Organisation Strategy 2023 to 2028



Surrey County Council is an ambitious organisation, always looking to improve and to adopt best practice across local government.

We have a key role to play in improving the quality of life for residents of Surrey, enhancing the infrastructure for business and protecting the natural environment for generations to come.

To fulfil that role, we are committed to a very clear set of priorities;

  • Growing a sustainable economy so everyone can benefit,
  • tackling health inequality,
  • enabling a greener future,
  • empowered & thriving communities

Underpinning all our work is our overarching ambition to help everyone in Surrey benefit from all the opportunities on offer in our county, and to ensure that no one is left behind. Now, and in the future.

Helping those who need us most, and improving quality of life for everyone.

Since setting out this ambition in 2018, we have made good progress, ensuring that we are an organisation that is fit for the future and ready to tackle any challenges that come our way, on behalf of the people of Surrey.

We demonstrated that resilience and reliability in taking a leading role in the covid pandemic response, and more recently in coordinating support across the county to help those most in need as cost-of-living pressures intensify.

The rise in costs, inflation and interest rates have all impacted the council as an organisation, as well as our residents. Everything we do has simply become more expensive to deliver.

However, our transformation work over recent years has helped ensure our finances are in a solid and stable state, ready to tackle this unforeseen challenge.

We know further pressures are on the horizon, which is why our organisation strategy is so important to ensure we continue to focus on our transformation and improvement programme while not losing sight of our ambition and guiding priorities.

We will continue this work - always seeking new and improved ways of delivering services more effectively and efficiently, alongside our partners and communities – to ultimately make Surrey the best place to live, to work and to do business.

Councillor Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council

A Community Vision for Surrey in 2030

Over the spring and summer of 2018, Surrey County Council engaged with residents, council staff, businesses, universities and organisations from the public, voluntary, community and faith sectors across the county to understand what Surrey should look like in the future. Informed by the conversations we had, listening to what they value and their hopes for the future, together we developed a shared Community Vision for Surrey in 2030 (the 2030 Vision).

By 2030 we want Surrey to be a uniquely special place where everyone has a great start to life, people live healthy and fulfilling lives, are enabled to achieve their full potential and contribute to their community, and no one is left behind.

We want our county's economy to be strong, vibrant and successful and Surrey to be a great place to live, work and learn. A place that capitalises on its location and natural assets, and where communities feel supported and people are able to support each other.

The 2030 Vision includes ambitions for our people which are:

  • Children and young people are safe and feel safe and confident
  • Everyone benefits from education, skills and employment opportunities that help them succeed in life
  • Everyone lives healthy, active and fulfilling lives, and makes good choices about their wellbeing
  • Everyone gets the health and social care support and information they need at the right time and place
  • Communities are welcoming and supportive, especially of those most in need, and people feel able to contribute to community life

The 2030 Vision includes ambitions for our place which are:

  • Residents live in clean, safe and green communities, where people and organisations embrace their environmental responsibilities
  • Journeys across the county are easier, more predictable, and safer
  • Everyone has a place they can call home, with appropriate housing for all
  • Businesses in Surrey thrive
  • Well connected communities, with effective infrastructure, that grow sustainably

Our Organisation Strategy is our contribution towards the Community Vision for Surrey in 2030

We share in a long-term vision for Surrey and we will work alongside residents and partners to realise it. This is our plan for how, over the next five years, we will work towards achieving the outcomes in the 2030 Vision and focus on making a real difference to residents' lives.

Our purpose and roles

Everyone has a role in delivering the 2030 Vision. Collectively as partners we need to work better together and each of us has an individual responsibility to contribute to achieving the outcomes that Surrey's residents deserve – this includes us at Surrey County Council. This is demonstrated within the Surrey Health & Wellbeing Strategy which represents collaborative working to address the root causes of poor health and wellbeing, address inequality of life expectancy and improve quality of life. It is also shown by the establishment of the One Surrey Growth Board, an alliance which brings together partners who have a vital role in safeguarding and supporting improvements to Surrey's economy, homes, infrastructure and quality of life.

