(Verbal Presentation by the Head of Corporate Services - Ms Christie Tims)
Ms Tims, Head of Corporate Services, introduced herself and delivered a Presentation on the new Strategic Plan explaining what it is and the current vision. Ms Tims said because the current one runs out in April 2020, a new Strategic Plan was needed and it was envisaged it would be informed by a strong research base, local facts and figures, as well as the view of local people, councillors, partners and staff.
Ms Tims explained that our Strategic Plan is underpinned by our Delivery Plan which details the activity of projects and services over a four year period to achieve the strategic outcomes. It is a rolling document that is updated as projects progress and is regularly reported upon to cabinet and scrutiny committees and is directly mapped back to the Strategic Plan commitments.
The corporate indicators and the consultation done to date was described and it was hoped to achieve “a plan on a page” now the Strategic Plan was underpinned by a Delivery Plan and a Performance Framework. Ms Tims circulated the current priorities in poster form and asked members to comment on what they would like to see in the new updated Strategic Plan; she asked members to consider whether these are specific projects they would want to be delivered and whether they could be translated in to outcomes. Also, she asked for comments on what may be missing.
Comments received included:-
Use of Railways – business/ environment/employment opportunities – better local transport services;
Definite policy on maintenance of street furniture;
Mental well-being of community;
Support social enterprise;
Local procurement – buy our services in locally – outcome would be - less transportation/greener environment and also supports local businesses;
Work with other authorities more.
It was noted that there was a big emphasis on interaction with the public digitally and cutting down on paper yet, it was felt there was a large section of the population that were not confident with online features and online accounts and it was asked if we could reach out to these people too. Ms Tims said we were aware that approximately 25% of the population are resistant to digital technology and we, as a Council, were working on this.
A member asked if we could ensure the affordability of housing was higher up in the agenda and more employment and the green welcoming places to live.
Ms Tims thanked everyone for their input and the ideas were collected in from the posters given out. The next steps were communicated:-
22 October – Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee will receive the first draft of the plan
12 November – Approval of draft by Cabinet and agree formal consultation
13 November – 13 December – formal consultations
w/c 16 December – Review of feedback from consultation by task groups
28 January – Final review by Strategic Overview & Scrutiny Committee
11 February – Cabinet approval
18 February – Full Council approval
Adoption from April 2020
The consultation was discussed and the best way to consult with parishes was felt to be via the parish clerks and the editors of the parish newsletters. Ms Tims appealed for any contact details to be sent to her (or the clerk) so we could include as many people as possible in the consultation. LDC News was also another popular means of communication as this was sent out inside the Lichfield Mercury but it was recognised that this did not get in to every house in Lichfield now. Solus distribution was mentioned but the delivery costs would need to be measured. Ms Tims said all district councillors received a copy of the LDC News publication and encouraged them to perhaps take a bundle in to their relevant parishes and put them in their Village Halls or liaise with the local churches to see if they could help with the distribution. The Town Trader was also another means of communication and Ms Tims agreed to pass these ideas on and said there was also discussions taking place around an online survey being used so we can reach out to as many people as possible and utilise the Residents’ Panel who we had a mailing list for.
It was appreciated that the deadlines were tight but because the current Strategic Plan expires in April 2020 the process had had to start. Concern was raised as some parish councils only meet bi-monthly and this was noted.