Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Cabinet Decision: 19th March 2009
Title of Item/Report
Council Plan and Service Improvement Plans 2009-2012
Record of the Decision
Cabinet considered a report that detailed the Council Plan and Service Improvement Plans 2009 - 2012.

It was noted that the Council Plan set out how the Council would contribute to community objectives. The plan is based on the objectives and outcomes already set in the Sustainable Community Strategy, but provides focus on the key objectives we need to achieve authority wide, and which need to be monitored by Corporate Management Team and the Cabinet.

The focus of the plan shifts each year as the Council's key improvement priorities alter over time. Members noted that it was a three year rolling plan which was updated on an annual basis.

Service Improvement Plans support the Council Plan by setting out how key priorities and objectives would be delivered, and their resource implications. The plans also included information about each service area and its achievements.

The 2009-2012 Council Plan contained two main parts. The first was a narrative explaining about the Borough, the Council, its achievements and future plans. This was supported by the second main part - an action plan which set out how the objectives and priorities of the Council would be delivered.

The objectives within the 2009-2012 Council Plan had changed from 2008-2011 to take account of:-

* New and emerging national policy and legislative requirements

* The current economic climate and its impact on local communities and services

* The development of the Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation Programme

* Outcomes from the annual review and refresh of the Local Area Agreement

The plan had been developed in partnership with:-

* Councillors - through seminars on the budget and Council Plan and through "drop in" sessions for Members to discuss the plan with officers

* Corporate Management Team, Heads of Service and Policy Officers through joint working to develop the plan

The intended audiences for the Council plan were:-

* The authority itself including elected members and officers (primary audience)

* The Government, because the plans contain essential information enabling it to monitor performance (secondary audience)

* The public in order that there is visibility and transparency about what the Council's objectives and targets are.

* Key partners, to facilitate joined up approaches to making a difference to the lives of local residents where appropriate.

The measures that were included in the Local Area Agreement were also included in the Council Plan to provide officers and members with a joined up local performance framework.

The service planning framework was reviewed in 2005 and a revised framework put into place to focus on changes and improvements and to bring service and resource (finance, human resources, ICT, procurement) planning closer together. SIPs include the key changes, improvements and priorities which will require significant attention from heads of service to deliver. Core business in each service is covered in business unit plans which sit beneath the SIPs.

Plans had been developed to cover all service areas. In some areas it had been sensible to develop combined SIPs covering more than one head of service's remit e.g. Children's Services. Performance against SIPs would be monitored and reported to Members twice a year, alongside Council Plan monitoring.

RECOMMENDED to Council that:-

1. The draft Council Plan and Service Improvement Plans for 2009 - 2012 be approved.

2. Approval of the Council Plan and Service Improvement
Plans be delegated to the Chief Executive and the Lead Cabinet Member.
Reasons for the Decision
The Council Plan and Service Improvement Plans set out how the Council would improve its services and contribute to community objectives. The plans were based on the objectives and outcomes already set in the Sustainable Community Strategy and the targets within the Local Area Agreement, but provided focus on the key objectives we need to achieve authority wide, and which needed to be monitored by Corporate Management Team and the Cabinet.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None.
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None.
Details of any Dispensations
Not Applicable.
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not Applicable.
Attachment

Date of Publication: 23 March 2009


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