We have a democratic mandate to represent and be a champion for all residents, and to deliver the best possible outcomes we can. We will focus on supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities and those who do not have the means or resources to help themselves. This will involve truly understanding residents' needs, involving them as early as possible in service design and decision making, and using our resources in the most effective and efficient way. But as the resources available to us become more and more stretched, the way we deliver will need to take multiple forms.

  • Sometimes we will be the organisation delivering a service
  • Sometimes we will do this alongside other agencies
  • Sometimes we will pay another organisation or business to deliver services
  • Sometimes we will act as a convenor, bringing people together to collectively solve challenges and grasp opportunities
  • And sometimes we will make resources and support available for communities to help themselves.

Our contribution to delivering the 2030 Vision does not mean we will simply deliver services - our democratic mandate and place leadership role for the county puts us in a unique position. We can use this to support communities to help themselves and increase their ability to make their own lives better, or to work with Government and local partners to develop solutions together to improve life in the county. Given the limits on our resources, we also need to work smarter and put ourselves on a sustainable footing. We will organise our money, people and other resources in ways which improve outcomes for residents and focus on where it makes sense for us to do so. We will also make our decisions based on the best evidence available, so we are able to maximise the benefits for residents from every single pound we have to spend.

Our county

As a place, Surrey has a range of unique features and qualities that can create different challenges and opportunities. The statistics and trends below set the strategic context that the council must navigate.


Surrey has a population of 1.2 million residents, made up of approximately 481,800 households. This is expected to grow to 1.21 million by 2030.

Surrey is more urban than England as a whole but some areas of the county have large numbers of residents living rurally.

By 2030 the proportion of working age residents (16 to 64) and of younger people is expected to decrease while there are expected to be more residents aged over 65, and a 29% increase the number of over 85s.


Surrey has a strong economy worth £43.5 billion with a high (and increasing) proportion of large business, contrary to a national decline.

A low unemployment rate averaging about 2.1% in 2022, compared to 2.9% in the South East, and 3.6% nationally.

Residents in Surrey have average [full-time] earnings of £38,418pa (£42,770 for men and £34,066 for women), over £7,000 above national average.

Surrey has a high proportion of 'micro-businesses' at around 91.4%, compared to the national average of 89.5%.

Surrey is attractive to business with a 25% higher business density than the national average, but the rate of business births and growth in active businesses are falling in comparison to regional and national levels.

The middle workforce (aged 25 to 44), who make up a large proportion of the skilled workforce and are a key driver of economic growth is expected to 'decline by 8% by 2030', with signs of this decline already starting to show an impact. Despite this, Surrey still seeing a much higher rate of its residents employed as managers, directors, senior officials or professional occupations (63.8% compared to 51.4% nationally).

Cost of living

As the cost-of-living began to rise in 2022, a survey conducted in the summer found that around 66% of residents already reduced their energy usage to reduce cost and 63% of respondents said that the additional cost of fuel had negatively impacted their household finances.

Of the 4,197 clients seen by Surrey Citizens Advice between April – September 2022, 1,184 were new to their services. Support was given on approximately 7,000 issues, in particular around benefits, debt, housing and foodbanks.

This increased demand appears to be coming from particular groups within the county, with 66% of benefits claimants supported by Citizens Advice identifying as having a disability or long-term health condition, and two-thirds of clients identifying as female.

Demand for food support is also increasing, with some foodbanks across Surrey stating they have seen a 300% increase of demand on their services between 2020 and 2022.

Health and wellbeing

Surrey residents have longer life expectancies than people across most of England (approximately 2 years higher than the national average).

Life expectancy varies considerably across the county. Between wards there is a 10-year gap in life expectancy for males (76 to 86), and a 14 year gap for females (80 to 94).

Nationally, and in Surrey, average ratings of well-being have deteriorated across all indicators in the year ending March 2021, continuing a trend that was seen across most indicators in the previous period, but even more sharply and which notably takes place during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is most profoundly observed with mental health across the population.

