Council Plan Priorities 2017 - 2022
Sustainable development is about ensuring that the needs of the present are met – focusing on improving the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of an area – without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In Wrexham we focus on three strategic planning themes – Economy, People and Place. These are enabled by a corporate theme of Organisation – building an efficient and effective organisation that can best support local well-being.
These planning themes are distinct and are reflected in the Council’s political and organisational structures, but they are also interdependent and cannot be viewed in isolation from each other. Informing all these themes is the knowledge of what has worked in Wrexham – the approaches and interventions that fit with Wrexham’s culture and the communities which make it.
The Wrexham Way of Working
The challenge is how to best meet growing current and future needs given a changing and unpredictable world, finite natural resources, and shrinking public sector finances. We must be realistic about what can and cannot be done, but also aware of the risks and opportunities in the choices we take. Is the way that we plan and deliver services allowing individuals and communities to do more? Are we maximising the potential benefit – and minimising the potential harm – of actions undertaken by the Council? The less that we are able to do, the more important it is that what we do do is effective.
To support us in these decisions, we have developed a set of planning principles which are based on those set out in the Well-Being of Future Generations and other Acts (see Appendix 3), and that are worded in a way that reflects Wrexham.
Our Planning Principles
When planning services we will consider the level of local need and the resources available to respond. We will then consider the six planning principles which we have defined to help us plan and enable the most fair, effective and sustainable services that we can, within available resources.
Prevention comes first – stop problems arising. Don’t create new problems – whether through preventing homelessness through debt advice, reducing poverty through employment support, preventing harm to the natural environment, or simply ensuring that the job is done right first time, preventing complaints and failure demand.
Prioritise the most vulnerable – reduce inappropriate variations in outcomes through evidence based approaches. Understand which groups and individuals have the lowest resilience to potential negative changes – the least capacity or resources to cope. This could mean people with specific protected characteristics, those living at or below the poverty line, those from certain geographies or habitats and species which are at risk locally or nationally.
Plan for the long term – thinking of future generations and of our natural resources. Consider the long term impact of decisions – the impact over 25 years and more. Plan and invest for the future and consider the potential impact on our natural resources and bio-diversity, ensuring resilience for future challenges such as climate change and habitat loss.
Consult and involve local people in planning and delivering services. Not only consult with people on how we plan and deliver services, but engage with them to deliver co-produced services or to make it easier for people to help their family, neighbours and themselves.
Integrate and collaborate – with colleagues; with partners. Join up services and decisions across Council teams and departments so that services work together and customers do not face organisational barriers. We will seek to work more closely with partners in the public, private and third sectors and will collaborate where there is a business case to do so.
Welsh Language – Wales has two official languages, Welsh and English, and services and information should be equally available in both. The Council’s internal business language is English, but all services and information we provide for local people will be equally available in either language.
Our well-being objectives are where we will focus to improve the well-being of those who live in, work in or visit Wrexham County Borough. We will judge how well we are doing in enabling improved well-being by monitoring the indicators set out against each objective in this plan.
These objectives and indicators are not wholly within the Council’s control and can be influenced by the priorities and performance of partners, stakeholders, and other local, national and even global factors. The more that the Council focuses on improving outcomes, the more important positive partnership working across all sectors, becomes. A key part of this will be to build on current levels of support to enable and encourage more local people and communities to volunteer and adopt services, for example by becoming a friend of their local park or fundraising for their school.
We compare the performance of the County Borough against other local authority areas in Wales or the UK where we have the opportunity to do so. This is to put our performance and targets in context and to help us better understand the impact that the Council and our partners are having.
Wrexham County Borough Council strives to ensure that local people receive good quality services that provide value for money within a reducing Council budget. We judge the success of these services through the setting and monitoring of outcome indicators. Outcome indicator targets are set at one of four levels, based on performance during the previous year:
- Stretch to achieve a significant improvement;
- Improve performance in line with current trends;
- Sustain current standards of performance;
- Service Standard below which performance should not fall.
This Plan sets out targets for the current financial year. The Council is continuing to reshape services to meet the financial challenges ahead whilst prioritising the most vulnerable. As decisions are taken to withdraw or to refocus a service, more service areas will be likely to introduce service standards below which performance should not fall. Actions and services can impact differently on different groups of people and where possible we collect and analyse data on differential impact.
Each year we will review the level of improvement delivered across all identified outcomes, how it compares against the targets we have set ourselves, and how it compares against the performance of others. This review provides graphic and narrative information on performance trends for all indicators within the plan, with performance against the Welsh average where this is available.