Issue - meetings

Warwickshire Futures - looking ahead to 2030/40

Meeting: 21/02/2024 - Resources and Fire & Rescue Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 4)

4 Warwickshire Futures - looking ahead to 2030/40 pdf icon PDF 125 KB

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The item was introduced by Max Taylor (Graduate Management Trainee), who explained the report looked to address large-scale challenges, but also look at potential opportunities, that would affect the Council going forward to 2040. To do this, analysis of long-term trends and short-term issues had been undertaken, along with examples of good practice and research across other areas of local government. This would be continually monitored and updated as time progressed. It was hoped all of this information, when collated, would put the Council in the best position to respond to the challenges it would face in the coming years. Examples of topics that were considered to be shorter-term priorities included the Levelling Up agenda, the increased cost of living, resourcing of services, and potential changes caused by election results.


Members were told five key themes had been identified: societal change; community and health; jobs, economy and technology; environment, climate and infrastructure; and transport and travel. Further issues that could have a potentially strong impact across all areas of the Council had also been identified. These were shifts in demographics; global economic and political uncertainty; climate change; artificial intelligence; and inequalities. For example, people were living for longer but also more of those people would suffer with serious illnesses. There would also need to be changes to help meet the needs of a younger demographic in terms of inclusivity. In respect of climate change, emergency planning teams had been established that would tackle climate events such as flooding or prolonged heatwaves. The use of AI was seen as more of a positive opportunity, as there were potentially ways for customer-facing teams to exploit its use for the Council’s benefit.


In addition to the Council-wide issues, workforce challenges, political engagement, and digitalisation had all been identified as specific issues of relevance to the Committee. Among the workforce challenges to be identified were pay levels for senior staff and succession planning. It had been noted two thirds of Council staff were aged between 40 and 64, and just five per cent of the total workforce was under the age of 25. Engagement with local elections had been identified as an issue, with turnout across England being around 32 per cent at last year’s local election. Members were told that 6G data was in the process of being developed and it was anticipated it would begin to be rolled out by 2030.


Responding to a question raised by Councillor Feeney, Louise Richardson (Lead Commissioner – Corporate Policy and Strategy) said town centre regeneration and work with district and borough councils was being undertaken by the Place team. She said Councillor Feeney’s comments would be fed back to the team. In response to another question from Councillor Feeney regarding workforce challenges, she said feedback would be reported back to members of the Strategy Network. Bal Jacob (Director of Workforce and Local Services) said a lot of work was already taking place in relation to strategic workforce planning. Pilot schemes regarding staff recruitment and retention  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4