Across Surrey in 2019, 5.36% of all-cause mortality was attributable to particulate air pollution. There is strong evidence that air pollution causes the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and lung cancer, exacerbates asthma and has a contributory role in mortality.

Ethnic minority groups typically have poorer health outcomes, and this is also the case in our county. Gypsy, Roma, Traveller (GRT) communities have the poorest health outcomes of any ethnic groups, in Surrey, in the UK, and internationally.

Evidence across England also suggests that LGBTQIA+ people have disproportionately worse health outcomes and experiences of healthcare.

Education and skills

According to the 2021 Census, nearly 286,000 children and young people live in Surrey. More than half of pupils achieve a strong pass (9-5) grade in English and Maths, compared to 43.4% nationally.

The county has a highly qualified workforce with over 50% of the working age population holding a degree-level qualification, with over 22% of residents employed in professional, technical and scientific businesses.

Pupils experiencing deprivation and those with additional needs are far less likely to do as well at school as their peers. There are generally low levels of deprivation in Surrey, but in some areas over 20% of children are impacted by poverty. As is the case across the UK, there is a growing demand for services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in all areas of the county.

Communities and partnerships

About 70% of residents believe there is a strong sense of community in their local area. This is reflected in the county's vibrant voluntary, community and faith sector, with approximately 6,000 organisations and thousands of residents volunteering each year.

Over 93.5% of people in Surrey recorded that they were satisfied with their neighbourhood as a place to live.

Surrey is one of the safest places in England and Wales, with the 6th lowest recorded crime rate of the 43 police forces, and lower than average rates of victim-based crime.

Reported knife crime among young people, however, has increased in the previous two years by 50%. In addition, domestic abuse has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic with recorded incidents being 16.7% higher in May 2020 than the same period the previous year.


There is very strong demand for all types of housing, homes and accommodation in Surrey. Average house prices in Surrey were £639,000 in 2022, placing it second only to Greater London for house prices.

However, the strongest demand is for affordable and social housing. In 2021 there were 14,134 households on the Surrey Housing Register, but only 4,711 social or affordable rent homes were built between 2011 and 2021.

Surrey is, on average, more unaffordable for private ownership than anywhere in the wider South East of England. It's also become more unaffordable more quickly, with the ratio rising 50% since 2011, compared to 40% across the wider South East.

There is also a rising problem with homelessness, which local authorities have been facing for some time. Across Surrey, in 2021/2022, 1,912 households were owed a prevention duty (assessed as threatened with homelessness), and 1,366 households were owed a relief duty (assessed as homeless).

Environment and infrastructure

Surrey has one of the busiest road networks in the country, which carry double the national average traffic flow (4th highest in the country) and make it the slowest county to drive around.

More than 40% of residents work outside the county with nearly a quarter working in London. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic additional capacity was needed on the train network to address overcrowding on commuter services.

Recycling rates in Surrey are better than the national average with 54.15% of household waste in Surrey being recycled, reused or composted in 2021 to 2022.

CO2 emissions have fallen 22% from 2016 to 2020, and whilst the rate of this drop has been increasing year-on-year, there are concerns we still won't meet the council's zero emissions target by 2050 for the county and need to fall by 46% against 2019 levels by 2025 to be on track for the target.

Road transport is the main cause of air pollution in Surrey, and transport emissions remain high with Surrey having the 4th highest level of transport-related emissions of all counties in England in 2020.

Residents do have good access to woodland spaces with an estimated 24% woodland cover in the county and a recent commitment by Surrey County Council to plant 1.2 milliontrees.

Our progress

Since publishing our Organisation Strategy in 2018 we have made significant progress towards achieving our ambitions for the county, and as a council.

The council has worked hard over recent years to improve its financial resilience and the financial management capabilities across the organisation. We have built a stronger financial base from which to deliver services, reduced our financial risk, delivered service improvements, ambitious investment and built back depleted reserves.

