Opinion - The East Riding of Yorkshire Council leader Stephen Parnaby

The star-studded opening of the new Leisure centre in Bridlington.
The star-studded opening of the new Leisure centre in Bridlington.

At the start of July I had the great honour of attending the official opening of East Riding Leisure Bridlington by Becky Adlington OBE, Gail Emms MBE and Dean Windass (Hull City Legend).

In their words, the sports stars said they were “blown away” by the £25 million centre, which is high praise indeed when you think about the number of fantastic sports venues they must have visited around the world.

Their reaction reinforced to me how much of an achievement it has been by East Riding of Yorkshire Council to not only protect our sport and leisure facilities but actually invest millions of pounds into upgrading them or building new ones.

And it all comes down to our commitment to continue investing and delivering high-quality services for our residents and communities, despite the huge financial pressures local authorities face.

A couple of years ago a survey of more than 1,000 residents revealed that 97% of the people questioned were satisfied with the East Riding as a place to live and 82% were satisfied with the way East Riding of Yorkshire Council runs services.

They are superb results and testament to all the good work carried out day in, day out.

As I get out and about attending different events around the East Riding, many people tell me about their experiences with the council.

I hear many examples of how the council has done a good job, whether it’s helping businesses start up, launching innovative schemes to encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles or hitting recycling targets.

But we can’t just rely on anecdotal evidence and the council puts a lot of focus on monitoring the performance of all its services, to ensure that all departments are achieving targets on behalf of residents.

The council’s Cabinet recently received the latest Local Performance Framework report, which outlines how the authority has achieved against its targets, some of which are measured against national local government standards.

The report showed that, in 86% of the measures, the council is performing on or above target.

Some of the highlights include the vast majority of employment and business indicators being above the milestone and improving, such as the overall employment rate; the number of areas inspected that meet national standards for litter collection is high; and the number of young people leaving our care who are provided with suitable accommodation, education, employment or training is also heartening.

The report is excellent news for our residents and highlights the high degree of flexibility of our workforce to continue to deliver services in a time of unprecedented change for local government.

The council has a good track record of prudent financial management and service delivery and, by continually reviewing our performance locally and nationally, we can ensure we continue to do a good job, and as efficiently as possible.

Despite the challenging financial climate, we continue to have high ambitions for the area and its significant opportunities and potential.

By constantly monitoring and reviewing our efforts, we will continue to improve the quality of life for our communities and build even more pride in belonging to the East Riding of Yorkshire.