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Vulnerable are ‘served well’ by Bury Council
TOWN hall staff are faring well in the inequality stakes, new figures suggest.
Every three months, Bury Council publishes a ‘corporate plan report’ which monitors how the borough is performing according to 53 inequality indicators.
The purpose is to check whether the authority is failing vulnerable groups and needs to change the way it tackles problems.
The latest figures, covering the three months up to the end of April, were revealed in a report published last week.
The report showed that achievement was “better than expected” in 33 areas, “as expected” in 10 areas and “worse than expected” in two areas.
The council did not have any figures available for the other eight subject areas.
One of the two subject areas where the council was significantly below its own target level was the number of working-age people claiming unemployment benefits — two per cent compared with a 1.6-per-cent target.
The report said this was due to the economic downturn and listed four council-run initiatives aimed at reducing the level.
The other area was the percentage of children and young people in care who achieve five A*s to C grades, including English and maths, in their GCSES — 13.6 per cent compared with a 50-per-cent target.
The report said this related to 22 pupils.
Targets were hit or surpassed in areas such as the number of children being excluded from school and the number of people living in temporary accommodation.
In the report, the council’s performance officer Sarah Marshall wrote that the performance against the targets was good.
She wrote: “Where we have not performed as expected, the reasons have been identified and, in most cases, a pro-active approach has been adopted to improve these outcomes next year.
“In the context of current pressures and resource limitations, efforts made to maintain performance are to be welcomed.”
Dave Bevitt, chief officer of Bury Citizen’s Advice Bureau, which helps thousands of people tackle issues such as housing, said: “The interesting figures may be in a few months’ time around homelessness and families living in temporary accommodation when the effects of the ‘bedroom tax’ and other benefit reforms kick in.
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