Cardiff Council publishes mid-term report on its performance


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Cardiff Council has published its mid-term ‘Well-Being’ appraisal – offering a comprehensive self-assessment of how it has performed in meeting objectives set out in its corporate plan for 2023-26.

The objectives are centred on seven key Council commitments:

  • 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
  • One Planet Cardiff
  • Modernising and integrating our public services

In compiling the report, the Council draws on a number of sources of performance intelligence, including the annual Ask Cardiff citizen survey, the Budget Monitoring Report, its performance against its Key Corporate Plan commitments as well as its annual Compliments and Complaints report.

It also incorporates the regular inspections carried out by Audit Wales, Estyn – the schools inspectorate – and Care Inspectorate Wales. The report seeks to provide a fair and balanced account of the Council’s performance.

The report makes it clear that education outcomes in Cardiff are among the highest in Wales and that the city has secured UNICEF child-friendly status. It also sets out how the Council is helping a record number of people into work and to access benefits, as well as delivering against its target for new homes. Across every Well-Being objective there are examples of the progress being made.

It also sets out the challenges the Council is facing, making clear that almost all of its services are facing increases in demand. The report also acknowledges the difficulties that energy, food and fuel inflation present.

Cllr Huw Thomas, the Council leader, said there were many positives to be drawn from the mid-term assessment. “From becoming the first British city to be awarded Child-Friendly City status by UNICEF, our education successes, the council house building programme and the increase in the number of companies in Cardiff paying the real Living Wage, it’s clear we are moving in the right direction in establishing the city as a wonderful place to live and work.

“But we are still emerging from the effects of the pandemic and while we are leading the economic recovery in Wales there is still much to do. This report highlights all the areas where we are having considerable successes and, rightly, points to those areas where we can – and will – do better and achieve our aim of a Stronger, Fairer, Greener Cardiff.”


  • Cardiff a great place to grow up

–         In addition to the UNICEF award, the Council reports school exam results have been above or well above expectations and school inspections good, especially in the primary sector.

–         Cardiff Commitment continues to help young people access work experience, with 300 placements secured through the What’s Next project and additional partners including BBC Studios and Cardiff and Vale Health Board joining the enterprise,


  • Cardiff is a great place to grow older

–         Care provision for older people is “generally good” says the report, while access to domiciliary care is judged “very good” although challenges remain, particular in the recruitment of social workers.

–         The Independent Living Service (ILS) is praised for the support it offers, with 98% of people reporting they are able to live independently at home following contact with the ILS.

–         Following the success of two supported living schemes – Blue Dragon and Llys Maelfryn – further schemes are due to open before the end of the year, offering more support to people leaving residential care. In addition, a pipeline of schemes for the next three years has been developed for those with mental health and learning disabilities.


  • Supporting people out of poverty

–         In response to the cost-of-living crisis, the Council’s support offer “continues to be delivered effectively” with almost 3,300 people helped with Universal Credit between April and September this year. During the same period, the Council’s Money Advice Team identified additional weekly benefit of more than £10m for its clients. It has also offered essential services such as warm spaces at community hubs.

–         Supporting local people into work has made good progress. Around 620 people secured work during the first six months of this financial year and 1,600 Council posts have been filled through placements from Cardiff Works, its in-house employment agency. The Council has also created 35 new apprenticeship and trainee placements, bringing the total number at the Council to 120.

–         Cardiff’s status as a UK Living Wage City has meant benefits for thousands of people. There are now 210 companies in the city paying the real Living Wage and the number of people not earning it has decreased from around 42,000 people in 2017 to 18,000 people today, a fall of nearly 13%.


  • Safe, confident and empowered communities

–         The Council remains on track to deliver 1,000 new homes by December 2023, with a further 645 planned before March 2024.

–         Empty homes continue to be brought back into use, with the Council on track to meet its target, with 46 properties revitalised to date.

–         The network of libraries and hubs continue to be highly valued and well-attended, with more than one million visitors so far this year and high customer satisfaction ratings.

–         The Council is using the UK Government’s Safer Streets Fund to deliver interventions across the city to solve anti-social behaviour hotspots and conducting an in-depth community engagement exercise following the deaths of two boys in Ely and the serious disorder that followed.

–         It continues to play a leading role in supporting refugees and asylum seekers, particularly those from Ukraine (1,200 individuals) and Afghanistan (800).

–         The 2021 Census showed that the number of people who can speak, read and write in Welsh has increased by more than 6,500 people (23%) since 2011, the largest numerical or percentage increase across all Welsh local authorities.


  • A capital city that works for Wales

–         Last year Cardiff was allocated £42m over 2½ years from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund which will help fund a range of local business support, transport, skills and community safety initiatives. In addition, the Council has also secured £50m from the Levelling Up Fund to improve public transport in the city, match-funded by a £50m Welsh Government grant.

–         The Council has secured funding from the Welsh Government to deliver an international music festival in Autumn 2024, and Cardiff has been confirmed as a host city for the 2028 UEFA European Championships


  • One Planet Cardiff

–         Work to install the heat network (using the Viridor Energy Recovery Facility at Trident Park to power almost 70,000 homes) is progressing well, while retrofitting energy efficiency measures in council houses is above target.

–         Work is ongoing to manage the transition to a default 20mph city, and design work has progressed on the development of a segregated cycle network; in April, the Council resolved to consider a range of road payment schemes.

–         Clean air improvement projects in the city centre have seen “substantial progress”, with “good progress” made on delivering improvements to Cardiff’s roads and footways. In addition, the programme to make all 24,000 residential lighting to low-energy LED bulbs is 95% complete.


  • Modernising and integrating our public services

–         To reduce running costs and help carbon reduction targets, the Council has closed two wings of County Hall and relinquish Willcox House in Cardiff Bay, moving its operations to County Hall.

–         More citizens (82,500, a 12% increase over the first half of the year) are interacting with the Council digitally via the Cardiff App. The digital shift has helped the Council manage demand on services more effectively with the number of telephone calls falling from 1,612 per quarter to just 35.

–         Work is ongoing to ensure the Council’s workforce is representative and inclusive of the communities it services. The Cardiff Race Equality Task Force has made notable progress in areas including workforce development, increasing the participation of minority ethnic groups and improving access to and visibility of Cardiff Works for minority ethnic groups.

A copy of the full report can be read here.