Cardiff Council recently published its annual Well-Being Report, which takes the temperature on Cardiff’s well-being as well as how the city is meeting its Corporate Plan for 2022-25. The report focuses on seven main themes:
- Cardiff is a great place to grow up
- Cardiff is a great place to grow older
- Supporting people out of poverty
- Safe, confident and empowered communities
- A capital city that works for Wales
- Cardiff grows in a resilient way
- Modernising and integrating our public services
Council leader Cllr Huw Thomas introduced the report, pointing out many positive outcomes from it. “This shows how well the city is doing in terms of looking after its citizens, whatever their age and wherever they live. Clearly, there is still much to be done and we are still feeling the effects of the pandemic, especially in schools where attendance remains a concern. But in many other areas, we have returned to pre-pandemic levels of performance and, in some areas, exceeded them.”
Here are some of the highlights from the report:
Cardiff is a great place to grow up
The report concluded that there had been “sustained improvement” in the city’s education services, with many schools reporting positive GCSE results from 2022, higher than the previously comparable year 2019. The report also found that the number of permanent expulsions had gone down 15% compared with last year. Some schools however needed some improvement, with four schools in the «follow-up» category and one needing significant improvement.
The report found that there is a high demand for children’s services and insufficient placements in Cardiff, as well as “challenges” in the recruitment of social workers. The biggest challenge in this area has been a lack of placements for children looked after. The number of children looked after by local authority foster carers is at 129, an all-time high. The number of children looked after by external foster carers is at 308, an all-time low.
Cardiff is a great place to grow older
Cardiff is seeing a rise in the number of people aged 65 over the last ten years. They are reporting on average higher well-being than other groups in the city. There is however a shortage of care workers and the recruitment of social workers and occupational therapists remains a “significant issue.” The council have launched several initiatives to help older people in the city as a part of the drive to make Cardiff an official “Age-Friendly City.”
Supporting people out of poverty
The report found that the number of people that are becoming homeless has increased and around 8000 people are on the council house waiting list. This has become a corporate priority. Helping people into work is also a priority for Cardiff and since the last report, the city has become a top 100 employer in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index survey.
Safe, confident and empowered communities
How safe people feel in Cardiff is down to where in the city they live, the report said, with people living in the more affluent areas twice as likely to describe their living situation as “very satisfied” than those living in other areas. The Council is investing in different communities, having built over 800 affordable new homes, focusing on the most deprived areas.
A capital city that works for Wales
Since Covid Cardiff has seen a slow return to pre-pandemic life, with a footfall of 43 million people last year and a return of the city’s live and cultural events. The Metro Central programme is progressing which will create a link between the city centre and the Bay. Other projects are also progressing to make Cardiff a more alive city. The Council are also working on a bid to be a host for the 2028 European Football Championship, which will be a great opportunity to put Cardiff on the global sporting stage.
Cardiff grows in a resilient way
The report found that Cardiff is the second highest CO2 emissions per capita of cities in the UK. The Council is taking action to reduce this with different projects in transport, renewable energy, housing retrofit and flood mitigation, which is making progress. There has however been an increase in recycling with a new strategy being approved. This has helped the Council to meet statutory targets going forward.
Modernising and integrating our public services
The last theme of the report looks at Cardiff’s growth and the report found that the Council faces significant challenges when it comes to energy pricing, pay pressures and other factors. To prevent this, the Council is taking a proactive approach to savings. Cardiff’s citizen’s ability to access Council services online has increased, with 74000 registered at the CardiffGov app.
The report was discussed at the Policy Review & Performance Scrutiny Committee on July 12th and was sent to Cabinet for approval on July 13th. The cabinet then gave final recommendations and observations on the report. “The firm conclusion to be drawn from this is that Cardiff remains a great place to live, to grow old and to prosper. We will continue to work to ensure this remains the case for many years to come,” Council leader Thomas concluded.