Annual Self-Assessment 2021-22

Executive summary: SA5: Well-being Objectives

To provide a visible and transparent way of measuring where we are on our improvement journey through time each sub-theme is scored using the system set out below, and provides both a current and forward looking perspective.

  • Score 1: Current performance - Excellent; Improvement phase - Effective
  • Score 2: Current performance - Good; Improvement phase - Embedding
  • Score 3: Current performance - Fair; Improvement phase - Evolving
  • Score 4: Current performance - Poor; Improvement phase - Emerging


SA5.1: Education

SA5.2: Social care

SA5.3: Housing

SA5.4: Economic Development and Regeneration

SA5.5: Clean environment / Climate change

SA5.6: Improvement and Transformation



SA5.1: Education

  • Current performance: 3
  • Improvement phase: 2

Well-being Objective - Pembrokeshire a great place to learn, live and grow.

Assessment of current performance (how well are we doing?)

The context for our Education well-being objective Pembrokeshire a great place to learn, live and grow is Estyn’s December 2019 Inspection. This found strengths such as an ambitious vision being in place, but also found areas where improvement is needed such as insufficient focus on improving teaching and that the leadership in schools and that the standards achieved by pupils in were too variable. 

The COVID pandemic interrupted learning and has exacerbated some of the existing challenges especially closing the attainment gap. Inevitably COVID interrupted progress on making improvement but there are clear signs of improvement from 2019. 

The number of schools requiring formal Estyn intervention has dropped to just one. 

Estyn recognised the trajectory for improvement as positive and that there has been a significant change in culture and the commitment at all levels to education improvement. There was recognition that:

  • The vision for education was understood
  • The local authority strategies and actions are impacting in schools in a bespoke way
  • The impressive knowledge that exists amongst staff and schools
  • Headteachers have played a very supportive role in supporting change and improvement

Within the context of these significant improvements Estyn highlighted the need to evidence ongoing impact of improvement work. There is a need to fully embed relevant strategies and changed processes. In common with many other areas of the Council, Estyn noted the ongoing challenges faced in recruitment especially for teachers in STEM subjects and in school leadership more generally. A draft Education workforce strategy has been produced in response.

Throughout the year, updates on the Estyn Action plan were presented to Schools Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The Council’s response to this plan has been strengthened by input from the ISOS consultancy and a roadmap was presented to Schools Overview and Scrutiny Committee in June 2021.

In summarised form, the actions that we took during 2021-22 were

  • Focus on quality teaching in every classroom Schools are adopting a range of evidenced-informed approaches to support their teaching and learning approaches. The main approaches include one (or a combination of) Walkthrus, Great Teaching Toolkit & Teach Like A Champ. Our assessment is that this work is on course.
  • High expectations for all including the most vulnerable. The Raising Attainment for Disadvantage Youngsters (RADY) programme, along with use of pupil deprivation grant are key aspects of this work. 44 out of 62 schools have attended all the RADY training and 57 out of 62 schools have attended at least half of the session provided. Our assessment is that this work is on course.
  • Strengthen school leadership.  Actions included supporting both soft and hard federations, to give more resilience to senior leadership teams as well as enabling professional development through the National Leadership Programme. Our assessment is that this work is on course.
  • Strengthen impact of school-to-school working.  Work is focussing on collaboration through clusters and through senior leader and curriculum leader networks. Our assessment is that this work is progressing, but still at an early stage.
  • Implementation of Partneriaeth to replace ERW the regional school improvement consortium. This work is essentially complete and the new consortium is now in place.

Challenge advisers are working directly with schools to support them with the analysis of their data as necessary. A broader range of strategies are impacting on improving the quality of teaching and leadership and these strategies have been funded and supported by the Council. At a corporate level, the Council is taking strong and timely action with schools causing concern and, when appropriate, this is reported directly under confidential item in Education Improvement Board.

A considerable amount of work has been completed on ALN Act reforms and on partnership work with the health service (for instance speech and language therapy). We continued the ongoing roll-out of Trauma Informed Schools (TIS) and Emotional Literacy Support Assistants, for instance, 19 schools signed up for the ELSA Project in September 2022.

Support for music and sports continues to be re-focussed on disadvantage young people or those who were likely to take part. For instance a project in one secondary school under the Raising Attainment for Disadvantaged Young people banner led to a cohort of 50+ KS3 girls benefiting from additional sport & physical activity sessions, introducing them to a wider social network and improving their empathy towards others. The PMS ‘Creative Arts’ programme continues to be delivered in 10 schools around the county. After a 2-year hiatus, Pembrokeshire Music Service have successfully resumed face-to-face County Ensemble rehearsals with over 70 young people attending weekly.

One area in which still needs further development is the process by which we evaluate our own progress. There are two distinct challenges to overcome. The first is presenting fair outcome focused information on attainment. Welsh Government has moved away from presenting information collated at a local authority level and has also dropped the school categorisation process. The second is capturing the how well the Council as a local education authority is supporting school governing bodies, school leaders and the wider school community to raise attainment.  For this we need more qualitative measures of stakeholders’ views of the support we provide. The Guskey evaluation framework is one way that this can be achieved. At a corporate level, one of the few measures that remains is pupil absence and this is necessarily skewed by the on-going COVID pandemic. Our best understanding of the limited comparative data available suggests the position in Pembrokeshire is somewhat better than elsewhere.

