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David Finch 

Leader of Essex County Council


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Just as our county is changing, so too must the organisation that serves it

Since the Essex County Council six weeks ago, my political leadership team has been busily fine-tuning our priorities. Now it is time to start making those ambitions a reality.

  Recently I wrote to Chief Executive, Gavin Jones, to outline how the organisation’s new strategy can help deliver our strategic aims by 2021:

  1. We want to enable inclusive economic growth to create a prosperous Essex where local people enjoy better living standards, improved health and wellbeing and raised aspirations.
  2. We want Essex to be a place where people get the best start in life and are able to age well, ensuring the most vulnerable people in our society,  young and old, are protected and supported to live independent and fulfilling lives.
  3. We want to make sure Essex is a great place to grow up, live and work by making sure we build communities that provide the homes we need, are supported by good infrastructure, but protect and enhance the characteristics of the county we cherish.
  4. We will continue to innovate to transform the council to achieve more for less by respecting taxpayers’ money, being proactive, efficient and effective, while seizing the opportunity that digital technology provides.

Now, we must work with the organisation’s Corporate Management Board to deliver a strategy for the council through to May 2021.

Over the last four years education has improved drastically, indeed 94 per cent of children in Essex are taught in schools rated good or outstanding by government inspectors Ofsted.

We are investing more than £180 million on maintaining the county’s road network and highways infrastructure improvements, the biggest programme undertaken in Essex and one of the largest in the UK. 

On top of that, we are increasing people’s ability to manage their care independently through better use of direct payments and reduced admissions to residential care.

This is proof that we have consistently innovated, driven by ECC’s hugely talented workforce. But this is no time to rest on our laurels.

Expectations of the council are rising, and during this term of office we must deliver £186 million of savings – that’s 20 per cent of our current annual budget.

Our residents and business owners work hard to pay their council tax and business rates, so we must respect their money and strive to get the best value for every pound we spend.

In order to deliver our priorities and maximise our positive contribution to the lives of people and businesses in Essex, we must strive to be a proactive, efficient and effective organisation. Just as our county is changing, so too must the organisation that serves it.

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