Strategic Plan 2015-20, 2017-18 Refresh

Policy and Resources Committee

15 February 2017

Is the final decision on the recommendations in this report to be made at this meeting?



Strategic Plan 2015-20, 2017-18 Refresh


Final Decision-Maker


Lead Director or Head of Service

Chief Executive

Lead Officer and Report Author

Alison Broom, Chief Executive and Angela Woodhouse, Head of Policy and Communications



Wards affected




This report makes the following recommendations:

1.    Policy and Resources are asked to consider the refreshed strategic plan at Appendix B and recommend it to full Council for approval making amendments as appropriate.





This report relates to the following corporate priorities:

·         Great People

·         Great Place

·         Great Opportunity






Policy and Resources Committee

14 December 2017

Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee

10 January 2017

Communities, Housing and Environment Committee

17 January 2017

Policy and Resources Committee

18 January 2017

Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee

31 January 2017

Policy and Resources Committee

15 February 2017


1 March 2017


Strategic Plan 2015-20, 2017-18 Refresh





1.1     This report outlines the proposed changes to the Strategic Plan in line with the planned refresh for 2017-18.


1.2     Appendix A outlines the recommendations on the plan as they have come forward from each committee along with analysis of the potential amendments and a suggested approach. Appendix B sets out the refreshed Strategic Plan for 2017-18 for this committee’s consideration prior to submission to full council. On each action area the former and new have been placed alongside each other on a page so it is easy to see the changes that have been made. The final document will contain one version of each action area.





2.1     In September as part of the corporate planning process it was agreed that there would be a refresh of the council’s strategic plan to ensure alignment with the new medium term financial strategy focussed on the “we will” sections of the original document. It was agreed that a rewrite would not be needed at this stage of the five year plan.


2.2     From October to November this year a budget consultation exercise was undertaken with the agreement of Policy and Resources Committee. Roadshows were held at a variety of locations around the borough and the survey was emailed to the Council’s consultation mailing list and promoted via social media and available online. Respondents were asked two questions in the survey:


       to rank ten services in order of importance where 1 was most important and 10 least important.

       for the same list of services, to say if they thought funding for that service should remain the same, be reduced or be cut altogether.


        We received a total of 926 (786 online and 140 through the roadshow) responses.


2.3                  The bar chart below shows the ranked importance of the ten areas as prioritised by residents.



2.4     A workshop was held with the leadership team to consider the results of the survey, information from the residents’ survey 2015, performance data and proposed actions and measures for 2017-18.


2.5     At the workshop three areas were identified as priorities for 2017-18, Policy and Resources Committee considered and agreed the priorities as:


·         Providing a clean and safe environment

·         A Home for Everyone

·         Regenerating the Town Centre


2.6     These three areas have been highlighted on the Strategic Plan diagram in Appendix B as areas for focus in 2017-18.


2.7     Following the workshop the strategic plan was presented to each service committee for comment. Appendix A outlines the recommendations and comments from each committee on the areas of the plan relevant to their terms of reference.


2.8     The recommendations have been analysed and to ensure the spirit of change has been captured whilst maintaining style and consistency the plan has been refreshed as per Appendix B.


2.9     Each Committee was also asked to consider the performance indicators they would like to measure action areas. It has been agreed that the committees will consider this in March so indicators are in place for the new financial year.


2.10 The only area unchanged other than changing the section titles for each area to “we want” and “we will commit to” is the section on encouraging good health and wellbeing. The spirit of the changes is to ensure the document references strategic actions such as delivering key strategies and plans in the we will commit to section and taking out references that are now out of date or no longer relevant. For example the Town Centre Vision is now subsumed into the Housing and Regeneration Strategy. Other changes have been made to refresh the commentary for each action area updating the contextual information and to ensure the document flows well.


2.11 A further area for debate is introducing housing standards in terms of the houses built in the borough. On consultation with planning officers, the new Local Plan includes a specific policy for sustainable design (Policy DM2) which signposts the Building Control requirements for new homes and requires Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) ‘very good’ standards for water/energy use for new non-domestic development.  In terms of further guidance, MBC has endorsed the Kent Design (KD) document as supplementary guidance.  KD includes practical guidance for developers on sustainable construction and energy/water efficiency.  It is not therefore necessary to create additional housing standards and reference these in the Strategic Plan.


2.12  As is evident from the report of the Director of Finance and Business Improvement on this agenda the Council faces significant financial challenges over the life of the plan with no revenue support grant in 2017/18 and a negative settlement by 2019/20.  Despite the financial pressures the MTFS remains aligned to and underpins the delivery of the Strategic Plan priorities.






3.1     The corporate planning timetable and process was approved in September this report represents the penultimate stage in the approval process.


3.2     Councillors are asked to consider and agree the refreshed strategic plan at Appendix B, the refresh aims to capture the views of all service committees whilst keeping the document strategic, with a consistent style and approach for each action area.


3.3     The committee could choose not to submit a revised plan for council and the original plan will stand, however the current plan is not up to date containing information that is from 2014/15 and actions that need updating or are no longer relevant.






4.1      The Committee is asked to review and approved the refreshed Strategic Plan for submission to Council on 1 March 2017 as per Appendix B. This is in line with the corporate planning timetable approved by the committee.








5.1     The full budget consultation report was submitted to this committee in December and every service committee in January as part of the consideration of the strategic plan and medium term financial strategy.


5.2     Each service committee has been given the opportunity to formally review the plan and make recommendations for amendment. The committees were asked to consider the we will sections of the document and make recommendations as appropriate. These are laid out in Appendix A, set out by priority area for each committee. Analysis has been provided of the proposed changes and a new plan based on this and the recommendations is set out at Appendix B.





6.1     The committee is asked to approve the Strategic Plan refresh for submission to Council.


6.2     Following full council on 1 March 2017, the priority posters and communication with staff will be updated. The refreshed strategic plan will be added to the Council’s website under plans and strategies and the three areas of focus clearly communicated.








Impact on Corporate Priorities

The Strategic Plan sets the Council’s priorities

Head of Policy and Communications

Risk Management

The Strategic Plan sets out our priorities and how they will be delivered informing the councils risk register and risk appetite. The council has a risk register which will pick up any actions from the strategic plan. 

Head of Policy and Communications


The Strategic Plan sets the Council’s priorities. The Medium Term Financial Strategy aligns with the Strategic Plan and sets out the priorities in financial terms.

Section 151 Officer & Finance Team


The plan informs service plans and individual appraisals

Head of Policy and Communications


No implications

Legal Team

Equality Impact Needs Assessment

As decisions are made on each of the projects and actions these will need to take equality into account

Head of Policy and Communications

Environmental/Sustainable Development

The Strategic Plan sets out the high level priorities for Environment and Sustainable Development

Head of Policy and Communications

Community Safety

The Strategic Plan sets out the high level priorities for Community Safety

Head of Policy and Communications

Human Rights Act

No implications

Head of Policy and Communications


No implications

Head of Policy and Communications

Asset Management

No implications

Head of Policy and Communications




The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

·               Appendix A: Service Committee Feedback and Analysis

·               Appendix B: Refreshed Strategic Plan