The fascinating stats behind West Devon's services and activities
7 June 2022
The authority has just released its annual report for the last year, reflecting on the Council's achievements over 2021/22, as the country continued to work its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report reflects how the pandemic has shaped Council services and how the organisation's staff have risen to the fresh challenges posed by the impacts of coronavirus.
Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: "Yet again, the Council has managed to balance its budget exceptionally well while continuing to provide a level of good service to residents of the Borough.
"Time and again, our staff have impressed me with their efforts to support the people and communities of West Devon. There are ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19 and we're responding to new challenges that continue to appear, like making sure we offer adequate support to our Ukrainian guests through the Homes for Ukraine scheme, but I have no doubt that our teams will continue to rise to those challenges."
Of the money that West Devon Borough Council collects from residents in Council Tax, only 11% goes toward paying for services provided by the Borough Council, including refuse and recycling collection, housing, planning and leisure centres. The rest is split between Devon County Council, town and parish councils and the police and fire and rescue services.
In a snapshot of the Council's activities over the last year, the organisation revealed that it has:
- Received 507 planning applications
- Spent just 13.8 days on average to process a new Housing Benefit claim (well below the national target of 17 days)
- Saved £450,000 across West Devon and South Hams by implementing easier to use, customer friendly software
- Collected an average of 26.41kg of non-recyclable waste from each household in the Borough
- Awarded £3.8m in Council Tax support to those in financial difficulty
- Handled 43,406 calls to our call centre
- The level of membership of Parklands Leisure Centre's swim school rose to 109% compared to pre-pandemic levels
- Saved around 7,500 staff commuting miles thanks to agile staff working - saving approximately 2.2 tonnes of CO2 emissions
Staff have also processed £33m in COVID business support grants over the last two years, providing a vital lifeline across West Devon's business sectors.