THERE are fewer people in the district claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance than anywhere else in the country.
A report into the state of Stratford district shows many positives have been gained over the past year. The annual State of the District report is set to be discussed by councillors at a meeting on Monday (October 24).
One of the most notable achievements is having the joint-lowest in the country for the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. Out of the some 122,000 across the region, just 280 were claiming the benefit as of last month, the equivalent of 0.4 per cent of the population – the same as Hart in Hampshire. Of those claiming 165 were men and 115 women, with most aged 25 to 49.
Stratford District Council spokesman for revenue Coun Dave Riches said: “It’s extremely encouraging that in Stratford district we can keep so many people employed in such turbulent economic times.
“The district council is committed to supporting employers, who are stakeholders in the communities through a variety of different initiatives.”
The report is compiled from the council’s Customer Satisfaction Survey 2016 and the most recent Life in Warwickshire report.
It shows educational attainment is good, with 68 per cent of 14 and 15 year-olds achieving A* to C grades in English, maths and science compared to the national average of 57 per cent.
And it makes equally good reading for adults, with many households earning nearly £550 each week compared to the national average of £526 per week.
Nearly everyone is happy with council services, this year rating refuse and recycling collections as the area they were most satisfied with.
Handling of planning applications and public toilets were two areas residents believed the council could improve.
And the news was not so good for council tax payers, with bills set to continue to rise as council chiefs try and make up for the some £5 million they are set to lose from central government grants between 2013 and 2019.
The report states: “In the budget for 2016 the council, in line with government expectations, increased council tax for the first time since 2010.
“The council will become more reliant upon local taxation through both council tax and business rates as central government funding is removed.”
The council will use the report to help determine future policy.