West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire Council's good performance recognised in latest report

Issued on 3 June 2021

A new report shows West Berkshire Council has performed strongly over the last year whilst also responding to the local impact of the global pandemic.

The report, 2020/21 Performance Report Quarter 4, which will be considered by the Executive on 10 June, summarises the Council's performance against its objectives for the 2020/21 year. Despite the pandemic, the Council has maintained a strong performance in delivering the core services that are valued by residents, responded well to Covid-19 and delivered against its priorities for improvement. Key successes during the year include an increase in recycling rates, high numbers of applicants receiving their preferred choice of primary or secondary school and the timely determination of planning applications.

In some instances, decisions have been made to prioritise the urgent need to support residents, which is reflected in the fact that the council has had to undertake some of its planned improvement activities in different ways. Examples of these include the collection of council tax and business rates, where the Council made a local decision to enable greater flexibility in payments, and in visits to children in care, which have been unable to take place in person but were instead conducted via Zoom.

The report also gives details of the significant impact of the pandemic, which the Council responded to quickly by shifting resources to support the district's residents, businesses and communities. The pandemic has also had a lasting impact on health, education and the local economy, while changing the lives of so many both in the short and long term.

Cllr Howard Woollaston, Executive Member for Internal Governance commented:

"In such an unprecedented year, I am proud to see that the Council has continued to perform at such a high standard.

"We have worked tirelessly for our community throughout the pandemic and a core part of that has been to ensure that we keep delivering the key public services on which our residents rely. Residents have told us that we're doing a good job via a survey last year, with 62% believing our response to the pandemic was good or excellent, and a further 33% considering our performance was fair. 

"This report shows that the Council's performance has been strong even under enormous pressure and also that we have identified areas for further improvements, as detailed in our recently approved Council Strategy for 2021-23."

The 2020/21 Performance Report (Quarter 4) will be considered by the Executive when it meets on Thursday, 10 June 2021. The agenda and reports for the meeting are available to read online and the meeting can be viewed live and afterwards on demand on the West Berkshire Council YouTube Channel. The Executive is the main decision-making body of the Council.