Your Councillors

Communication and Engagement Strategy, Action Plan 2015-16 Update

Appendix B - 2015-16 Action Plan

 

The actions below were agreed as part of the 2015-2020 strategy

 

 

Objective - Satisfaction with local area as a place to live

 

What we plan to do

Anticipated Outcomes

By whom

When

Inform/

Consult/

Engage

Strategic Priority

Action update

Consult with residents and other stakeholders to progress the Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy towards submission for independent examination.

A robust approach to the implementation of CIL in the Borough and a targeted approach to the distribution of these resources.

Head of Planning and Development

 

Communications Manager

 

2016

Inform

Keeping Maidstone Borough an attractive place for all

Ongoing

Help people understand and actively engage in local issues and opportunities through community forums such as - Maidstone Older Person’s Forum, Disability Focus Group and BME Forum.

 

People involved in local policy and decision making.

 

Improved networking, collaboration and partnership between the voluntary and community sector and agencies building their organisational capacities.

 

Better community cohesion and equality of opportunity for all throughout the Maidstone borough.

 

Head of Housing and Community Services

Annually

Engage

Putting People First

Ongoing through existing networks and partnerships

 

 

Objective – Trust the council

 

What we plan to do

Anticipated Outcomes

By whom

When

Inform/

Consult/

Engage

Strategic Priority

Action update

Develop a plan to communicate funding issues and their implications to residents.

 

Increased awareness and understanding of new commercial activities.

Head of Policy and Communications

September 2015

Inform

Putting People First

Completed and ongoing. Work has included council tax information in Borough Update

Communicate changes to governance arrangements to ensure residents understand how they can get involved in decision-making.

Increased awareness and participation by residents in council decision making.

Head of Policy and Communications

June 2015

Engage

Putting People First

Completed and ongoing – website updates, Borough Update stories and social media campaigns.  The Local Democracy Week campaign included a new leaflet on how to get involved.

Regular feedback on the results of consultations on our website and through other channels as appropriate.

 

Increased trust among residents that consultation results are taken into account and do influence decision making.

 

Head of Policy and Communications

Ongoing

Inform

Putting People First

Ongoing

 

Objective - Residents can influence decisions affecting their local area

 

What we plan to do

Anticipated Outcomes

By whom

When

Inform/

Consult/

Engage

Strategic Priority

Action update

Rollout an online Events Toolkit to support local community events and activities.

 

 

 

Provide training events and workshops such as Community Participatory Appraisal and Planning for Real neighbourhood engagement.

 

Individuals and communities empowered and more resilient through training, information, advice and support.

 

Increased confidence, skills, knowledge and ability to participate in community life, engage with services, local decision-making and democratic processes and take action for themselves.

 

Head of Housing and Community Services

Annually

Engage

Putting People First

Completed - Events Toolkit finalised and rolled out as an online resource to community groups, ward and parish councils. Community Participatory Appraisal and Planning for Real neighbourhood training was delivered by Maxine Moar Consultancy

Develop ways in which residents can have their say and influence the Council’s new decision making process including the opportunity for regular dialogue and engagement.

Greater participation by residents in council decision making.

Head of Policy and Communications

 

Head of Finance and Resources

 

June – July 2015

Engage

Putting People First

Completed - The ‘New Committee System’ Communication Plan has included actions to update the website, Borough Update stories and social media campaigns.

Participation in Democracy Week 2015

Raised awareness of the opportunities residents have to take part in council decision making.

 

Head of Finance and Resources

 

October 2015

Engage

Putting People First

Completed

Seminars and training in community engagement for staff and councillors.

More councillors and staff running community engagement events for their communities and service areas.

Head of HR Shared Services

 

Head of Housing and Community Services

 

Head of Finance and Resources

 

Annually

Engage

Putting People First

Carry forward to 2016-17

To partner with the community in decision making with neighbourhood action planning in Maidstone’s areas of deprivation to involve community groups, residents and public organisations working together to tackle neighbourhood issues.

Communities have an input into addressing health, housing and wellbeing issues in their localities.

 

Consultation and decision-making placed in the hands of the community.

 

Head of Housing and Community Services

Annually

Engage

Putting People First

Ongoing – partnership programmes taking place to engage with residents around community safety, housing and health issues.

The council’s Community Development and PSH teams have merged into a new Housing and Health team, engagement work is being reviewed to reflect health and wellbeing and housing needs.

 

Identify hard to reach groups and develop effective means of engaging with them, working with our partners when appropriate to ensure our communications and engagements are inclusive.

 

More representative samples from council consultations and greater participation in council engagement activities.

