Serving Hampshire in 2021/22
Over the last year, good progress has been made towards achieving the objectives of the 2021-25 Serving Hampshire Strategic Plan, despite the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing inflationary pressures, and labour market challenges.
Shown below are some examples of how Hampshire County Council has delivered on its priorities in 2021/22.
- Outcome one
Hampshire maintains strong and sustainable economic growth and prosperity
- 352 apprenticeships started within the County Council in 2021/22. Hampshire’s apprentices outperformed national averages with their retention rate (87%, compared with 59% nationally), and achievement of accreditation (66%, compared with 58% nationally)
- The lengthening of the Eclipse Rapid Transit busway in Gosport was completed and opened in December 2021
- The County Council agreed to maintain contract payments for community transport operators at their full level from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023, to support their recovery from the COVID pandemic and to encourage economic growth in the County
- The County Council manages an Apprenticeship Levy scheme that allows Hampshire businesses and public sector organisations to apply for funds to support their own apprenticeship schemes. £915,000 was paid from this scheme in 2021/22, funding 453 new apprenticeship starts at a value of £2.9 million within these organisations through the year.
- Outcome two
People in Hampshire live safe, healthy and independent lives
- As at the end of February 2022, over 93% of Hampshire schools were judged to be ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted
- Just over 98% of parents were offered a reception year place for their child in one of their three preferred choice schools from September 2021, and just over 93% were allocated a place at their first choice of school. Furthermore, 1,870 additional school places were delivered through new schools and extensions to existing schools, in 2021/22
- The first ‘Independence Hub’ opened in Alton in December 2021, offering post-16 education tailored specifically for young people with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). Three more Independence Hubs are planned to open over the coming two years, with an expectation that additional sites will also be identified
- The release of CIPFA Public Library Stats for 2020/21 showed Hampshire Libraries to have the highest number of both physical and digital book issues and the highest number of visits of any county authority. A further 3.4 million physical books were issued in Hampshire libraries in 2021/22 whilst the number of eBooks issued in the same year (1.8 million) was more than double the number issued before the COVID-19 pandemic (869,081) in 2019/20.
- Outcome three
People in Hampshire enjoy a rich and diverse environment
- Hampshire’s first recycling road materials site opened in Micheldever in June 2021, allowing the Council to reuse road materials dug up during road maintenance operations to reduce CO2 emissions by 67,500kg, and save £320,000 per year
- A segregated walking and cycleway route between Brighton Hill Roundabout and Sullivan Road in Basingstoke was opened, following a public consultation on the scheme in early 2021 which indicated strong support for the development. The route will link directly into the other cycle routes that will be provided as part of the Brighton Hill Roundabout improvement scheme
- All Hampshire Country Parks were awarded a Green Flag in 2021. Additionally, Royal Victoria Country Park and Staunton Country Park were awarded the Green Heritage Award in October 2021
- The Barn at River Hamble Country Park opened to the public in March 2022. This new eco-friendly visitor centre and café has been built using climate friendly materials (many harvested from the same park) and features a solar panelled roof linked to Tesla batteries
- As part of the Highway Tree Planning Programme 2,800 trees were planted in 2021/22, more than double the number planted the previous year (1,300), with an expectation that 3,000 will be planted in 2022/23
- Outcome four
People in Hampshire enjoy being part of strong, inclusive, resilient communities
- The County Council continued to support Government programmes to resettle Afghan refugees following the withdrawal of UK troops from Afghanistan, including intensive support for refugees who have been temporarily accommodated in ‘bridging hotels’ before finding longer-term accommodation. At the end of 2021/22 the Council was supporting 3 bridging hotels in the area and had successfully supported the resettlement of 31 Afghan refugee families into longer-term Hampshire accommodation through this work.
- Work to assist Ukrainian refugees arriving in Hampshire under the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme began in early Spring 2022. Initial work involved conducting safeguarding and wellbeing checks via home visits, distributing Government-funded financial support, and ensuring timely information was shared with guests and sponsors - including helping to inform guests on how they could access healthcare and educational services
- ‘Hampshire Hive’ launched during Foster Care Fortnight in May 2021. This is a new support network for foster carers and the children they look after which aims to create an ‘extended family’ for fostering households
- The County Council invested £515,000 to refurbish the Winchester Discovery Centre, with additional funding provided by Arts Council England and Hampshire Cultural Trust. The funding helped to improve library and gallery facilities, as well as updating the facilities at the site, as part of an agreement with Hampshire Cultural Trust to improve the financial sustainability of the building over the longer term. The refurbished site, named the ‘Arc’, formally re-opened in March 2022 with a visit from HRH The Prince of Wales
- The Getting Going Again Fund of £950,000 was approved by the Council, to support Hampshire residents who have been classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) or Clinically Vulnerable (CV) to re-engage with their local communities and focus on the post COVID-19 future, by helping people to safely start accessing their local communities again and return to more normal ways of life.