parish councils received trees through the ‘6 Free Trees’ initiative.
  • Electric Refuse Collection vehicles are now in use, the third added this year.
  • Zero Carbon Communities funding awarded grants to 13 projects to tackle climate change on a local level.
  • Six cameras in place at key sites throughout the district to deter fly tipping.

A Modern and Caring Council

  • Almost £800,000 of Disabled Facilities Grant from the Government provided via the Cambridgeshire Home Improvement Agency to allow people to live independently and safely in their homes.
  • Actively working with 103 residents through the Visiting Support Service to help promote independent living in the community.
  • A toolkit to support Community Led plans and a grant of £50,000 to help projects that support sustainability, loneliness, wellbeing and isolation.
  • Survey of all council tenants to better understand their priorities and to be able to compare satisfaction with other organisations.
  • Litter picking equipment was delivered to 20 Parish Councils.

The mystery shopper exercise involved running a four-week analysis of 400 calls made to the Council. Nearly all (96%) advisors showed knowledge of council services / products and were able to answer the mystery shopper’s enquiries to a high standard.

Almost three quarters of telephone calls from residents to the council (72%) were answered within the two-minute target.

The council says its Business Plan Progress Report enables management and members to understand the organisation’s performance and contributes to the evidence base for the ongoing review of council priorities.

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