We continued to implement Band B of the 21C Schools Programme and establish priorities for further tranches. Waldo Williams CP School moved into its new site in March 2022 and good progress was made in year on Haverfordwest High VC (completed on time on September 2022). Extensive discussions have taken place regarding preferred options for Portfield School, PRU and Milford Haven schools. Cabinet and Council approval for revised Band B Strategic Outline Programme has been obtained and work has commenced on the Portfield Strategic Outline Case.

Evidence (how do we know?)

Schools and Learning O&S has considered by the Estyn Post Inspection Action Plan and reports on school improvement

Agenda for Schools and Learning O&S on Thursday, 25th November, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

Minutes of C21 School Board meetings.  These are considered by Cabinet throughout the year and the most recent are below:

Agenda for Cabinet on Monday, 14th March, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

Agenda for Cabinet on Monday, 13th June, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

Some of the evidence to support this conclusion comes from internal documents which have not been published. This includes

  • Education Medium Term Service Plans
  • Estyn presentation to Senior Leadership Team 2 March 2022

Improvement actions (what can we do better and how?)

Improvement actions reflect those in the Post Inspection Action Plan agreed with Estyn. These continue to be reviewed by the Education Improvement Board, the last occasion of which was 7 June 2022.

  • Learning pathways/ Curriculum / entitlement
  • Excellent health and well-being of learners
  • C21 learning and learning environment
  • Education workforce
  • Partnership
Focus on quality teaching in every classroom, every day to improve outcomes and accelerate progress for all pupils. 

There are four strands to how we will do this:

  • through the use of toolkits and other resources to improve how lessons are delivered
  • strengthen how schools support each other through school clusters
  • Strengthening school leadership
  • Implement a strategy to attract, place and develop governors and ensure the support we provides enables professionalises the role of governing bodies.
Provide pathways that are appropriate to all learners’ needs, grounded in the curriculum for Wales.

This will include expanding Key Stage 4 Junior Apprenticeships and Key Stage 4/5 blended learning opportunities (e.g. lessons via a live video link as well as refining Seren provision for More Able and Talented pupils from low income families).

Set high expectations for all including the most vulnerable.

Work will include implement the Raising the Attainment of Disadvantaged Youngsters programme, and rolling out Peer Tutoring for pupils entitled to Free School Meals

Deliver, adapt and embed the national reforms for pupils with Additional Learning Needs

Work will include supporting the well-being of children with ALN, ensure partnership working across services to embed the ALNET Act and offering advisory support around sensory processing difficulties for children and schools

Embed Partneriaeth the new regional school improvement consortium

We will develop the structures and joint legal agreements that Partneriaeth will need as well as the services that the new consortium will provide to schools

Continue to implement Band B of the 21C Schools Programme and establish priorities for further tranches. 

Subject to affordability some investment will be made through the Mutual Invest Model. This investment will be within the framework provided by the School Organisation Plan which also includes extending Welsh Medium Provision.

In addition to the items above, the Council will progress the new Welsh Medium Strategic Plan for 2022 - 2031. This has seven outcomes with a particular focus on offering Welsh medium education to younger age groups and then continuing this provision through their learning journey.  The Plan is consistent with meeting the Welsh Government’s aspiration to have one million Welsh speakers by 2050 and is the cornerstone of the Council’s contribution towards that.

It is becoming clear that due to demographic change, a school re-organisation plan will need to be considered by Council with implementation of any plan that is agreed over the medium or possibly long term.



SA5.2: Social care

  • Current performance: 2
  • Improvement phase: 3

Well-being Objective - We will do whatever we can to support people in leading the best life they can whilst focusing on prevention and ensuring vulnerable people are safe.

Assessment of current performance (how well are we doing?)

The legislative framework for social care is the Social Services and Well-being Act. This emphasises user voice and user control. Despite the pressure services are under, in their recent inspection Care Inspectorate Wales found that in adult services many people achieve self- identified positive outcomes and said they were treated with dignity and respect. CIW found that direct payments are being utilised positively, including by people with complex needs. It found positive examples of adults and children being offered advocacy and the benefits this brings in developing care and support. The CIW report also found problems stemming from capacity and workload.

Our work in 2021-22 for Social Care was in the context of COVID. This put further pressure on already stretched social care workers, both within the Council and within the independent sector. COVID laid bare the strong links between health and social care and the need for better integration of the two sectors in order to meet the considerable pressures in some parts of the system, especially unscheduled care. COVID has tended to exacerbate the challenges (and opportunities) that were evident in social care in early 2020 such as growing volume and complexity of demand, recruitment and retention difficulties and working with communities to strengthen preventative services. These pressures exist in both adults’ and children’s social services though due to the larger client base, can be seen more easily in adults’ services.  In Children’s services, despite discharging more from care than we ever have, numbers within care are static due to increased demand.

Any judgement on performance in 2021-22 needs to take into account the context, but we still need to be mindful that the absolute level of performance is well below the level we aspire to. In the words of CIW’s most recent report

“Pembrokeshire CC has been experiencing a challenging social care context in common with other local authorities across Wales; with increased volume and complexity across the service coupled with a workforce supply challenge. This is evident in staff responses across our inspection activity, meeting the demands of high workload. The current staffing situation is having an adverse impact on workers’ ability to promote the well-being of children and adults.”