 

Head of Policy and Communications

 

Head of Housing and Community Services

 

Review April – June annually

Inform/

Consult/

Engage

Putting People First

Ongoing - The Housing and Community team is involved in various strands of work

 

Objective - People from different backgrounds get on well together

 

What we plan to do

Anticipated Outcomes

By whom

When

Inform/

Consult/

Engage

Strategic Priority

Action update

Develop a guide to communities across the borough containing data about communication preferences and other information available through sources such as Mosaic and Acorn to better target communications.

 

Improved targeting of information and engagement activities so that people receive the information most relevant to them, improving their engagement with and trust in the council.

 

Head of Policy and Communications

April 2015 – March 2016

Engage

Putting People First

Ongoing - This work is being progressed by the Policy Team.

 

Objective - Satisfaction with the way Maidstone Borough Council runs it services

 

What we plan to do

Anticipated Outcomes

By whom

When

Inform/

Consult/

Engage

Strategic Priority

Action update

You Said… We Did quarterly campaigns/information.

Increased trust in the council.

 

Staff and residents more informed about services and changes made as a result of customer/staff feedback.

 

Head of Policy and Communications

 

2015-2016

Inform

Putting People First

Ongoing - You said… We did… examples are included in each issue of Borough Update and on social media.

Produce Annual Report on the council’s progress towards achieving its strategic plan priorities.

 

Increased trust in the council.

 

Greater understanding of the council’s strategic priorities

Head of Policy and Communications

 

Annually

Inform

Putting People First

Completed

A consistent and memorable corporate identity on all front facing services.

Increased trust in the council.

 

Greater understanding of how council tax is spent, demonstrating value for money.

 

Head of Policy and Communications

 

 

Inform

Putting People First

Ongoing

 

Objective – Information about the council services and benefits

 

What we plan to do

Anticipated Outcomes

By whom

When

Inform/

Consult/

Engage

Strategic Priority

Action update

A review of our external communications channels including our newsletter and social networking accounts.

 

More effective communication and better value for money.

Head of Policy and Communications

 

July – September 2015

Inform

Putting People First

Carry forward to 2016-17

A new Social media Strategy, building on our policy for social networking accounts.

 

Clear direction for the council’s use of social media to make sure that it effectively contributes to the council’s priorities

 

Head of Policy and Communications

 

April – June 2015

Engage

Putting People First

Carry forward to 2016-17

‘Our day’ social media campaigns highlighting council services.

Increased awareness of council services, improving trust and understanding of how council tax is spent.

 

Head of Policy and Communications

 

Quarterly

Inform

Putting People First

Completed

Working for you features in our newsletter and social media.

Increased awareness of council services, improving trust and understanding of how council tax is spent.

 

Head of Policy and Communications

 

Each issue

Inform

Putting People First

Completed and ongoing

 

Objective - Value for money

 

What we plan to do

Anticipated Outcomes

By whom

When

Inform/

Consult/

Engage

Strategic Priority

Action update

Annual budget consultation for residents and staff including value for money information and report.

Increased understanding of how council tax is spent, improving trust in the council and belief that it provides value for money.

Head of Policy and Communications

 

Head of Finance and Resources

 

 

 

October – January Annually

Consult/

Inform

Putting People First

Completed

Annual Council tax publicity – value of services provided.

Increased understanding of how council tax is spent, improving trust in the council and belief that it provides value for money.

 

Head of Policy and Communications

 

Head of Finance and Resources

 

April annually

Inform

Putting People First

Ongoing

 

Objective - Employee engagement

 

What we plan to do

Anticipated Outcomes

By whom

When

Inform/

Consult/

Engage

Strategic Priority

Action update

An annual One Council rhythm of the year programme of co-ordinated staff communication and engagement activities including - One Council briefings, Core Brief, team talks, Staff Forum, health and wellbeing week, and STRIVE awards etc.

 

 

 

Increased employee engagement leading to better understanding of the council’s strategic plan and priorities.

Head of Policy and Communications

 

Head of HR Shared Service

 

Annually

Engage

Putting People First

Completed and ongoing

 

Objective – Improve communication with councillors

 

What we plan to do

Anticipated Outcomes

By whom

When

Inform/

Consult/

Engage

Strategic Priority

Action update

Support councillors to raise their profiles in their local areas to lead their communities and bring forward ideas to the council.

Improved resident engagement with the council.

Councillors

 

Head of Policy and Communications

 

Annually

Engage

Putting People First

Ongoing

Improve regular communication with councillors to include advance notice of council events and staffing changes

Improved engagement with residents and officers

Head of Policy and Communications

 

As appropriate

Inform

Putting People First

Ongoing