Agenda item

Strategic Plan 2022 - 26

Report of the Leader of the Council



The Committee considered the Strategic Plan which set out the Councils ambitions and priorities for the years ahead.  It was explained that whilst the Plan covered a four-year period, the ambitions contained within it set the direction of the Staffordshire envisaged for decades and generations to come.


The report included the draft Cabinet Report and the Strategic Plan for 2022-26.


It was explained that the Plan had specifically been designed to be shorter and easier to read, with more of a focus on the councils’ priorities.


Following a question on the sale of land for a dementia site in the Moorlands, it was explained that meeting local need whilst being dependent on commercial development was difficult in the current economy.  Working with District and Borough Councils and looking at innovative ways of working was essential.


There was a lengthy discussion on the need for information on how the priorities would be measured and monitored in order for scrutiny to challenge effectiveness and how these had been delivered.  It was explained that there were action plans to support all the priorities but these may need to be looked at by the Overview and Scrutiny Committees for members to fully challenge not just if they had been delivered but also the standard reached and any adverse or positive effects for example on climate change.


It was explained that Government would continue to be lobbied for additional funding and a fair settlement.


It was explained that the public were often frustrated by what they saw as the lack of progress or the pace of delivery.  An example was given of highway repairs which were highlighted as needed but then went on to a programme which could see them waiting for a considerable time.  The standard of repairs also caused frustration and often lead to reaping the same patch of road many times when once should have been sufficient.


Whilst gaining values for money on all occasions was sensible and desirable, it was felt that this should not be at the expense of sustainability.


It was felt that the public should be at the heart of the plan and their views should be listened to and taken into account.


It was suggested that the information that the Committee receives in the quarterly performance reporting should highlight the improvements and pace of change.  It was acknowledged that Service Overview and Scrutiny Committees may want to look at the detailed delivery plans, but a dashboard of indicators would be useful for this committee.

The Committee made the following specific comments on the Strategic Plan:

1)    The clear and more concise style of the Strategic Plan was welcomed.  It was viewed as a positive vision and aims for the future.

2)    Future priorities were noted and agreed.

3)    The Councils role as Influencer and bringing partners together needed to be strengthened.

4)    There was a need for some reference to delivery plans and how the priorities were going to be achieved.

5)    Action plans and delivery plans needed to be considered by the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee

6)    It was acknowledged that delivering the priorities, when so much depended on partners or government investment, would be a challenging. An example of highways improvements was given and the smaller than anticipated government settlement.

7)    Detail on the standards expected when delivering some of the pledges was critical.  For example, “Help partner organisations to build more homes” we need to ensure that standards are high; carbon neutral; and the impact on flooding etc considered.

8)    The Pledge “Live within our means and deliver value for money” was viewed as the right aim but this had to be measured against the cost of sustainability.  The sale of land was given as an example, where value for money was required but the future use of the land needed to be environmentally sustainable.

9)    Working together with partners must include the public and listening to their views at an appropriate stage in developing plans was essential.

10)It was felt that the public don’t see an acceptable pace of change, e.g., pothole repairs.  There needs to be more emphasis on repairs being carried out to the correct standard, first time.

11)It was also noted that the means of communication of progress on programmes, like the roads maintenance one, need to improve so that residents better understand the level of progress achieved or otherwise.


a)   That the Committee note the progress made in developing the Strategic Plan 2022-26.

b)  That the comments of the Committee, as listed above, be referred to Cabinet at their meeting on 26 January 2022.

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