By 2017, we want the County Council to be:
A lean, focused and motivated organisation, providing strategic leadership for Suffolk.
Through strong financial management, innovation, local leadership and market development, we provide or enable the provision of good-quality services for Suffolk people.
All staff are empowered to take responsibility for the effective and efficient delivery of the Council’s priorities, and ensuring that there is no wrong door for residents.
We recognise that the diverse and changing needs of different people across Suffolk require different solutions. So the Council is responsive, adaptable and continuously developing services in creative ways, listening to communities and in tune with people’s aspirations.
We make best use of technology to enhance the services people receive.
We prioritise our services to help those most vulnerable, helping them to help themselves.
We drive forward effective partnerships with the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and the business sector (to help economic growth), other parts of the public sector (to drive out duplication, provide better services and provide a single front door for residents), and the voluntary sector (to meet the needs of local communities).
We will maintain a commitment to high standards, are well regarded by the public and other authorities, and have a constructive relationship with the media.
We allocate the Council’s budget wisely to deliver our priorities whilst saving £156 million.
- Raise educational attainment and skill levels
- Support the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to increase economic growth
- Maintain roads and develop Suffolk’s infrastructure
- Support those most vulnerable in our communities
- Empower local communities
Raise educational attainment and skill levels
Everyone, regardless of their background, has a right to a good or outstanding education that gives them the very best chance of fulfilling, or even exceeding, their natural potential. For too long Suffolk has had a relatively weak educational attainment performance compared to the rest of the country. Given that Suffolk is relatively affluent this is unacceptable. We need to build Suffolk as a learning county with high expectations and the potential to realise the economic opportunities we are working hard to develop so that our economy has strong foundations for the future and the capacity for growth in the years ahead. By working with employers and education providers we will improve our young people’s skills and work readiness so that after leaving education they are able to positively contribute to future economic growth.
Support the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to increase economic growth
The Suffolk Growth Strategy, developed in partnership with all of the district and borough councils, sets out our vision for how we want the economy of Suffolk to grow and develop over the medium-term. Working with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, and also the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, we want to build on our existing strengths but also exploit new opportunities to accelerate economic growth particularly across Suffolk’s key sectors: biotechnology; energy; food, drink and agriculture; ICT and tourism. This aspiration is underpinned by our strong, collaborative approach; for example, we are one of only three local authorities in the country to have agreed to the pooling of business rates across the whole of Suffolk which will help us to take a holistic approach to stimulating economic growth across the county. We continue to capitalise on this approach for example, through our recently negotiated City Deal for Ipswich, the Enterprise Zone in Lowestoft, and in helping to realise the full potential for Suffolk in NALEP’s completion of the Strategic Economic Plan negotiation with Government that could offer millions in investment into the NALEP area.
Maintain roads and develop Suffolk’s infrastructure
As part of our Growth Strategy, we are committed to improving the infrastructure of the county. We want to improve the quality of our road network to make it easier for people to access work and businesses to reach their growth potential. We are currently lobbying with NALEP as part of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) to improve the capacity of the A14 which is a vital corridor link for Suffolk’s citizens and businesses. Although the rail network is normally financed and planned by Government and Network Rail, we are also working hard to improve the rail network in Suffolk and connections to the rest of the country. Our focus is not simply on the large scale franchises but also on smaller scale access improvements to stations in our urban areas and market towns. We are also transforming the Broadband landscape of Suffolk through the rollout of superfast broadband across the county. We want to give as many communities, individuals and businesses as possible the opportunity to have access to superfast Broadband. Where this is not feasible, we are committed to providing everyone in Suffolk with a minimum broadband speed of 2mbps by 2015.
Support those most vulnerable in our communities
We take our responsibilities for the most vulnerable people very seriously. We are developing new operating models across our social care services for adults and children which have early intervention and prevention at their heart. In turn, this will enable people to live more independent lives and reduce the need for more intensive and costly interventions later on. Forging strong links with the NHS and the voluntary and community sector will not only help us offer a seamless, holistic approach to meeting the needs of Suffolk’s most vulnerable, but also prevent those less in need falling into crisis by supporting them to remain living independently in their community. An integrated approach across organisations that considers the needs of the whole person, rather than simply treating a particular condition, will help people that fall into crisis to quickly get the help they need so that they are able to return to independent living as possible as soon as possible.
Empower local communities
We want to empower local people to have more control over what happens in their communities, and, as the public sector contracts, to provide them with the tools to help them meet their needs and achieve their aspirations in ways that make most sense locally. This will be partly achieved by maximising the potential of technology to make it easier for people to find information and where appropriate, to interact with services that will help them live full, active and healthy lives. Not only are we taking every opportunity to co-locate our services with appropriate partner organisations through our Single Public Sector Estate programme, we want to go further and develop new and innovative ways for delivering integrated public services in our communities. We want to build on the work we have started through the Lowestoft Rising initiative to integrate activity, maximise local service and community capacity and make a positive impact on the ground that will encourage independence, reduce demand and deliver better value for money.