Everyone's Essex: our plan for levelling up the county 2021 to 2025

Service excellence

As a county council, we commission or provide a wide range of services. Many of these are universal services that are provided to all members of the public.

These include:

  • libraries
  • public health
  • local roads
  • public transport
  • broadband
  • education services
  • country parks
  • strategic planning
  • recycling centres

Other services are targeted at specific user groups, often our most vulnerable residents. These include:

  • children’s social care
  • youth offending services
  • adult domiciliary
  • residential social care
  • drug and alcohol recovery services

Excellent value for money services therefore lie at the heart of our role as a council. The response of all public services and the voluntary sector to the pandemic has highlighted the central importance of effective service provision in helping people stay safe and well. As taxpayers, you need to know that we are keeping down the costs of running services. And as users of services, you want to know that services meet your needs and enhance your quality of life.

Essex County Council has a strong record for delivering excellent, value for money services. Examples of great service delivery include:

  • our children’s services and youth offending services who are rated outstanding and are amongst the most efficient in the country
  • the Connect programme, which connects people leaving hospital with independent living support
  • the Active Essex Sport England programme, which will help over 400,000 people in Essex to live healthier, more active lives
  • our country parks, seven of which have been awarded Green Flag status for being
  • well managed and meeting the needs of the communities they serve

Overall, as a result of continuing to improve our services, we have been able to deliver substantial savings in recent years whilst still maintaining high levels of service delivery on both universal and targeted services. But the journey towards excellence in service delivery is never finished, and in this council period w e will continue to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of our services by:

  • addressing the causes that drive demand
  • investing in early intervention
  • sustaining excellence
  • collaborating with partners
  • empowering communities

Addressing the causes that drive demand

By focusing on levelling up outcomes and building healthier lives across Essex, we will over time reduce the demand that falls on higher cost, reactive services, whilst still maintaining these services for those who continue to need them.

Investing in early intervention

We will continue to invest in early intervention services, where the evidence shows that these help people to achieve better outcomes and avoid more intensive service interventions down the line.

Sustaining excellence

We will sustain and embed those core ingredients that have been shown to drive excellence in service delivery:

  • quality of leadership and culture
  • an openness to learning and improvement
  • high levels of accountability
  • an engaged and motivated workforce
  • the effective blending of operational expertise, data and user insight

Collaborating with partners

Organisational boundaries can sometimes get in the way of providing seamless, cost-effective services.

We will work with partners to join up services where it makes sense to do so, and to share data, learning and expertise, and will continue to support the resilience of the voluntary sector as it recovers from the pandemic and adapts to new and emerging local needs.

Empowering communities

Services are better if they are developed in partnership with communities to suit their own needs and strengths.

We will seek to devolve power down to a local level where possible. We will partner with the voluntary sector and community groups, and we will use social media to empower community action.

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