We put a number of initiatives in place to create a revised workforce structure that reflects the increased demands on the service. A key part of this is addressing the recruitment and retention of suitable workforce to deliver social care. As external recruitment to posts has proved difficult we undertook a marketing campaign delivered with mixed success. We have had a good up take on Trainee Social Worker posts however this does not address the filling vacancies for experienced staff which are around 10% for adult social care and 8% for children’s social care. Overall, we have not grown our establishment to meet rising demand and there is a risk that the volume of work will result in retention difficulties.

Following a long period in which direct services were contracted to the independent sector, we are now starting to provide a greater range of services directly. This is a direct response to the fragility in the independent sector, especially for domestic care providers. So acute is this problem that we have sometimes used residential care services for customers who are better suited to domiciliary care support within their own homes. Our aim is to grow our in house domiciliary care services by an additional 1000 hours per week. Additional recruitment was successful but has only kept pace with the loss of staff so no significant net gain.  We have worked with the health board and others to create apprenticeships and have worked with the Bevan exemplar programme.

We undertook a wide range of initiatives to recruit foster carers, to ensure children are placed closer to home (both improving quality of the service and reducing cost). Some of which were part of national initiatives, others more local initiatives such as the Foster Carer Building Grants scheme. The outcome was that we approved eight new foster carers, a total of twelve new placements becoming available to children in Pembrokeshire.  During the year 40 children were placed into in-house foster care placements and none were placed into independent placements over the same period.

Revoking Care Orders and instead using Special Guardianship orders was an aim for 2021-22. Five children have had their care order discharged since June 2021, with potential for a further 15 to progress to court for consideration of discharge application in the next 12 months.

For day opportunities a bureau manager is now in post and has been aligned with preventions service manager. In Pembroke, work has commenced for a social enterprise café at the Foundry. The South Quay Pembroke development will also include day opportunities provision.  Whilst day opportunities offer a broad range of services, their development has been shaped by a successful and productive learning disability strategy and partnership board.

Re-ablement projects are on-going such as the Haverfordia House redevelopment (a planning application was submitted in January 2022). This facility is expected to comprise a mix of 12 en-suite re-ablement units and 25 over 55’s sheltered housing apartments.

Effective IT case management systems reduce ‘back office’ workload and support more effective practice. During 2021-22 work continued on the preparing for of our new IT system ‘Eclipse’ though implementation has been delayed from May to September 2022. Pembrokeshire is not one of the authorities implementing the Welsh Community Care Information System.

Evidence (how do we know?)

The Corporate Performance Scorecard reported to Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee contains a range of performance indicators on social care in January 2022

Agenda for Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, 20th January, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

The agenda for Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee includes social services performance information as well as on social care demand and CIW’s report below

Agenda for Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, 8th September, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

Care Inspectorate Wales Report of Performance Evaluation Inspection

Some of the evidence to support this conclusion comes from internal documents which have not been published. This includes:

  • Medium Term Service Plans for Social Care: Adult, Children, Commissioning, Performance and Business Unit

Improvement actions (what can we do better and how?)

Tackling the delays in helping people meet their outcomes (e.g. assessment or putting a service in place) is a key priority. This is impacting on people’s well-being and their satisfaction with services. Tacking delays will make it easier to implement processes to prevent escalation of need and to prioritise work.  Tacking delays will also strengthen safeguarding work and ensure that there are up-to-date records. During the first part of 2022-23, the back-log of assessments was tackled through the use of agency support however, this period has also seen pressures arising from increased demand and people taking leave over the summer.

Recruitment and retention issues are a common theme throughout this self-assessment. These issues are more acute in social care and require a holistic strategy to address multiple factors such as the cost of housing. It is clear that we need to increase staffing resource above the current establishment across both children’s and adults’ services to meet increased demand. We will continue the ‘grow your own’ approach’ to do this, for instance through Social Worker traineeships. We will also continue to promote social care as a career of choice.

There is a need for better joint working with health colleagues especially in relatively specialised support areas such as mental health, learning disability and autism. Another example of where better joint working is needed is on the transition between children’s and adults’ services.

We will continue to of meaningful day opportunities and respite services for individual families/ carers 

Further develop the team implementing the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act which replaces the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards legislation. We will also develop a Special Guardianship Order service from investment via Regional Integration Fund.

Through developing our commissioning approach we need to build a diverse and vibrant market to meet demand needs. This is a longer term project that will be realised through developing micro enterprises, promoting direct payments (including for carers) We will also develop alternative models of care such as use of technology, digital, and hub and spoke models to widen choice and increase capacity. The February 2022 Market Stability report (see SA 4.2 Regional Working) sets out the challenge as well as pointing to good practice.

In order to reduce our reliance on commissioned services and market variations, we will continue to develop in-house provision across social care including residential children’s provision to care for more closer to home.

Continued development of a range of prevention / early intervention initiatives reducing demand on statutory services. Examples include the launch of the Community Hub (June 2022, part of the Community Recovery Action Plan), increasing social enterprise activities and community development.

We will also need to respond to likely changes in the regional commissioning agenda such as greater formalisation of processes around joint commissioning and continue quality assurance work.

We will continue to implement the data management system Eclipse and improve how support teams enable social care, for instance through management information, recovering debt and further investment in the Appointeeship / Deputyship function



SA5.3: Housing

  • Current performance: 3
  • Improvement phase: 3

Well-being Objective - Housing: Enable affordable, decent, and adaptable homes for all in sustainable locations

Assessment of current performance (how well are we doing?)


