Council Plan 2014-2017
Wrexham County Borough Council works to ensure that the people of Wrexham are supported to fulfil their potential and to prosper. This Plan, with its four connected themes of economy, people, place and organisation, was first agreed in 2012 and has been reviewed each year since. Increasingly we are working ever closer with residents to listen to their views, meet their needs and support them to contribute in a meaningful way to their own communities. Overtime we are reframing the relationship we have with our residents.
The first years of this plan have been challenging, coming as they have at an unprecedented time for the public sector and we continue to face difficult decisions in reshaping services to meet the funding pressures we face whilst prioritising the most vulnerable. In three years the Council’s planned and sustained programme of change has made significant savings totalling almost £18m. This has enabled the Council to set a Council Tax increase of 3% for 2014/15 – the joint lowest in Wales - whilst agreeing a net budget of just over £227m and protecting schools’ budgets. We have no choice but to continue to make savings and our challenge now is to ensure high quality service for local people whilst saving at least £45m from our revenue budget over the next five years.
Alongside better use of public money, we have continued to deliver well. We have built and refurbished schools and more schools are planned through the 21st century schools initiative, through which we will collaborate with the Welsh Government to invest £22.3m over the next five years (April 2014 – 19). We have been successful in attracting £10.5m from the Vibrant and Viable Places programme which, along with a further £13.6m of public, private and third sector money will bring much needed regeneration in the town centre, new jobs for local people, improved homes and affordable housing. This is building a strong legacy that we can handover to future generations. We have facilitated a total of £7.57m of new affordable housing projects over the past three years, and are working on the continued development of the Western Gateway project – infrastructure improvements, new housing and expansion of the technology business park alongside the A483 between Ruthin road and Mold road. Outline planning permission has been granted for a prison on Wrexham Industrial Estate which the UK government estimates will create 780 new jobs and generate £23m a year for the local economy. We’re also continuing to invest in renewable energy, with a proposal to invest in major future solar projects.
These are excellent achievements and over the next three years will enable us to work together in Wrexham with our public and private sector partners and residents to ensure that the County Borough remains robust and strong. We remain committed to supporting and enabling residents to help build their own resilient communities. Whilst the financial future looks bleak, and tough decisions will have to be made we will continue to strive for organisational excellence and ensure that all people of Wrexham County Borough are supported to fulfil their potential and prosper.
The Council Plan Framework
Wrexham County Borough Council delivers, and enables the delivery of, services to people who live in, work in and visit the County Borough.
The Council Plan is the overarching plan for the Council. It defines where we focus our energies and significantly decreasing resources, how we will judge our performance and the Council’s contribution to the Community Strategy (see page 45). The Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 requires the Council to agree ‘improvement objectives’, which are referred to locally as ‘priority outcomes’ and are agreed as part of this plan.
This Council Plan sets out, for 2014 to 2017:
- The Council’s vision, purpose, guiding principles and values
- The strategic themes and corporate theme that the Council will focus on
- The priority outcomes that sit under each theme; and
- How these were identified
We will judge whether we have been successful by monitoring our progress against agreed outcome indicators and targets, which will help us measure the difference we have made for local people. Targets have only being agreed for the current financial year. This reflects ongoing work within the Council to reshape services to meet the unprecedented financial challenges ahead whilst prioritising the most vulnerable. Once these decisions have been taken, targets for subsequent years will be established in line with a long term strategy that sets out how we will address the challenges that will face our communities within the budget available. To performance manage this work, Members and officers of the Council will also monitor and report on:
- Improvement activity – the projects and improvements that are being planned and delivered to support, influence or deliver improvements in identified outcomes.
- Performance measures – measures of how well improvement activity has been delivered.
The Council will use this document to plan and manage its priorities, improvement activity and service delivery at a strategic level. It is also supported by strategies and plans that contain a far greater level of detail and are regularly reviewed. As such the Council Plan is a living document that responds to the changing local, regional and national context. It is formally updated at the start of each financial year.
This is not a performance report and does not include information on performance against targets. However, performance management is an ongoing activity throughout the year and performance against target for 2013/14 will be reported to Executive Board in June 2014. The Council also publishes an annual review and assessment of its performance over the financial year each October, the most recent of which is available below. This includes an assessment of the authority’s performance when compared to other Local Authorities in Wales, its achievement against the outcomes and targets it set itself, and judgements from bodies such as external regulators. This assessment is a public document and is in turn reviewed by the Wales Audit Office.
The Council as a strong community leader
To ensure Wrexham and its people are supported to fulfil their potential and prosper
Citizens, Customers and Equality – Being at the centre of everything we do
Members – Elected Members as community leaders being at the heart of decision making
Welsh Language – Supporting and encouraging customers and staff to communicate in Welsh and English
It is important for us to recognise what is driving how we deliver our services and how we behave as an organisation.
These values have been used to define the Council’s Way of working :
We ask our customers what they want, consider their requests, work together to identify creative and appropriate ways forward, balancing risk and opportunity, and then feed back to them honestly what can be delivered, working hard to keep our promises. We build trust and help to improve the quality of life for the people of Wrexham.
This document is available in languages other than English and Welsh and in accessible formats such as large print, Braille, BSL DVD, audio-CD, or electronic format upon request. To request production of the Plan in these or another format more accessible to you please use the contact details shown.
We welcome your comments on both the format and the content of our Council Plan. If you have any suggestions or comments to make the plan more readable, or for additional/ alternative areas on which the Council should focus, please contact us at the address below. Any proposals for additional areas of focus will be considered as part of the performance management and updating of this plan. Comments on the presentation of the plan will be considered for its next publication in spring 2015.