We have worked with our communities to create a new vision for Camden 2025. Together we want to make Camden a better borough – a place where everyone has the chance to succeed, where nobody gets left behind, and where everybody has a voice.
We strongly believe that through addressing disadvantage, we can contribute to ensuring citizens live happily and healthily, with better outcomes for individuals, families and communities.
Over the last few years we have been working hard to ‘shift the balance’ of our services to ensure we intervene early and prevent needs escalating – to enable us to focus our resources on those citizens who really need them, while also trying to prevent complex issues from happening in the first place.
Many residents are held back by problems and challenges that have been around for too long. We need to continue to innovate to respond to these long-standing problems, focusing on tackling the root causes.
To give you a flavour of some of our current, core priorities:
- Medium Term Financial Strategy: Since 2010 we have had to realise savings totaling £169 million – which equates to over 50% of our overall budget and, based on current forecasts, we believe we need to save a further £40 million by 2020/21. This is a significant challenge particularly considering the increased demand for our services. To date our outcome-based financial strategy has enabled us to protect activities and services that most contribute to the achievement of our ambitions and this approach will be crucial to us delivering against our new vision set out in Our Camden Plan. We need to maintain strong financial management and plan ahead carefully, taking a long-term view, investing where it matters, using evidence and making decisions in line with our values. Whilst always ensuring we’re reducing waste work and working as efficiently as possible.
- Pioneering a new ‘type’ of local government: In Camden we always strive to be at the leading edge, whether that is being a digital leader, going further to ensure we are intervening early to prevent problems escalating (we are the only Local Authority to have reduced the number of children in care), taking an outcomes approach to balance our budget. This is because we know what kind of organisation we want to be and we know we need to continue to re-shape all that we do in order to help us achieve our ambitions. For example, re-thinking the purpose of what we do, taking an ‘outside-in’ perspective, designing our services with citizens at the heart, learning through experimentation, iteration and failure and much more.
- Shaping Camden as a place for our citizens: HS2 and the Euston area redevelopment is a priority for us. We need to work with HS2 and partners to support, develop and ‘placeshape’ Euston as a major new destination and centre of growth for London. We want the best for Camden.
- Resident safety: We are committed to ensuring all that we do is focused on our residents and this includes developing new standards for ensuring residents are safe in their homes and responding to new guidance on building protocols following the Grenfell fire. Nationally we have learnt a lot from these tragic events and we need to ensure in Camden we continue to learn and listen to our residents and communities in order to improve resident safety. We have made great progress over the past 12 months and as the incoming Director you can build on this and lead the team we have established.
- Community Investment Programme (CIP): Creating affordable homes and investment in the borough is a key ambition for us. Launched in 2010, CIP is a £1.5bn, 15-year programme which will deliver strategic investment in schools, homes and community facilities in Camden. In total, we’re building 3,050 new homes, including 1,100 council homes, 300 genuinely affordable homes to rent, investing in 53 schools and children’s centres and providing 9,000m2 of improved community facilities, the equivalent of 35 tennis courts. CIP will also help renovate thousands of existing council homes, as part of the Council’s Better Homes Programme.
- Camden Learning: In Camden we have some of the country’s best schools but we are not complacent and we want to make sure all our children thrive. As such we’ve set up and are making a success of Camden Learning, a not for profit company, that will ensure our schools continue to share learning, expertise and best practice, working together to achieve the highest standards for pupils.