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Our Annual Plan 2022 – 2023


Foreword

by Cllr John Hart – Leader of Devon County Council

When the current Council was elected in May 2021 we were in the grip of the pandemic and although the worst is now over, we are still living with its legacy. Tackling the lasting effects and longer-term impacts of Covid-19 will continue to be a priority for us, and for Team Devon as a whole. We are working with the NHS, district, town and parish councils, voluntary and community organisations, businesses, the wider public sector to improve the health, wellbeing and prosperity of everyone in Devon.

However, time moves on and looking ahead over the next twelve months we are facing global and local uncertainties about the economy, the cost of living and the affordability & availability of housing. We want Devon to be the best place to grow up, live well and prosper. Over the coming year we will be focussing on what we need to do for people of Devon and help everyone through the challenges ahead.

The last two years have been particularly difficult for some children and young people and so we will be doing all we can over the next twelve months to make sure that children and young people have the best possible start in life and can achieve their full potential.

Introduction

by Phil Norrey – Chief Executive of Devon County Council

The Covid-19 pandemic placed immense strain on the county’s health and care systems, putting huge pressure on adult health & care, and children’s services workers in particular. Those pressures have been exacerbated by the fragility of the care market and difficulties of recruiting key workers. The Council and its partners were also given new responsibilities during the pandemic for addressing issues such as food poverty, financial hardship and shielding. We will be using the experience we gained from working together to find new, different and sustainable ways to support the health and wellbeing of the whole county, and enable greater financial resilience for the Council.

We are at the early stage of negotiating a Devon, Plymouth and Torbay devolution deal as part of the Government’s policy to level up. This will give us greater control and enable more of the decisions that shape people’s lives to be made locally. Concluding a devolution deal that works for all our communities is a once in a generation opportunity to secure the kind of powers and funding that could transform the lives of people in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay.

The Council will continue to play a leading role in the Devon’s response to the climate emergency, through the Interim Devon Carbon Plan and actions to implement the resolutions from the Citizens’ Assembly.

The Council will continue to work with national, regional and local partners to find ways to address the workforce challenges facing adult social care. This includes changes and improvements to pay and conditions, training, development and career progression. Support for family and unpaid carers is also essential so that everyone who provides care and support is enabled to live a good life.

The Council will also be playing a part in tackling the county’s housing crisis through the Team Devon strategic housing task force in partnership with Devon’s district, town and parish councils and other key partners. The Council itself is looking at whether it can offer accommodation to key workers to attract them to work for the authority

The way that the Council works will change during 2022/23 to reflect the Strategic Plan’s aims for it to be:

  • A trusted council that shows leadership, brings people together and collaborates well with our partners; a Council that makes good decisions, uses resources well, and is financially resilient.
  • An inclusive council that is intolerant to prejudice and discrimination, is a good employer that invests in, develops and nurtures our workforce, and hears the voices of all our communities.
  • An innovative council that is agile, listens and learns, uses data and intelligence well, and can transform the way we work in order to improve services for the people of Devon.

As a Leadership Team, our membership, role and responsibilities will change during Spring 2022 to unlock the potential of individuals, teams and the organisation. These changes will reflect the principles and behaviours which apply to everyone at every level of the organisation.

This Plan for 2022/23 is the first that the Council will prepare for each of the next four years. It outlines how the Council is will be addressing each of its priorities in its overall Strategic Plan for 2021 to 2025 which will help the county to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, build on the resilience of local people and communities to create a fairer, healthier and more caring place, and grasp the opportunity to create a greener, more prosperous and inclusive future for all.

 


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