Last updated: 16 August 2023

Next review: 16 August 2024

A Public Service Strategy

Our public service approach

The response from residents to the pandemic, giving time, energy, and compassion, has been inspiring. People have demonstrated care, resourcefulness and a desire to make a difference. The extraordinary mobilisation of community action alongside staff has demonstrated that public service can happen everywhere, every day.

Public service has been at the heart of Waltham Forest’s response to the pandemic, both in how residents helped each other and how the council has faced the challenges. 

For us, public service is not about who does it, or how it is delivered. In Waltham Forest we see public service as the act itself. 

This understanding of public service requires more leadership and responsibility from the Council, not less. We will need to listen more and find new ways to work alongside residents, partners and businesses.

This direction is radical. It recognises the crucial roles our residents, businesses and communities play in performing public service, and the importance of collaboration between these groups and the council as we support everyone to strive for the best for our borough.

This understanding of public service is at the heart of our strategy.

A strategy for uncertainty

The Public Service Strategy sets out how we plan to take on the immediate challenges faced by residents, businesses and communities through the Covid-19 pandemic.

We have faced challenges before, and we have overcome them. A decade ago, Waltham Forest was the 10th most deprived borough in London and faced over £100mn of budget cuts. But in 2019, we won MJ Council of the year and were London’s first Borough of Culture.

Our strategy has been inspired by the views of our residents. We received over 11,000 responses to quantitative surveys and have conducted a variety of focus and research groups. We have gathered extensive data on the impacts of Covid-19 on our local economy and communities.

The Public Service Strategy sets out four immediate priorities, each underpinned by a five-point plan. These priorities are:

The uncertainty we face means this strategy cannot and should not be a long-term vision for the borough. It is our response to the most pressing challenges Covid-19 has presented, and a way to tackle the impacts of the ongoing crisis.

Delivering our public service strategy

To deliver this strategy, we will publish a detailed roadmap in November 2020. This plan will be publicly available on the Council’s website, alongside regular updates and performance measures.

We will meet our objectives with the involvement of our communities and partners, as the challenges we are facing require everyone to play their part. We will keep engaging, and feedback from residents will continue to shape our plans transparently.

Together, we can ensure everyone has the opportunity to act, contribute and make change.