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21 July 2021


Corporate Planning Timetable


Final Decision-Maker

Policy and Resources Committee

Lead Director

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Lead Officer and Report Author

Angela Woodhouse, Head of Policy, Communications and Governance




Wards affected



Executive Summary

Every year the Committee is asked to consider whether to update the existing strategic plan, create a new one or leave the current one in place. This report sets out a proposed approach to this and setting the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022/23 – 2026/27.  The report concludes that the existing Strategic Plan continues to provide an appropriate overall framework.  Within this, the focus is currently on COVID-19 recovery and renewal, which has culminated in a detailed action plan which complements the Strategic Plan.


Purpose of Report





This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   The current Strategic Plan 2019-45 is endorsed.

2.   The corporate planning timetable be adopted.







Policy and Resources Committee

21 July 2021

Corporate Planning Timetable







Impact on Corporate Priorities

The four Strategic Plan sets the Council’s objectives these are:


·         Embracing Growth and Enabling Infrastructure

·         Safe, Clean and Green

·         Homes and Communities

·         A Thriving Place



Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Cross Cutting Objectives

The four cross-cutting objectives in the Strategic Plan are:


·         Heritage is Respected

·         Health Inequalities are Addressed and Reduced

·         Deprivation and Social Mobility is Improved

·         Biodiversity and Environmental Sustainability is respected


Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Risk Management

The Council’s corporate risk strategy includes strategic risks associated with the Strategic Plan.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance


The financial implications of the strategic plan are set out in the Council’s five year Medium Term Financial Strategy. The MTFS will be updated and rolled forward to cover the period 2022/23  to 2026/27 as set out in the timetable at paragraph 4.3 of this report


Director of Finance and Business Improvement


We will deliver the recommendations with our current staffing.


Head of Policy, Communications and Governance


The Strategic Plan aligns with the Council’s general duty, as a best value authority, to make arrangements to secure continuous improvement in the way in which its functions are exercised, having regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness – section 3 of the Local Government Act 1999. If adopted as recommended the corporate planning timetable enables the Council to monitor its performance against the agreed Strategic Plan outcomes.

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Privacy and Data Protection

The decision will have no impact on privacy and data protection

Policy and Information Team


The recommendations do not propose a change in service therefore will not require an equalities impact assessment.

Policy & Information Manager

Public Health



We recognise that the recommendations will not negatively impact on population health or that of individuals.


Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Crime and Disorder

The decision will have no direct impact on Crime and disorder

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance


Not applicable


Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Biodiversity and Climate Change

The strategic plan was refreshed in 2020-21 to include biodiversity and climate change as an area of focus for 2021-26

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance





2.1        The Strategic Plan is a core element of our corporate planning. The priorities and outcomes in the Strategic Plan are developed alongside the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) to ensure consistency between service delivery and budgets. Service Planning allows the Council to convert high level priorities from the Strategic Plan into actions for each directorate, service or team across the Council, which then feeds into individual staff priorities.


2.2        Each year the Policy and Resources Committee are asked to agree whether to refresh the existing Strategic Plan, create a new one or leave it as is. A timetable of activity is then planned around this and the Medium Term Financial Strategy process. The timetable includes a period of public consultation and reports to service committee meetings on the budget.


2.3        The current Strategic Plan was adopted in December 2018 and covers the period until 2045.  The plan was agreed after careful analysis and consultation, the decision was taken for it to be a 26-year plan to ensure continuity, and a basis on which all other internal plans and strategies could be developed. 


2.4        The areas of focus under each of the Council’s priorities were updated during the course of the last municipal year to incorporate the impact of COVID-19. The main changes to areas of focus agreed for 2021-26 are summarised below:


·         A focus on delivering those actions in the new EDS that will promote economic recovery from COVID-19

·         Delivering a sustainable and vibrant leisure and cultural offer

·         Working with community groups and parish councils to develop community resilience and pride in our Borough

·         Promote inward investment; and

·         Identifying opportunities with partners to reduce health inequalities in the Borough.


2.5        The Committee has also been considering recovery and renewal from COVID-19 as set out in another report on this agenda, this provides a plan of action aligned to the Strategic Plan and its areas of focus.







3.1        The Committee could either choose to create a new Strategic Plan, refresh the current plan or decide that there is no reason to produce either an update or a new plan.


3.2        A timetable for corporate planning is outlined in section 4 for the preferred option; the Committee can review and amend this timetable as appropriate.


Retain Current Plan

3.3        This would involve minimum resources and committee time. The current plan was refreshed in 2020-21 in light of the pandemic. The Policy and Resources Committee have spent considerable time and effort over 2020-21 and continue to do so on the council’s response to the pandemic and our approach to recovery and renewal which has culminated in a detailed action plan which complements the strategic plan and arguably negates the need to create a new plan or refresh again the current Strategic Plan. Service Planning would be based on the areas of focus refreshed last year and the new Recovery and Renewal Actions as agreed.


Refresh the Strategic Plan

3.4        The current Strategic Plan was developed involving a wide cross section of Councillors, staff and other stakeholders in 2018 before being adopted in December of that year, the vision and priorities are clear and relevant. The plan was revisited and refreshed last year with the areas of focus for 2019-2024 being updated and revised to areas of focus for 2021 to 2026.


3.5        The Committee is in the process of agreeing actions for its

approach to recovery and renewal in response to the impact of COVID-19. A refresh could include acknowledging the actions and their alignment with the Council’s Strategic Plan through a revised foreword.


A light-touch refresh of the Strategic Plan would include:   


·         Refresh of any contextual information in the document such as statistics; and

·         Rewriting the foreword.


This would be approved by Policy and Resources Committee alone before being sent to Council. The refreshed Plan would be considered by Policy and Resources in January prior to Submission to Council alongside the Medium Term Financial Strategy.


Create a New Strategic Plan

3.6    The Committee could decide that the existing strategic plan is not fit for purpose.  It should be noted that creating a new Strategic Plan would have a substantially greater impact on resources. The proposed timetable set out in section 4 would need to be amended to include service committee involvement and other activities to develop a new strategic plan including research, data analysis and opportunities for public member and officer input and engagement.






4.1       The Committee is recommended to retain the existing plan with no update. This will allow the Committee and Officers to focus on recovery and renewal from COVID-19. Councillors reshaped the areas of focus in 2020-21 so to revisit these again with service committee involvement may not be the best use of time. Time has been taken to develop a new recovery and renewal action plan and this will be a strategic area of focus and activity.


Corporate Planning Timetable




21 July 2021

Consider scope for the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) – 2022/23 – 2026/27


September 2021

Service Planning Begins


September 2021

Public Consultation on MTFS


November 2021

Draft MTFS to Service Committees and then Policy and Resources


19 January 2022

Medium Term Financial Strategy - Capital Programme 2022/23 - 2026/27

Medium Term Financial Strategy & Budget Proposals 2022/23 - 2026/27


9 February 2022

Medium Term Financial Strategy & Budget Proposals 2022/23 – Final


23 February 2022

MTFS submitted to Council




5.       RISK

5.1    The risks associated with delivering the Council’s Strategic Plan are set out in the Corporate Risk Register.





6.1     The Strategic Plan was developed with all Councillors and Service Committee input. The refresh last year saw further input via Service Committees.






7.1     If Committee agree the recommended action, next steps will be followed as set out in the timetable at 4.1. If members request another course of action, officers will need to revise the timetable and review resources as set out in section 3.