Annual Report 2021/22: improving services during a challenging year


Released: 4 August 2022

A year of progress delivering vital services for communities in challenging times is the core theme of West Sussex County Council’s Annual Report 2021/22.

The report summarises the work of the council and West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service against the priorities in Our Council Plan 2021 to 2025.

It shows significant developments throughout the year but recognises that there is still more for the council to do on its improvement journey.

Key highlights include:

  • 76,477 people supported by the Community Hub during the pandemic
  • 3,355 Safe and Well Fire Service visits to homes to improve fire safety
  • 2,385 enterprises supported to start, revive, innovate and grow
  • 650 road improvement schemes delivered
  • 16.3km of cycleways created
  • 88.8% of schools rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted
  • 5.81m uses of our libraries’ digital and virtual services by residents
  • 10% reduction in CO2 emissions produced by County Council activities from 2019/20
  • 11% reduction of operational property to help make best use of resources and deliver more effective services 

In his foreword, Council Leader Paul Marshall said: “The past year has been one of real progress for West Sussex County Council as we continued on our improvement journey while delivery vital services for our communities.

“We continued to meet the challenges of Covid-19, remaining at the heart of the local Public Health response, supporting vulnerable households through our Community Hub, and helping small businesses recover, to highlight but a few examples.

“The ongoing pandemic does, however, continue to present us with significant challenges that have impacted on some areas of performance. Together with developments such as the conflict in Ukraine and the rising cost of living, we are seeing a growing need for the services we commission and provide.

“To support our communities, we continue to adapt to meet these challenges while remaining focused on our four core priorities, underpinned by the cross-cutting theme of tackling climate change: keeping people safe from vulnerable situations; a sustainable and prosperous economy; helping people and communities fulfil their potential; making the best use of resources.

“While challenges remain, there are also ambitious opportunities for further growth and collaboration with partners.

“We still have a way to go on our improvement journey, which is why we remain committed to continually raising performance and enhancing the services we provide to our residents and communities.

“I would like to extend my thanks to my fellow councillors, our partner organisations, and to our staff, whose dedication and commitment to putting our communities first remains the foundation on which we will continue to improve and deliver.”

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