Agenda item

New Council Plan 2022-2025

Cabinet Portfolio: - Leader


Strategic Directorate: - Assistant Chief Executive


Report to follow


Consideration was given to a report that was submitted for pre-decision scrutiny ahead of the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 20 December 2021 regarding the Council Plan 2022-2025 and Year Ahead Delivery Plan. The Leader, the Chief Executive, the Assistant Chief Executive and the Acting Head of Policy, Performance, and Intelligence attended the meeting to present the report.


In introducing the report, the Leader noted that in September 2020 the Council had adopted a Year Ahead Plan as the Council Plan for operating within the Covid-19 pandemic. It was noted that the plan had been extended in March 2021 and that it ended in November 2021. The Leader advised that informed by public consultation, a new Council Plan had been developed for 2022-25. The report stated that the plan was a key document that set out the Council’s vision for the Borough and its priorities for serving residents and communities.


The Leader noted the wide-ranging consultation that had been carried out with residents and key stakeholders in the development of the plan. The Leader advised that the new Council Plan set out medium-term priorities and actions and was framed around the five themes of:


·       Every neighbourhood thriving

·       People are safe, healthy, and live well

·       Every child able to fulfil their potential

·       Expanding economic opportunity

·       A cleaner, greener local environment.


The Leader noted that these five themes would be underpinned by a cross-cutting strand - ‘One Council’ – that set out how the Council would operate to achieve the vision of the plan.


The Leader advised that the Council Plan would be monitored through both the delivery of milestones and activities that would be detailed in a Year Ahead Delivery Plan and monitored by a set of performance measures. The Leader noted that in order to ensure that the Council Plan was managed effectively, quarterly progress reports would be produced for Cabinet and would be made publicly available.


The full Council Plan 2022-25 and the Year Ahead Delivery Plan 2022 were attached as appendices to the officer’s report.


Members welcomed the new Council Plan and its clarity, aspiration and ambition.


Members noted the commendable objective contained in the plan regarding the expansion of opportunities for all and in ensuring that no one in the Borough was left behind but asked how this very challenging task would be achieved. The Leader acknowledged that achieving this objective would be very challenging but advised that the activities included elsewhere in the plan around growing the local economy, creating high quality jobs, supporting local businesses and wider regeneration activities would support the delivery of this objective. The Leader also noted the Council’s commitment to providing security to residents in the provision of good quality housing, support with council tax payments and crisis support for those in need.


Members asked for further information on how the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that had been included in the plan had been arrived at, noting that some of the KPI’s had not had target levels of performance set. The Leader noted that for the KPI’s where targets had been set, such as the number for children in the Council’s care, that these had been derived by analysis previous performance levels, anticipated levels of demand and the direction of travel that was desired. The Leader advised however that in areas such as the number of Hate Crimes reported that the setting of a specific quantitative target could be counterproductive as whilst reducing Hate Crime was an objective, an increase in the reporting of incidents was a good thing, and as such the setting of a specific target could negatively impact on the desired outcome.The Leader advised that the methods of monitoring performance around such KPI’s would however be kept under review.


The Leader assured members that they would receive information on the detailed performance data that sat behind the KPI’s included in the plan in order to enable them to analyse and assess performance levels against the KPI’s detailed in the plan.


Members sought assurance that the KPI’s that had been included in the plan had also been informed by benchmarking activity against other similar local authorities to Rotherham as well as past and desired performance. The Acting Head of Policy, Performance, and Intelligence assured members that the KPI’s that had been set with regard to benchmarking activity that had been carried out over many years.


Members noted the wide-ranging public consultation that had been carried out in order to inform the development of the new Council Plan and sought assurance that the views of children and young people had been captured, and that future consultation activities would effectively engage with children and young people across the Borough. The Chief Executive advised that the consultation activity that had been carried out at the Rotherham Show had been very effective at reaching and engaging with children and young people, however due to the nature of the consultation activity it was not possible to establish which feedback had specifically come from children and young people. The Chief Executive noted the ongoing and important role of the Youth Cabinet in engaging with and gathering the views of children and young people and advised that further work would be carried out to develop how the Council engaged with and worked with school councils.


Members noted the consultation activity that had been carried over the summer and at the Rotherham Show and noted that the consultation may been better carried out at another times of the year due to many people being away on holiday and not being able to fully engage with consultations.


Members asked for further information about how the Council would work to deliver on its commitment to be an anti-racist town, drive down Hate Crime and improve community cohesion. The Leader noted the Council’s ongoing commitment to driving activity in this area and advised that specific and targeted activity had been carried out in areas of the Borough where action was most needed. 


The Chair thanked the Leader, the Chief Executive, the Assistant Chief Executive and the Acting Head of Policy, Performance, and Intelligence for attending and answering member questions.


Resolved: -


1)    That Cabinet be advised that the recommendations be supported.


2)    That the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board continue to monitor performance against the objectives contained in the new Council Plan by receiving the quarterly performance reports produced for Cabinet as part of its pre-decision scrutiny role.

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