Appendix A

Update on Annual Governance Statement - Action Plan 2021-22


Corporate Governance Area

Lead Officer


Make data and information more freely accessible on the website and on request

Data Protection Officer

A new space has now been created on the website called information and data

To bring all the relevant elements into one accessible place this includes access to information and results on our consultations, access to the council’s disclosure log,  as well as useful stats and data on local population.


Work is currently underway on a dashboard development programme for services across the council.  As part of this consideration is being given to publicly accessible information from services which could be made available through the use of dashboards, principles that need to be considered have been drafted for approval, which will help guide the Data Analytics Team.  The team hope to have a first dashboard published this year.

Data Protection Action Plan

(previously reported to Audit Governance and Standards Committee)

Data Protection Officer

Report to Audit, Governance and Standards Committee 15 November 2021

Raising awareness of the local code of corporate governance and the Nolan Principles

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

The local code of corporate governance was shared with Wider Leadership Team for development and insight in June 2021. An update is planned at an all staff webinar in 2022 on the code and what it means in practice. The Nolan principles for Councillors will be addressed when the code of conduct is updated, this is being progressed by the Monitoring Officer.

Actions to ensure compliance with the Financial Management Code:


·  Develop and embed a policy on Social Value

·  Review and update the Commissioning Strategy

·  Hold Member workshops to inform the development of the 2022/23 budget

·  Review approach to investment appraisal for conformance with ‘Principles in Project and Investment Appraisal’

·  Assess the usefulness of budget monitoring reports to the leadership team in supporting strategic decision making and identify scope for improving these as appropriate.

·  Refresh the 2021/22 Capital Strategy


Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Social Value – Work not yet started


Commissioning Strategy – Review to take place later this year


Member workshops on budget – Briefing held for all members 26/10/21; regular meetings with Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs to develop budget proposals


Investment Appraisal – approach being refined as part of Capital Strategy update


Budget monitoring reports – Under review with a view to updating format for 22/23


Updated Capital Strategy due to be considered by Members January 2022

Learning from governance failings at other Local Authorities

Chief Executive

Monthly meetings held with governance lead and statutory officers to review governance matters

Review of Church Road, Otham

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Report completed for submission to Democracy and General Purposes Committee on 23 November 2021

Change to Executive Model of Governance

Head of Policy, Communications and Governance

Model approved by Full Council and notice of change published. The governance working group established by Democracy and General Purposes is meeting on 15 November to commence work on drafting the new constitution and an external legal advisor has been appointed to support the Monitoring Officer in its production.

The work has been divided into sections and will progress through the working group onto Democracy and General Purposes Committee and then onto Council for approval in time for the new arrangements commencing at the Annual General Meeting in May 2021

Promoting decision making on Garden Communities ensuring information is publicly available and accessible and the role of the council as developer versus the role as the planning authority is clear.

Director of Regeneration and Place

In respect of the public sector led Garden Community, there remains a clear separation in place between the Council acting as the Local Planning Authority and the Council acting as land promotor in partnership with Homes England. This differentiation is made clear in the various reports that go to the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee and P&R Committees respectively.


The Council and Homes England have appointed a communications firm to assist with community engagement from the land promotor perspective. Their work will include creating a new digital engagement platform for the project, where information with stakeholders can easily be shared.

Corporate Risk: Contraction in retail and leisure sectors, the Council will be developing a Town Centre Management Strategy

Director of Regeneration and Place

The principle of creating a town centre strategy has been approved as part of the Council’s Recovery and Renewal Action Plan and so the funding is now in place for the work to commence. Furthermore, budget growth has been proposed for the next financial year for further economic development, arts & culture and visitor economy type initiatives to kick start the process of reimagining the town centre, to include a full calendar of events to bolster visitor numbers.

Corporate Risk: Financial Restrictions

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Under regular review.  This is addressed as part of Risk Reports to AGS Committee and in quarterly monitoring reports to Service Committees. The Medium-Term Financial Strategy is being updated to reflect both implications form Covid and longer-term issues around slower economic growth.  Furthermore, measures are being identified to address future budget gaps

Corporate Risk: Environmental Damage

Head of Transformation and Property

Actions from the Carbon Trust report are in the process of being implemented and Policy & Resources Committee to provide governance and oversight on delivery of BD&CC Strategy.

Corporate Risk: Major Unforeseen Emergency

Chief Executive

Work is ongoing to ensure the robustness of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Arrangements. 

Corporate Risk: Housing Pressure Increases

Director of Regeneration and Place

Initiatives to increasing housing and temporary accommodation provision underpinned by the drafting of a new Housing Strategy.

Corporate Risk: Brexit/EU transition

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Risk downgraded but continues to be monitored.  MBC officers participate in Kent Resilience Forum planning for disruption at Channel ports.