From this strengthened position, we were anticipating now being the time we could push our ambition forward and implement innovative change. However, the cost-of-living crisis, high inflation, global financial uncertainty and government policy changes, mean we are facing significant challenges to our financial position in the coming years.

We remain an ambitious and forward-looking organisation and we are confident that our improved financial position and focus on budget accountability provides a solid foundation for us to overcome these financial challenges. The Council has established a strong track record of delivering efficiencies and transforming services to improve outcomes for residents. We will focus on protecting our critical services to ensure our objective that no one in Surrey is left behind, can be fulfilled.

The improvement in our financial position has facilitated a shift in focus. The Council's finances are no longer a priority of themselves, but are valued as a key enabler to the achievement of our ambitions, with strong financial management recognised as fundamentally important because it allows us deliver against our priorities.

In the wake of the pandemic, the increasing inequalities in our vibrant county, and numerous transformation programmes, we needed to review our progress and reaffirm a focus on reducing health inequalities as well as improving community safety.

Through the refresh of the Health & Wellbeing Strategy, we have reasserted our joined-up efforts within the system to create the best conditions for physical and mental health and well-being. We have arrived at a set of refreshed priorities and outcomes that all partners across Surrey recognise and support, and we remain committed to making a real change for the next generation by focusing on those groups within the population who need more support. These priorities include increased effort to focus on prevention, building trust and a deeper understanding of communities, and addressing the wider determinants of health - such as housing, the economy, and the environment.

This is what our No One Left Behind ambition is all about – getting the right structures and support in place to fundamentally tackle inequality, so that in the longer-term, crisis support is not needed and everyone in Surrey can access the opportunities to give them a better quality of life. We are not there yet – we don't pretend to be – but we have made good progress, and we will continue to over the next five years.

Some selected highlights of our progress since the last update in 2021 include:

  • Our Children's Service are out of intervention and recognised as making good progress by Ofsted, in order to give children and young people the best start in life, whatever their background.
  • We have launched Surrey's Skills Plan, bringing together businesses and education providers to make sure Surrey people have the skills to get good jobs and power a strong future economy.
  • Surrey Fire & Rescue Service has improved and judged by HMICFRS to be 'much more effective and efficient at keeping people safe'.
  • We have progressed our green agenda, with Surrey County Council recognised as a leader in the sector in delivering our net-zero ambitions.
  • We are protecting and enhancing our natural environment – carrying out important conservation and restoration work, increasing biodiversity, planting trees, educating the next generation, working with farmers, other councils and partners like the Surrey Wildlife Trust to make sure more people can access Surrey's wonderful countryside and the benefits it brings.
  • We've invested £13m in active travel schemes – more cycle lanes and safer walking routes – with more to come.
  • We've built two new, modern, children's homes.
  • We've delivered 280 additional school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • We've approved plans and are underway on building 368 modern homes for elderly people to live independently for longer.
  • We're the first council in the UK to tackle period poverty in partnership with Binti.
  • 40,000 free places at holiday camps provided for young people in need.
  • We've provided millions in grants to local charities to support communities.
  • Nearly £3m invested to directly help people suffering multiple disadvantages through our Changing Futures programme.

Our contribution towards the Community Vision for Surrey 2030

By 2030 we want Surrey to be a uniquely special place where everyone has a great start to life, people live healthy and fulfilling lives, are enabled to achieve their full potential and contribute to their community, and no one is left behind.

We want our county's economy to be strong, vibrant and successful and Surrey to be a great place to live, work and learn. A place that capitalises on its location and natural assets, and where communities feel supported and people are able to support each other.

Everyone has a role in delivering the 2030 Vision. Collectively as partners we need to work better together and each of us has an individual responsibility to contribute to achieving the outcomes that Surrey's residents deserve – this includes Surrey County Council.

This is our plan for how, over the next five years, we will work towards achieving the outcomes in the 2030 Vision and focus on making a real difference to residents' lives.