Pembrokeshire County Council is one of 11 Welsh local authorities that has retained its own housing stock. Our work on housing falls into two categories; our role as a landlord managing, repairing and re-letting 5,500 homes and a more general housing function: providing advice and assistance to people who are at risk of being homelessness, providing support to people who need additional help to live in the community and working with a wide range of stakeholders to develop all housing in Pembrokeshire so that it meets communities’ needs.

Tackling housing issues requires truly collaborative work across the Council as a whole (for instance, social care commissioning teams, the youth service, building maintenance, revenues and benefits as well as planning) as well as with partner organisations, for instance housing associations, health and the third sector. The impacts of the current housing crisis can also be seen in difficulty in recruitment for ourselves and other organisations as well as more widely in community cohesion issues

Progress update

The housing market was particularly challenging during 2021-22 with an increase in house prices impacting on affordability and a substantial decrease in the availability of privately rented homes (partly as a result in increased second homes/holiday lets, partly because of landlords’ perceptions of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act). The consequence of this has been an increase in homelessness as well as an increase in demand for social housing. At year end there were 418 people in temporary accommodation and homeless at home, a significant increase compared with 173 in April 2021. The number of children under 16 in our temporary accommodation increased from 31 to 111 over the year. There has also been a steady increase of homeless applications for assistance over the year from 57 in April 2021 to 113 in March 2022. This has resulted in acute pressure on housing staff and case-loads have doubled over the past 18 months. 

2021-22 saw a much sharper focus on climate change. We are now expected to ensure that our housing stock is near carbon zero by 2030. We are making progress, for instance securing Welsh Government Optimised Retrofit Programme (ORP) for 50 properties (about 1% of our total stock) with heating and ventilation issues, worth £298,000. However, this is an extremely challenging task to achieve within this timescale and will require significant investment as the cost per property of ORP funded work shows.

The Choice Homes register waiting list has continued to increase from 4,930 to 5,545 between April 21 to March 22 with 27% of these in gold banding, and 60% needing 1 bed accommodation. During the first nine months of the year, there were only 233 new tenancies, many fewer than usual, reducing our capacity to meet need. We invested in digitising the choice homes system and now 90% of bids for properties are made on-line. A review of the housing allocation system has put on hold due to competing pressures on resources and it is worth noting that the current pressure on homelessness means that a high proportion of re-let properties will continue to be those in very high levels of need (priority, a sub-set of gold band).

We undertook a Customer Satisfaction Survey to all our housing customers. This was based on a best practice template used widely by housing providers as well as additional questions about Housing services, repairs, rent, communication, digital, neighbourhood and decarbonisation. We received 923 responses from tenants via hard copy, completing online or over the phone. Overall 74% of tenants are satisfied with the service provided by Housing with 74% also satisfied with the overall quality of their home.

During 2021-22, we continued to catch up on repairs that had been delayed during COVID. We started the year with a significant number of backlog repairs. During 2021-22 there has been a steady increase in the number of works requests as we emerged out of the pandemic.  The new Minor Works Frameworks was awarded in February 2022 and this will help clear the backlog.

We undertook a Gypsy and Traveller consultation questionnaire issued to all residents of GT sites in Summer 2021. Findings report produced with an Action Plan. General dissatisfaction feedback on communication and maintenance of sites. A Stakeholder group has been established to start to address feedback. A Senedd Report on Gypsy and Traveller site across Wales published in August 2022 highlighted a need for investment across Wales though it is worth noting that in terms of provision, Pembrokeshire has a high number of Gypsy and Traveller sites compared with other council areas.

Evidence (how do we know?)

Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee considered report on housing, building repairs and maintenance

Agenda for Services Overview on Monday, 14th March, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

Meeting of Cabinet at which it agreed the HRA Business Plan 2022 – 52 which sets out the investment plans over the next 50 years in the Council’s own housing stock. 

Agenda for Cabinet on Monday, 14th March, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

Some of the evidence to support this conclusion comes from internal documents which have not been published. This includes:

  • Housing Medium Tern Service Plan

Improvement actions (what can we do better and how?)

Develop a Housing Strategy for Pembrokeshire, focussing on addressing affordability, involving key partners and to provide the framework for targeting resources available from council tax premium, commuted sums, Social Housing Grant programme, low cost home ownership (LCHO) /rent options. This will also include a robust Council Housing Development Programme and consideration of private developer ‘Package Ready’ schemes.

Review the use of the affordable housing element of the second homes and empty homes council tax premium to make more housing available in rural areas for instance through a rural housing enabler 

We will improve how our Housing Allocations Policy works by undertaking a review the Choice Homes @ Pembrokeshire Allocations Policy

Maintain and improve the quality and accessibility of housing stock, including continued compliance with WHQS, developing a Decarbonisation Plan for our council housing stock, and maximising opportunities for improving energy efficiency of private sector housing.

Improve accessibility of housing through delivery of disabled adaptions for all housing tenures.

Ensure a robust repairs and improvements programme is in place for Gypsy Traveller Sites

Ensure continued delivery of the Tenant Participation Strategy and Action Plan (2020-23) to include ongoing engagement and communication in organising repairs and providing feedback and delivery of ongoing tenant engagement

Continue with introduction of the digitalisation programme though the implementation of the Northgate system and new Financial system (FIMS)

Addressing rent arrears by ensure robust review of escalating rent arrears and implement actions to address and support tenants at risk of and facing rent arrears.

Prevent and support those at risk of, or who are homeless for instance by introducing a PRS Leasing scheme in the county as part of the WG rollout of this scheme and developing a Housing Support Programme (HSP) Strategy for Pembrokeshire and ensure this dovetails with the Homelessness Strategy and providing, in conjunction with commissioning services, effective housing support services that aim to prevent homelessness and support those into long-term accommodation



SA5.4: Economic Development and Regeneration

  • Current performance: 2
  • Improvement phase: 2

Well-being Objective - Economic: We will work with partners to promote Pembrokeshire as a great place to visit, live and work.

Assessment of current performance (how well are we doing?)

The Council’s work on improving economic outcomes is guided by the Pembrokeshire Recovery and Regeneration Strategy 2020-2030 agreed in September 2020. This strategy is structured around three key outcomes

  • Connected (both physical connections like faster rail and broadband/fibre optic connections)
  • Offering (vibrant town centres, energy and port opportunities, great lifestyle and skilled work opportunities)
  • Discovered (World Class tourist destination and ‘go to’ destination for major events)

These are long term goals and whilst the COVID pandemic has resulted in challenges (as well as some opportunities) the strategy remains relevant. Whilst the economic outlook into the 2022-23 year for the UK as a whole remains uncertain (with the possibility of recession), key economic indicators, such as the unemployment rate changed little during 2021-22. It was 3.9% in March 2021 and 3.8% in March 2022, both figures close to their respective all Wales averages.

The Council undertook an economy peer challenge in 2021 and its recommendations were approved by Cabinet in November 2021. This followed on from a similar peer challenge in 2018 which recommended that the Council undertook a range of actions to strengthen its capacity to shape and deliver on economic renewal.  The peer challenge noted successes, for instance

“The Council has achieved a significant amount of progress in this field in a relatively short period of time with limited internal capacity, whilst trying to manage the effects of an unforeseeable global pandemic.” The report praised the energy and drive of both members and officers in pursuing economic development opportunities, it also found that the full potential impact is sometimes being limited by the resource restrictions facing the Council. The review recommended that the Council worked with private and public partners to adopt a more strategic approach to economic development.

Cabinet receives regular update reports, and the last in June 2022 contains updates of progress against key projects to deliver the outcomes of the strategy (above) as well as the recommendations agreed by Cabinet on how to improve our approach to delivery. Economic development and regeneration is an example of where the current and previous administration has decided to make significant investments with the aim of catalysing private sector investment and improving long-term well-being

The step change in investment in green energy as well as opportunities through regional working (see section SA4.2) are significant opportunities for Pembrokeshire to build upon the skills within the labour force in energy, oil and gas to establish Pembrokeshire as the UK capital of green energy. The council continues to support the agricultural sector and during the year significant progress was made on the Withybush foodpark.

Enabling: Co-ordination of activity and external funding

This addresses the high-level recommendation in the 2021 economy peer challenge to strengthen private and public partnership working around economic development. Establishing a Pembrokeshire Economic Ambition Board. The first meeting of took place in June 2022 and the Terms of Reference and membership are similar to the regional approach that has been taken. The sectoral based Haven Waterway Future Green Energy Cluster partnership set up with an official launch in the House of Commons in June 2022.  .

We continue to maximise opportunities of external funding and attracted around £50m in regeneration funding. We undertook a considerable amount of work planning for the introduction of the Shared Prosperity Fund and bid for Levelling Up Funding for projects in both Haverfordwest and Pembroke town centres. We bid for, and were long-listed for the UKAEA sponsored STEP project, a substantial energy investment opportunity.  We were successful but this has significantly raised Pembrokeshire’s profile giving us the confidence and ambition to become UK Capital of Green Energy. Using resources from the second homes Council tax premium, delivery of Enhancing Pembrokeshire Grant that has awarded £3,325,914 to 186 successful Pembrokeshire projects generating an additional £4,815,368 in match funding into the county.


Broadband offers the opportunity to circumvent Pembrokeshire’s peripheral geography by allowing businesses and people the same opportunities for communication that urban areas enjoy. During 2021-22 a range of initiatives continued, backed up by a small community broadband team with the aim of bringing full fibre broadband across communities and there has been a considerable increase in activity which has been enabled by the Team. Through Broadway and the voucher scheme, live connections in rural areas were made in Dale and in other rural areas.  The majority of our buildings are now connected by 1GB fibre. In partnership with Ogi nearly 5,000 properties have been provided with full fibre, mainly in urban areas. 

Offering: Town Centres

Our approach to improving town centres has been underpinned by regeneration plans developed in consultation with the community and stakeholders. For Haverfordwest, the plan focuses on the town’s key assets, the river, the castle and the historic core. For the Western quayside (Ocky White site) during construction important historic artefacts were found on the site – remains of a former priory. This is helping to tell the story of the town, a history that we would not have been able to discover without the project. This development is adjacent to a transformative project centred on Haverfordwest Castle funded by £17.7m from levelling up fund (UK Govt). This will open up access to the Castle, secure its buildings in readiness for later development into a flagship heritage attraction. The project will also open up access across the river via a new bridge to the Haverfordwest Transport Interchange and the Riverside shopping centre. During the latter part of 2021-22 and into the first two quarter of 2022-23, the medieval burgage plots were re-furbished

During 2021-22, discussions continued on securing a partner to develop the Riverside shopping centre which will be within the context of carefully re-shaping and shrinking the retail element of the town centre and diversifying into other uses such as leisure and culture. During 2021-22 there were some positive developments such as No.5 (a library of things) which contributes to the circular economy and the anti-poverty agenda. Under PCC ownership, there as a £200k net surplus on the year for the Riverside which will be re-invested. 

Significant regeneration projects are progressing ins other towns.  In Pembroke the South Quay is now progressing well following significant issues including a roof collapse and asbestos debris throughout the building.  South Quay will incorporate Pembroke Hwb £4.3m, a joint project with social care. South Quay is an example of how significant additional costs can be incurred if preventative maintenance work is not undertaken to buildings. In Milford Haven, the Port Authority led development of the marina is progressing and Ty Hotel was completed within the 2021-22 year. This high quality attraction is managed and operated by the team responsible for the iconic Celtic Manor Resort.

Offering: green energy

We moved to the delivery phase of Pembroke Dock Marine project, part of the Swansea Bay City Deal. Through Milford Haven Energy Kingdom we are working with partners to explore the potential of zero carbon hydrogen alongside renewable electricity to meet all of our future energy needs for buildings, power generation and fuelling transport. 


2021-22 was the first full year that Visit Pembrokeshire, now a Destination Management Partnership was operational. This pools resources from across the public and private sector to market Pembrokeshire’s tourism industry, deliver against an agreed management plan and to give the industry a collective voice. 2021-22 was an extremely busy year for Pembrokeshire’s tourism industry and the partnership’s ability to give a consistent message on managing some of the pressures that come from high numbers of visitors in the context of an on-going pandemic was very helpful.  Examples of the promotional work undertaken by Visit Pembrokeshire  

Evidence (how do we know?)

Cabinet considers 6 monthly updates of regeneration activities

Agenda for Cabinet on Monday, 4th October, 2021, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

Agenda for Cabinet on Monday, 13th June, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

The Economic Development Peer Challenge was considered by Cabinet at its 29 November 2021 meeting

Agenda for Cabinet on Monday, 29th November, 2021, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

Report on regional economic development or energy strategies were considered at each of the following Cabinet meetings

Agenda for Cabinet on Monday, 10th January, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

Agenda for Cabinet on Monday, 14th February, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

Agenda for Cabinet on Monday, 14th March, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

Improvement actions (what can we do better and how?)

The priorities for improvement remain those that are articulated in the Pembrokeshire Recovery and Regeneration Strategy

Work to develop ‘Pembrokeshire as the Green Capital of the UK’ will require partnership working across the region and the strategic direction for this has been agreed for instance the South West Regional Economic Framework. Another example is the Local Area Energy Plan Net Zero 2030.



SA5.5: Clean environment / Climate change

  • Current performance: 1
  • Improvement phase: 2

Well-being Objective - We will promote pride in Pembrokeshire seeking to enhance its reputation as a place for exceptional environmental quality

Assessment of current performance (how well are we doing?)

Our wellbeing objective focuses on what we are doing to protect Pembrokeshire exceptional natural environment and references our approach, which is to build upon the pride that communities have in their neighbourhoods to help manage environmental issues. 

The Council has a good waste and recycling service and in 2020-21 PCC has the highest recycling rate of any council in Wales for the second year running. 2021-22 interim recycling figures are 73% (figures not yet verified) a similar percentage to 2021-22. Several local authorities have significantly improved their recycling figures during 2021-22 and we are confident that our performance last year will be amongst the best in Wales.  The drive for this improvement was the new waste and recycling system adopted in November 2019. This has also seen the total residual waste collected by PCC continues to reduce from over 26000 in 2018-19 (pre service change) to 18,900 tonnes in 2021-22 – a 27% reduction. Service quality is high and only 0.1% of collections were missed. A review of fly tipping across the county has also been undertaken; this has shown that there has been a reduction in the annual levels of official fly tipping incidents since the service change and introduction of the Waste Recycling Centre booking system.

During the year, we completed a review of Waste and Recycling Centres. Following a public consultation and review by the Cross Party Waste Working Group, Policy and Pre-decision Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet. Following a staff consultation and engagement exercise the changes to opening hours and day were introduced from 1st April 2022. The booking system has been further developed in 2021-22 and same day booking is now available.

As the number of homes being used as holiday lets has increased, so too has the problem of unscrupulous people passing off the waste generated by holiday lets (which is commercial waste and chargeable) as domestic waste. In response, a trade waste task force has been set up to tackle this problem.

We use a management system devised by Keep Wales Tidy to measure whether streets are free of litter as well as other issues that impact on environmental quality such as graffiti. In 2021-22 95.4% of streets were awarded a B grade or above (streets based on the evaluation criteria to be an acceptable level of cleanliness). Comparisons with the previous year are not possible due to changes in the evaluation criteria. The most common litter type recorded in Pembrokeshire was smoking-related litter (predominantly cigarette ends), which was found on 76.8% of streets.

Some of the infrastructure we rely on to delivery local environmental services, particularly public toilets is ageing and needs investment. Through the agreed public toilet strategy we have facilities at 69 locations across the Authority. However, we have a contract in place with Danfo until 2024 and agreements with 10 Town/Community Councils and 3 agreements with the Trunk Road to manage and maintain facilities on their behalf. This arrangement has led to us consistently performing high in the National Loo of the Year awards.

Much of Pembrokeshire’s rivers and marine environments have Special Area of Conservation status and are therefore covered by rigorous environmental legislation. In January 2020 Natural Resources Wales published new Phosphate guidance aimed at reducing the amount of phosphates (some of which are produced by human activity and released into rivers via older sewerage treatment works. This new guidance is resulting in delays for significant numbers of planning applications and has caused delays with the replacement Local Development Plan.  During 2021-22 we worked collaboratively with Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire County Councils start and manage Nutrient Management Boards to monitor the Cleddau, Teifi and Tywi. Their role is to identify and deliver a Nutrient Management Plan and actions to achieve the conservation targets defined by Natural Resources Wales. Without this work there is a real risk that some affordable housing developments, along with market housing, will be significantly delayed.

We continue to deliver on our Action Plan towards Becoming a Net Zero-carbon Local Authority by 2030. This is a significand piece of work and during the year we consulted with stakeholders to get people’s ideas on what should be included as well as what they could do to help reduce emissions.  Following Welsh Government guidelines, we also published our first new zero carbon reporting figures which will be used to calculate the baseline for Wales as a whole.  

Aside from the work on promoting the green energy sector, which we have already commented upon, we continued decarbonisation of the Council’s existing and new build estate and assets (emissions from buildings have now halved) and secured the energy needs of the authority (our electricity supply is from certified 100% renewable generation). The Salix Street Light project will reduce carbon emissions by 322 tonnes pa and save £205,000 pa in electricity costs, as well as saving in ongoing maintenance costs.

Evidence (how do we know?)

A meeting of Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, 20 January 2022, considered the Corporate Scorecard and the measures contained within it, some of which relate to waste and recycling services:

Agenda for Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, 20th January, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

Action plan towards becoming a net zero carbon local authority by 2030

Some of the evidence to support this conclusion comes from internal documents which have not been published. This includes:

  • Environment Medium Term Service Plan
  • Planning Medium Term Service Plan

Improvement actions (what can we do better and how?)

Pembrokeshire currently has the best performing waste and recycling services in Wales, arguably, one of the best in the world. The challenge is to maintain this high standard and to meet Welsh government targets around zero waste and the circular economy. These Welsh Government targets are at the cutting edge – not all of the technologies needed to do this are proven, and not all markets for materials that are currently not recycled/re-used are in place. As Pembrokeshire is rural our waste and recycling vehicles travel considerable distances and there is a need to decarbonise the fleet.

We will maintain our performance as one of the best recycling authority in the UK through improvements surrounding recycling and reuse for households and businesses in Pembrokeshire In the short term we will implement Phase two of Waste Service Review – incorporating requirements of Business Recycling Regulations. Medium term service development will be in in line with "Towards Zero Waste" and "Beyond Recycling". including improvements surrounding Reuse options in the County and changes to collections as a result of new legislation including a deposit return scheme for drinks bottles and / Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging waste

We will continue to invest in services to improve resilience through projects such as the provision of the Pembrokeshire Eco Park. Part funded by a £9.5m Welsh Government Grant, this will act as a waste transfer station, a fleet management and maintenance facility for the transition to ultra-low emission vehicles and a waste and recycling centre to replace the current Winsel site.

We will decarbonised our fleet of refuse vehicles (as well as decarbonising the fleet in general). Current trials of electric refuse vehicles have shown that whilst current technology may be practical in urban areas, the technology is not yet advanced enough to deal with the greater distances vehicles in rural areas travel. We will continue to explore options for decarbonisation over the medium term including the potential for hydrogen fuelled vehicles. We will continue to replace fossil fuelled smaller vehicles and vans with electric vehicles.

We will maintain and seek to improve local environmental quality, such as street & beach cleanliness, parks and open spaces.

We will look at how we manage our land to enhance green infrastructure including for example creating wildlife corridors making it easier for species to move from one area to another and help existing populations of key species to be more resilient.

We will continue to develop and deliver our Action plan towards becoming a net zero carbon local authority by 2030.



SA5.6: Improvement and Transformation

  • Current performance: 2
  • Improvement phase: 2

Well-being Objective – Transformation: Technology, Culture, Relationships

Assessment of current performance (how well are we doing?)

The structure of our Transformation and Improvement programme remains structured around technology, culture and relationships. During the 2021-22 year there was an increasing focus on corporate improvement issues and on governance assisted by additional capacity from the Local Government Association. Council agreed an Improvement Programme at its May 2021 meeting which synthesised findings from the Corporate Peer Challenge and Communication Peer Challenge (both 2020). The improvement Programme complemented the existing transformation work programme and is also touched on in SA3.3.

One of the key principles at the heart of the Improvement Programme is increasing dialogue and engagement across the Council. Changes include establishing an Extended Leadership Team comprising the Senior Leadership Team plus Heads of Service - approximately 25 people which meets three times per month. A still wider group of managers has also been established and meets monthly. These groups have a wider role than communication and both are examples of how a broader range of views is being heard in decision making. The Improvement Programme included a commitment to explore undertaking a pilot of the panel assessment in advance of this becoming a statutory duty. This was considered though it proved impractical to progress this due to the proximity of May 2022’s elections. The Board undertook work relating to more general improvements in governance including induction of new members and shaping the link officer scheme.

The Improvement and Transformation Board (renamed the Corporate Improvement Programme Board from May 2022) has overseen the Improvement Programme and its minutes are reported to Cabinet. 

During 2021-22 the Transformation Team remained heavily involved in the direct response to the COVID pandemic reducing capacity for work on supporting improvement work. 


A number of new systems and applications launched during 2021 including FIMS our financial management platform. FIMS is a key part of the Council’s infrastructure and it will enable integration of many systems where previously this was not possible. In 

turn, this will result in greater functionality of the ‘front facing’ systems that customers use.  Microsoft Teams was rolled out, supporting communication and collaboration along with My Account which is pivotal to our channel shift agenda and provides the foundation for accelerating our digital engagement and service offering.  The functionality of My Account was extended by Track-IT for street lighting application.  This enables customers to see the progress on a street lighting fault that has been previously reported.

Front facing customer systems were extended by using Forge our forms solution both for Covid-19 related funding applications (Business Grants, Isolation Payments, Winter Fuel Payments) and a range of booking systems (Waste and Recycling Centres, Desk Bookings, Housing Reception appointments, Covid-19 Lateral Flow test collections).

Culture and communication

Capacity for Strategic Communications was increased by the appointment of a secondee with considerable experience in this area from another local authority. This has resulted in a focus on digital communications for engagement through social media and on celebrating Pembrokeshire and its communities.  Positive re-enforcement and volunteer stories from various initiatives had been posted via Social Media. Further campaigns were undertaken to: promote democracy and partnerships with Visit Pembrokeshire and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority; promote the Welsh Language and Colleague engagement are also taking place.

During the year, the Improvement and Transformation Board considered the issues with how easy customers find it to contact the council. This focussed on performance of the contact centre as call waiting times were well below the two minute answer target and the proportion of missed calls had also increased. In response awareness raising of the importance of calls being answered throughout the councils taken place with a number of measures being put in place including voicemail, call forwarding and soft phones. This work has proved effective and call answering times are now much improved. More developmental work was also undertaken and the Board considered best practice and insights from a private sector firm whose improvement journey was rooted in the customer experience.

On organisational culture, during 2021-22, a new performance appraisal system was developed along with extensive training, for use across the organisation from April 2022. The new system is built upon the behaviour standards agreed in the previous year and differentiates between job roles that where tasks tend to be similar throughout the year and those where these vary.


Our work on relationships with communities has been heavily influenced by the response to the COVID and how communities as a whole stepped up to support their more vulnerable members. The re-launch of the Community Hub via PAVS is touched on in SA5.2

Other work progressed in 2021-22 includes the re-launch of the Council’s own volunteering scheme in which employees are encouraged to get involved in voluntary work by ‘matching’ volunteer effort through additional leave. The scheme is supported via colleagues in Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services.

We invigorated our relationship with Town and Community Councils through a series of workshops open to all Clerks and Councillors Working Better Together. We also worked with both PLANED and One Voice Wales to bring in additional capacity for Pembrokeshire’s Town and Community Councils to collaborate better together – the project started at the end of the financial year. We also worked with Town and Community Councils on a range of Community Asset Transfers – progress is reported via updates to Cabinet.

Evidence (how do we know?)

Minutes of Improvement and Transformation Board are considered by Cabinet

  • Minutes of 23 November 2021 Improvement and Transformation Board
  • Minutes of 14 December 2021 Improvement and Transformation Board

Agenda for Cabinet on Monday, 14th March, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

  • Minutes of 21 February 2022 Improvement and Transformation Board

Agenda for Cabinet on Monday, 13th June, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

The Improvement Programme was agreed by Council at its May 2021 meeting

Agenda for Council on Thursday, 13th May, 2021, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

The November 2021 Corporate Performance Scorecard was considered by Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Agenda for Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, 20th January, 2022, 10.00a.m. - Pembrokeshire County Council

Improvement actions (what can we do better and how?)

There has been more progress on the technology and culture aspects of the Improvement and Transformation Programme (the Improvement Programme has been subsumed into the Corporate Governance Improvement Action Plan to simplify) albeit that the pace of technological change means that developmental work is always required especially around the opportunities that exist for making better use of data. Likewise, with organisational culture, a medium term perspective is needed to address such as the relationship between elected members and officers of the council.

It is likely that, in future, the focus of the Corporate Improvement and Transformation Programme Board, which Cabinet has agreed should continue will be on what was within relationships aspect of transformation as well as the organisational culture elements of the Corporate Government Improvement Action Plan. 

The precise focus of future work is subject to the Programme for Administration but it likely that putting citizens, communities and business at the heart of what we do will be a strong theme. This will be within the context of helping communities do more for themselves shifting from ‘managing need’ to ‘creating capability’. Preventative work to address poverty and inequality is likely to be a key element of this.

The organisation’s capacity to make service changes to realise efficiencies will be improved by merging of the Invest to Save and Service Reconfiguration reserves to form a new Initiative Fund reserve, with the purpose of providing resources for the Council to invest in improvement projects and to realise future cost avoidance / budget saving opportunities

ID: 9653, revised 08/03/2023