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Agenda item

Business Plan Principles 2022-2032

   Report of the Chief Executive

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Richard Clewer, introduced the report on the Business Plan. The Business Plan sets out the council’s overarching principles by which the organisation would be managed across a long period. The current plan was set out for 2017-27. This had been updated on 21 July 2020 to include an addendum relating to climate change.

 

Following the elections in May 2021 the Business Plan had been reviewed and the Leader detailed that it would consist of three elements. Firstly, the Business Plan Principles 2022-2032, setting out the main principles driving the council’s operation and policies. This would be followed with service delivery plans, linked to those principles. Lastly, there would be metrics on which each service delivery plan would then be able to be assessed, providing data which could be analysed.

 

The process of developing the plan in discussion with Cabinet and officers was detailed. It was stated the Plan needed to be strategic in its approach as the local authority would be expected to be in place for the long term, and the principles of the plan needed to focus on systemic issues, which would need collaborative working with partners both public and private. Although much had been achieved in breaking down isolated ‘silo’ working, there remained work to do to ensure all relevant areas of the council work together to bring all resources to bear on particular issues. This was why the plan was not specific on particular service areas such as children or highways, as it was a case of guiding themes, then targeting all services together to address issues. Budgetary implications would need to be understood, and service plans would need to be reviewed at least annually.

 

It was intended that the service delivery plans would be considered by Cabinet in February 2022, and then by Full Council later that month.

 

Members of the Cabinet then commented upon the draft Plan. Comments included the importance of early prevention work on many issues, commitment to wok with partners such as parish councils or housing associations, developing the council’s assets, the flexibility of the plan to enable response to evidence before reaching specific policy conclusions, and the importance of connected communities and a strong economy.

 

The draft Plan had been considered at a meeting of Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee on 21 September 2021. The Chairman of that committee, Councillor Graham Wright, stated there had been a good debate where Overview and Scrutiny had made a number of comments on specific details, and in particular was keen to involve all the select committees in scrutinising the finalised plan, including service delivery plans which would contain greater detail.

 

The Leader then opened the meeting up to comments and questions.

 

Councillor Ian Thorn asked about analysis of the previous Business Pan and what could be learned from its impact, though the Leader stated that it and new Plan were structured very differently, and he did not consider comparative analysis with the previous Plan to be beneficial as the council moved forward from Covid-19. There was also discussion of consultation on the Plan principles as well as the budget.

 

Councillor Dominic Muns welcomed the Business Plan, noting particularly the importance of working with education providers across the county.

 

Councillor Helen Belcher asked about criteria for success, measurable end points, to enable changing position if the evidence suggested this was appropriate. In response it was stated some service areas could be harder to measure than others, but that there would be metrics for all service delivery plans to enable analysis, which might evolve over time, and where evidence indicated adaption was necessary this would occur.

 

Councillor Derek Walters asked about metrics for carbon emissions on large scale development plans. It was noted that measuring carbon output would be important, though government making measuring a requirement might be necessary.

 

At the conclusion of discussion, and noting that any decision would need to be taken individually by the Leader under delegated executive authority due to the nature of the meeting, the Cabinet was asked for its view and it was,

 

Resolved:

 

That the Leader of the Council should

 

1)    Agree the Business Plan Principles for 2022-2032.

 

2)    Agree to seek feedback from a broad range of stakeholders and residents, in tandem with engagement on the budget proposals for 2022/23.

 

3)    Agree to review and incorporate feedback at its meeting on 1 February in preparation for a final version to be considered at Full Council in February 2022.

 

Reason for Proposals

 

To enable wider feedback ahead of its consideration by Full Council in 2022 and to provide Services with strategic direction ahead of the planning cycle commencing.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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