Our role

We are playing a wider strategic role in ensuring Surrey is ready to engage the big challenges and opportunities now and in the future. By working collaboratively across the county to mobilise around issues, the lives of Surrey residents are improved, demand on services is reduced, and better outcomes and opportunities for Surrey residents are achieved.

We also have a democratic mandate to represent and be a champion for all residents, and to deliver the best possible outcomes we can. We will focus on supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities and those who do not have the means or resources to help themselves. This will involve truly understanding residents' needs, involving them as early as possible in service design and decision making, and using our resources in the most effective and efficient way.

Our contribution to delivering the 2030 Vision does not mean we will simply deliver services - our democratic mandate and place leadership role for the county puts us in a unique position, and the way we deliver will need to take multiple forms:

  • Sometimes we will be the organisation delivering a service
  • Sometimes we will do this alongside other agencies
  • Sometimes we will pay another organisation or business to deliver services
  • Sometimes we will act as a convenor, bringing people together to collectively solve challenges and grasp opportunities
  • And sometimes we will make resources and support available for communities to help themselves.

Our guiding mission

No One Left Behind

Our 2030 Vision sets out an aspiration to ensure that no one is left behind, and as a council we think it's important to embody this as our guiding mission so that people can live happy and healthy lives, no matter where they live in the county.

We want everyone here to be able to take advantage of the great opportunities this wonderful county offers, whoever they are and whatever their circumstances may be.

This is a great place to start a business, and has world class job opportunities, beautiful countryside, supportive communities, and first-rate health and social care.

Many people who choose to call Surrey home are thriving in our towns and villages, but sadly that is not the case for everyone. We know that for some people, life is difficult, advantages are not shared, and it means making really tough choices every day.

Inequality is a strong theme that runs through our evidence and insight about the experiences of our residents and communities. Inequality exists between places, such as the economic disparity between the East and West of the county, and inequality between and amongst communities.

People's life chances and quality of life are affected by a complex number of factors that drive these disparities. While Surrey is an affluent county, this image often disguises the complexity of these problems that some residents face, such as domestic abuse, homelessness and mental health issues. Moreover, the impacts of Covid-19 and lockdown measures have widened social, economic and health inequalities, with different impacts experienced by age, race, and relative wealth.

We are determined to do everything we can to make life easier for those who need support at different times, to take action on inequalities, and help everyone reach their full potential by setting a level playing field.

We believe that people should be supported to look after themselves and those they care for, so we want to work alongside them and their communities to help break down the barriers they face, grow their skills, and support them to access opportunities at all stages of life.

One important measure of the difference we make is through residents' healthy life expectancy and quality of life. We will work to improve this by providing earlier support, as well as creating the conditions for more opportunities for communities to participate and ensuring that benefits of economic growth are felt more widely.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

We are proud of our county's history and the diversity of our communities. 'No one left behind' is the guiding mission for everything we do. Our commitment to EDI is at the heart of how we will achieve this. Delivering on our agenda for EDI will help us to be a more inclusive employer and develop services that meet the needs of all our communities.

For residents this means engaging with them in different ways to ensure all

voices are heard, which will help us better understand the drivers of

inequality so we can take more effective action. For staff, the Council recognises the importance of a diverse workforce and is committed to providing a culture where everyone is valued and respected. People should feel comfortable carrying out their roles and the Council is committed to equality of opportunity being practised and promoted to all.

A greater focus on EDI will have a transformative effect for residents and staff. Our ambition is to remove barriers and level the playing field to make it easier for people to engage with the council and access the services they might need.

This will require us to target our resources effectively to support the most disadvantaged, redesign services in a smarter way to ensure they are inclusive and accessible to all and develop a workforce that better understands the diverse needs of residents.

To enhance the prominence of this agenda in our work and support us to achieve our ambitions, we have identified four equality objectives:

  • Tackle economic inequality and disparity through ensuring that everyone has the education and skills they need and that the infrastructure of the county is accessible, so that all residents are able to access the jobs, homes and transport needed to share in the benefits of growth
  • Work to close the county's healthy life expectancy gap by focusing our resources on children and adults who need our services most so they can be healthy, independent, and thrive
  • Work with communities, through our local engagement model, to make it easier for all residents to participate in local democracy, service design and decision-making
  • Deliver an ambitious work programme to strengthen the diversity of our workforce and move to a culture that values difference, where all staff feel they belong and have opportunities to succeed

Our objectives

A high performing council

As we continue to deliver activities and services that contribute towards the ten outcomes set out in the 2030 Vision – with our emphasis being around our guiding mission of 'No One Left Behind' – we will also strive to maintain a position as a high performing council. To be a truly outstanding council we must have a meaningful impact on the lives of all Surrey residents, and we achieve that with focus on four priority objectives, delivering excellence in our services, and continually improving our organisational capability.

Four priority objectives

The ambitious 2030 Vision for the county requires us to work closely with residents, businesses and our wider partners to prioritise our activity and resources on the outcomes that matter most to residents and will have the biggest impact on improving people's quality of life. Therefore, we focus on a small number of priority objectives that will let us create the conditions for everyone in Surrey to thrive.

Our Organisation Strategy (2023 to 2028), sets out four priority objectives which reflect where we think we can have the greatest impact on tackling inequality and improving outcomes for people living and working in the county:

Growing a sustainable economy so everyone can benefit

We want to create the conditions for sustainable economic growth within Surrey, to maintain the county's position as the strongest economy outside of London and ensure all residents can benefit as a result. Economic growth has a vital role to play in improving the health and wellbeing of residents and general living standards.

We will take an active role in growing Surrey's economy, through supporting innovation and ensuring Surrey remains an attractive place to live and do business. We will work with partners and the business community to help align skills provision with businesses needs so that residents are able to access employment opportunities and businesses can thrive.

Surrey has a strong economy with highly skilled residents, however its affluence masks inequalities, pockets of deprivation and growing disparity between East and West. We will proactively tackle economic inequality across the county to make sure economic growth is inclusive and something that everyone can benefit from.

Tackling health inequality

Helping residents to stay healthy and well is key to improving residents' quality of life and tackling inequality of life expectancy. Most of Surrey's population lead happy and healthy lives, however this isn't the case for all residents. Surrey has a growing and ageing population with more people likely to be living in worse health in their later years. The impacts of the pandemic have widened existing inequalities across physical, mental and social health (for example issues of loneliness). Physical and mental health are often viewed in isolation, however each can directly impact upon the other. Preventing poor physical and mental wellbeing is key to maintaining good outcomes in Surrey whilst helping to close the gap and reduce inequalities for adults and children alike.

We will drive work across the system to reduce these widening health inequalities, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our residents is at the forefront of our strategies and accelerating health and social care integration to respond to new demands. We will build on the strengths that residents have in their families and networks, supporting them to be independent at home so they stay connected to their communities and feel safe.

Enabling a greener future

We want to ensure that Surrey remains an attractive place full of opportunities, offering clean, safe and green communities. To do this we must tackle the causes of climate change and accelerate reductions in carbon emissions enough to meet our net zero carbon target by 2050. If current consumption continues, Surrey will use up its share of the global carbon budget – the total carbon emissions the world can 'afford' if it is to avoid dangerous climate change – within eight years. We need to do better.

We will build on behaviour changes and lessons learnt during Covid-19 lockdown to address environmental challenges, improve air quality and focus on green energy. Working with residents and our business community, we will encourage more decisive steps to reduce journeys, shift to an increased use of public and active transport modes, and accelerate the uptake of zero emission vehicle options.

Through Surrey's Climate Change Strategy we will work with people, organisations and businesses in the county to help them fulfil their responsibilities and be mindful of their impact on their local environment.

Empowered and thriving communities

We want to reinvigorate our relationship with residents, characterised by more people participating, engaging and having a role and say in how things are done on matters that impact them and where they live. We know that thriving communities are essential to meeting future challenges across the county. Compassionate and connected communities improve our quality of life and our life expectancy – they enable people to be independent and are essential to reducing health inequalities. Strong communities help grow sustainable local economies and tackle the causes of climate change.

To achieve this, we will continue to develop new approaches to local engagement and operational delivery that bring residents together with local government, other public services and broader partners to decide priorities, tackle local issues and grasp opportunities within communities across Surrey.

Service effectiveness

Our primary duty as a council is to deliver high-quality and sustainable services for all. Our services aim to support people to live independently and well in their communities, ensure children and families reach their full potential, protect Surrey's residents and businesses, and take care of Surrey's environment and highways.

Providing excellent services is also the bedrock of what we do as a council, underpinning our success in delivering against the four priority objectives. Firstly, they are a fundamental component to No One Left Behind, as the majority who depend on our services are also the most 'in need' or vulnerable in our county. But additionally, our core services are the activities on which everything else in the council is built around – this activity is what residents and regulators measure us on first and their quality and impact speaks to the reputation of any other activity we seek to undertake as a council.

To achieve service effectiveness, our approach will always be focused on impact. Service design and service delivery will start and end with how to attain the best outcomes for residents. We are building processes that are consultative and responsive to define need and understand how needs change, as well as building resilience while change occurs outside our control. As taxpayer-funded services, we will achieve excellence through efficiency and being judicious about the resources we have available.

Truly effective services are also on a constant progressive improvement journey. Core service areas will be continually seeking to change processes to enable more preventative interventions, make best use of digital technology, and find new ways of working with our partners. This journey relies on data and feedback from residents and partners to help us be a trusted, ethical, accessible service provider

Organisational effectiveness

We want to be constantly improving our organisational health, helping us to deliver against our ambitions across our services and our priority objectives. To achieve this, we are transforming how Our Organisation operates and the culture and behaviours Our People embody. Progress here will help the council become more resilient, add more value, make a greater impact and improve services so they deliver the best possible long-term outcomes for residents while balancing our budget and better managing demand.

The goal is to be a trustworthy organisation which continues to be open and transparent about its intent, boundaries, changes in circumstances, and results. Strategic decisions will be made with better understanding of the context and with greater alignment of competing interests at an earlier stage. These decisions can then be solutions-focused, rather than process-driven, and more dedicated to eventual outcomes for residents.

Transforming our organisation is key to delivering our contribution to the 2030 Vision, and fundamentally reforming the function, form and focus of the council.

Following our values as an organisation, this transformation will help everyone at the council be more collaborative internally and externally. This in turn will reduce duplication, enable more efficient planning, drive better investment and value for money, and present opportunities for earlier risk mitigation. We will also foster an inclusive organisational culture where everyone is constantly learning, being open, providing better customer service and taking accountability for delivering great results.

This transformation around how our organisation operates has four principles which guide us:

  • We organise ourselves around outcomes and make it easy for others across Surrey to collaborate with us.
  • We help people and communities to help themselves and devolve decisions and service design as close to them as we can.
  • We maximise the potential of digital and data to transform the way we work and improve accessibility.
  • We seek out preventative, commercial and efficient approaches to help us be financially sustainable.

The transformation around the culture and behaviours our people embody also has four workforce outcomes we will focus on delivering:

  • An inclusive and compassionate place where we value diversity and can be ourselves at work.
  • A collaborative and inviting place where we are open, trust each other, and work as one.
  • An ambitious and outcomes-focused place where we are passionate about our purpose and take accountability for delivering great results.
  • An inventive and dynamic place where we promote a learning mindset and adapt to new insights and opportunities.

Our impact

Measuring impact

Success is determined by the collective ability of public sector organisations, the voluntary, community and faith sector, businesses and residents to achieve the outcomes set out in the 2030 Vision. Each individual organisation has a responsibility to contribute towards achieving the outcomes, but success will be a result of our combined efforts. Knowing if we are making the progress we all want to see will rely upon regular and accountable performance monitoring.

The council is committed to monitoring how we make decisions, operate, and perform against the principles and commitments set out to be a high performing council. We will continually seek to gather performance data to help us develop insights, learn lessons, and be more transparent to our residents and partners. Performance monitoring will include quantitative and qualitative measurement of performance on core service delivery, organisational effectiveness, and achievements under the priority objectives, and this measurement will directly inform primary council functions like the budget process.

Outcomes framework

To be really clear on the difference we want to make from each of our priority objectives, we have created the Outcomes Framework. Each outcome is a change that we want to see in Surrey. The outcomes will help us to plan our activities and measure progress in each of the four priority objectives.

Growing a sustainable economy so everyone can benefit

  • Growing and promoting our leading edge – driving inward investment and business retention around our leading innovation, where key high value sectors are supported to invest, adapt, and contribute to our ambitions.
  • Creating and sustaining quality places – through a new model of place leadership, reimagined local high streets and business and employment hubs to become more economically and socially vibrant.
  • Maximising opportunities – supporting the creation of new and better jobs, coordinating skills provision, bringing more people into work and supporting residents to reach their potential whilst helping to reduce social, economic and health inequality.
  • Delivering economic infrastructure – communities are well-connected both in terms of a seamless, safe, sustainable, active and accessible transport network and through digital infrastructure that links residents to the places that they live in, work in and enjoy.

Tackling health inequality

  • Physically healthy – preventing physical ill health, promoting physical wellbeing and living independently for as long as possible, especially those experiencing multiple disadvantage.
  • Mental and emotional wellness – adults, young people and children access the right early help and parents/ caregivers are supported; social isolation is prevented and environments/ communities build good mental health.
  • Reaching potential – people's basic needs are met and thrive, with services engaging in partnership action to address the wider determinants of health and supporting community-led action
  • Safe – children, families and adults that most need us are protected and can access the services to enable them to feel secure from health risks and live well

Enabling a greener future

  • A zero-carbon council, leading on the greener futures priorities – SCC is a carbon neutral council by 2030 by reducing emissions, positively impacting the environment through our services, operations and land management and improving efficiency from across our services including buildings, fleet, and street lighting.
  • Enabling the development of greener futures communities that support green behaviours to meet Surrey's 2050 net zero carbon target – residents and businesses are enabled to play their part in delivering greener futures through: improving their local environment; consuming more sustainably; reducing emissions and waste and fostering a thriving green, low carbon and circular economy.
  • Clean and zero carbon infrastructure and development – reduced pollution and increased efficiencies from energy, transport and infrastructure resulting in improved health and wellbeing outcomes for residents, a greener economy and supporting nature recovery.
  • A thriving and biodiverse urban and rural natural environment – supporting accessible, inclusive and high quality green and blue spaces that benefit our residents mental and physical wellbeing; natural environment solutions such as capturing carbon and natural flood risk management and nature recovering and protects biodiversity.
  • Climate change resilience – communities, Infrastructure and developments are resilient and adapting to the changing climate with the most vulnerable protected from the impacts of extreme weather events with minimised disruption.

Empowered and thriving communities

  • Accessibility and inclusion – all residents are able to access the information, support and services they need at the right time and in the right way, so they can make informed choices.
  • Greater influence – people of all ages and backgrounds are able to influence council priorities, with approaches in place that enable communities to participate more and shape our services and practices.
  • Prevention and early intervention – people of all ages and family units can exercise greater control over their own and their communities' health and wellbeing, with any support provided earlier and a reduction in crisis events
  • Community cohesion and place shaping – more residents feel connected to their local community, with the confidence and tools to support others and set and deliver local priorities.
  • Transforming how we work – a more equal relationship with communities, doing with and not to, through equipping our staff with the skills to work alongside communities and partners as part of joined-up services across Surrey.

Subscribe to our newsletters for latest news and events.