Agenda item

Futures and State of Warwickshire

The Committee is invited to review and comment on the Futures and State of Warwickshire report.


Sophie Kitching (Graduate Management Trainee) presented a report outlining the Future and State of Warwickshire and summarised the following points:


·     The aim of the report was to look ahead at future trends, challenges, and opportunities from 2030 to 2040.

·     This brought together thinking, best practice and research from across the County and provided a snapshot of items which were continuously monitored and updated.

·     The report’s content was structured around five key themes which were outlined for Members.

·     Within the five key themes, five Council-wide issues had been extracted with four specific considerations identified specifically for the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

·     The overall priority issues were described as:

§  Demographic shifts, tailoring services to changing demands.

§  Global political economic and political uncertainty, whilst being adaptable, resilient, and planning for the future.

§  Climate Change, adaption, and mitigation across the workforce.

§  Artificial Intelligence (AI) – this had wide ranging impacts but was being embraced as a positive and complimented the face to face work being done.

§  Inequalities between groups and places, thinking about holistic communities and localised intervention, including the digital divide.


·     Specific Impacts within Communities OSC.

§  Environmental/climate policy, public support evolving central government policy.

§  Future skills, skill gaps, reskilling and future skilling

§  Transport, demand, autonomy, infrastructure, connectivity, energy source

§  Urban regeneration, changing footfall in town centres, town centre regeneration, shift in urban/rural living patterns, future of workspaces.


·     Going forward this would be available as a live resource for officers and members as an information tool for decision making now and in the future and ongoing feedback would be encouraged.


Members discussed the following points.


In response to a query from Councillor Jenny Fradley, Lou Richardson (Lead Commissioner – Corporate Policy and Strategy) stated that ensuring older generations were considered in decisions that would affect their ability to interact with systems or online now as well as in the future was important and this would be noted and considered when discussing with team and planning ideas. She continued by discussing electric vehicles stating that more information was becoming more widely available about alternative fuels, and this would be taken into account in the future as it became better understood. Lou Richardson made a final comment relating to Artificial Intelligence this was underexplored and would be something that to be noted and monitored as it became better understood.


The Chair stated this was a good report, noting that the world was fast changing and therefore felt there would be alternatives that the Council needed to be conscious and well informed of going forward. Councillor Fradgley added that some of these changes could happen quickly, even if they were expected and could potentially catch the Council unawares.


In response to a question from Councillor Chilvers, Lou Richardson advised that the Corporate Policy Team, as part of the Futures Work, ensured that information was filtered down by senior officers, identifying any items brought to their attention.  There were quarterly meetings with each directorate to discuss and identify issues. Meetings and discussions were also held with the Strategy Network and heads of service to identify strategies and issues going forward. Additionally, a key part of the strategy development was to discuss with teams who had been looking at policy changes coming forwards and challenge them on what the services offered.


Having considered the report, the Committee


Resolved to

a)    Note the trends and themes highlighted in the ‘Warwickshire Futures 2030/40’ and ‘Warwickshire in 2030 and beyond’ reports and

consider how they may relate to ongoing and future policy development; and

b)    Considers the Committee's current work programme in light of the Warwickshire Futures work.

Supporting documents: