Introduction

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of the Council
Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of the Council

The new Council Plan is our roadmap for recovery in Kirklees. At its heart is a determination to build a fairer and more equal borough for people to live, work and grow up in.

The biggest mistake anyone made about coronavirus was to believe that it was a leveller for our society. There was a popular view that the virus was indiscriminate in its effects on people and communities, but as the crisis has unfolded, we now know better. We know that people on the fringes of our economy will be hit hardest in terms of jobs and financial insecurity. That the closure of schools affects children's life chances unequally. And of course, that your age, underlying health and ethnicity will have a profound effect on how the virus impacts you. COVID-19 has exposed the range of inequalities that affect people in ways that demand a response from this council and its partners.

We can't blame COVID-19 for inequality in Kirklees or pretend that inequalities didn't exist in our communities before the pandemic. But we can try to understand the issues and make them the cornerstone of our recovery as a borough. Our updated Council Plan seeks to do exactly that.

The plan retains its focus on outcomes for people. We will concentrate our energy and resources on the things that make a difference to people's lives. But this year's plan elevates our ambition. At the same time as improving the life chances of children, the health of residents, addressing climate change and building a stronger economy for everyone, we will put an extra focus on breaking down the barriers that have previously prevented people from sharing in the benefits of plans like this. Overseen by a new Inequalities Commission, we will make sure our focus on tackling inequalities delivers for everyone in Kirklees.

Our ambition for Kirklees is well placed. The past six months have seen local people, partner organisations and communities step up to support each other in a way we haven't seen in generations. The spirit and professionalism we have witnessed has undoubtedly saved lives but it has also shown what is possible when we come together. If we can continue to work together in this way, our recovery offers a better future for everyone in Kirklees.

Fairness and opportunity for all is not an ambition owned exclusively by one political party, one public service or one community. It is a thread that can bind us all together. I invite anyone who wants to play their part in building a fairer Kirklees to join us in delivering this plan.

Jacqui Gedman, Chief Executive
Jacqui Gedman, Chief Executive

As we plan for the future, we can look back with pride on the ways we have confronted the immense challenges we have faced this year. So many people in Kirklees have made sacrifices, supported each other and saved lives. I pay tribute to council staff who have responded, adapted and delivered in a way few would have thought possible just 12 months ago.

We have all seen extraordinary changes in the way we work. But it is testament to the dedication and determination of councillors and our workforce that we have risen to the challenges of supporting residents, communities and businesses across Kirklees. On a daily basis, we have used skill and innovation to overcome problems and situations at an unprecedented pace. But if one quality has shone through, it is the kindness individuals have shown in the service of the people of Kirklees, and the relationships they have built. For that I am both immensely proud and profoundly grateful.

I have always said that Kirklees' recovery will affect more lives and in a more profound way than the crisis itself. This is what is now at stake. We need to sustain the spirit of shared endeavour across services and organisations that have characterised the past few months. If we can learn the lessons of the pandemic and continue to create the conditions for innovation, we can build an inclusive council, economy and society. It is both a challenge and an incredibly exciting opportunity. We have already started along this path. But it is a long-term commitment that we make here - and one we can be confident in achieving. Thank you!

Our vision

Our vision for Kirklees is to be a district that combines a strong, sustainable economy with a great quality of life - leading to thriving communities, growing businesses, high prosperity and low inequality where people enjoy better health throughout their lives.

Our approach

Working with people, partners and place

Our Council Plan describes the ambitions we have for Kirklees and sets out how we work with people, partners, and in places so we can achieve our ambitions.

We use the phrase 'We're Kirklees' to capture our pride in Kirklees and our ambition for the future; we're ambitious for the place and our people and we want to celebrate all that makes Kirklees special.

Our values

Just like for individuals, our organisation's values guide the way we think and act. In our response to the pandemic we have seen our values in action, under incredible pressure and in a rapidly changing environment.

Our shared outcomes

Five stars

We remain committed to the shared outcomes we have already set out in previous plans. These outcomes haven't changed, even in the light of the pandemic, although the steps we will need to take to get us there might be different because of the constantly evolving national and local impacts the pandemic continues to have, and because of our focus on tackling inequalities as part of everything we do.

Best start

Children have the best start in life

Sustainable economy

Kirklees has sustainable economic growth and provides good employment for and with communities and businesses

Well

People in Kirklees are as well as possible for as long as possible

Safe and cohesive

People in Kirklees live in cohesive communities, feel safe and are protected from harm

Independent

People in Kirklees live independently and have control over their lives

Clean and green

People in Kirklees experience a high quality, clean, sustainable and green environment

Aspire and achieve

People in Kirklees have aspiration to achieve their ambitions through education, training employment and lifelong learning

Efficient and effective

Kirklees Council works smart and delivers efficiently and effectively

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