West Sussex County Council has become the first authority in the UK to use new software that gives residents open access to its performance data.
For the first time, people can monitor and measure, in almost real time, how the council is performing against its key targets.
Louise Goldsmith, West Sussex County Council Leader, said: “Moving from paper to digital and giving residents the opportunity to see our performance at the same time as we do opens our accountability and gives us a very visual way of explaining how and what we’re doing for our residents and communities, where and how we are spending the Council Tax. It’s very much in line with our agenda to be more transparent and open.
“Of course we want to do the very best for our residents and deliver really good services and this system helps us with that ambition.
“It brings an honest focus to the services we are not providing as effectively as we could or in comparison with other areas of the country and this helps our residents to hold us to account. We need to be aware of these facts to help us to improve.”
The targets are split into three key areas named after the council’s visions - ‘giving children the best possible start in life’, ‘championing the economy’ and ‘supporting independence in later life’.
For the first vision, the council is on track to reaching its target helping children with special educational needs and giving children with disabilities short breaks.
However it must do more to narrow the attainment gap between rich and poor.
Its work championing the economy is more on target.
There are 5,610 apprentices in the county and it has helped 339 ‘troubled families’ get at least one member back into work.
However it is well short of one of its targets measuring support for businesses. It aims to support 300 firms through council led initiatives by March next year and it has helped just 52 to date.
In its work helping elderly people, the council fares well on the number of carers using its carers support service and its health and wellbeing hubs are well used.
Areas for improvement include making sure people attend preventative health checks.
To see all the targets and data in full go to performance.westsussex.gov.uk