Corporate Plan Review
The Committee is asked to consider the Corporate Plan for 2018 – 2021.
The Leader and Policy and Performance Manager have been invited to attend for this item.
The Vice-Chairman-in-the-chair welcomed the Deputy Leader and the Policy and Performance Manager to the meeting.
The Deputy Leader introduced the discussion paper and explained that, although in its early stages, work had already started on the fourth Corporate Plan and the final draft was due to be considered by Full Council in February 2019. He referred to the four headings on pages 66 to 68 and suggested that these could form the basis of new priorities and said that the new plan was an evolution of the current plan. Lastly, the Deputy Leader invited comments.
In response to a Member’s comments, the Policy and Performance Manager advised that any new administration after May 2019 would take time to settle and starting work on the document now would assist officers. The same Member warned against relying wholly on digital services as he said the quality of internet was unreliable and was declining in Swale. The Policy and Performance Manager said that the Digital Strategy had been considered by PDRC and did not exclude those who could not access services.
A Member said that the Corporate Plan needed updating but suggested it should be written for the public, not just internally. In response, the Policy and Performance Manager reminded Members that the document in the Agenda was a discussion paper and there would possibly be an internal and public version of the Corporate Plan.
In the discussion that followed, Members made the following points:
· Should include rural areas and Faversham;
· was unbalanced as some areas within Swale had unique challenges;
· there should be more support to sustain rural lives and encourage rural businesses and facilities;
· there should be more focus on infrastructure improvements to support regeneration and housing should be built after completion of infrastructure; and
· communication with local people and more consultation with Parish and Town Councils.
Quality of Life
· More emphasis on Environmental issues including improving recycling;
· progress had been made on Air Quality but still lots more to do;
· more focus on leisure and tourism;
· more assistance with voluntary sector to assist those with mental health conditions and social isolation;
· further development was not the solution, there should be more investment in local services to improve quality of life for existing residents;
· new development needed to address the needs of local people and provide relevant housing such as bungalows or disabled friendly properties;
· quality of life was about the work/life balance;
· promotion of employment so that residents could work in Swale;
· planning for an aging population;
· a more joined up approach was needed and working in partnership with the voluntary sector;
· more focus on health pressures as a result of NHS cutbacks;
· more focus on education and skills; and
· more encouragement given to build affordable and social housing.
· Stressed the health benefits and how influential leisure time was on the local economy;
· more consideration needed on how to access rural leisure facilities;
· consider assistance to help voluntary groups access funding;
· lots of facilities available in Swale, more effective advertising was needed;
· encouragement of volunteering;
· sports facilities should be spread wider across the Borough and within distance of homes;
· suggested a leaflet in Inside Swale to advertise events;
· consider residents’ liaison with Big Local for funding;
· residents to suggest ideas of events and activities;
· holiday camps offered good facilities;
· praised the Visit Sheppey brochure which included events throughout the year;
· pleased to see culture, sport and heritage included;
· Visit Swale website popular with visitors from outside the Borough as well as local residents;
· praised the Faversham What’s On Guide and
· there was a lack of proper facilities such as football pitches.
Financial self-sufficiency and transformation
In response to a Member’s question about the Council’s self-sufficiency, the Policy and Performance Manager said this was about reducing dependency on government-controlled sources of funding.
A Member commented that some headings were too broad and there should be more focus and clarity.
The Deputy Leader thanked Members for their helpful and positive comments.
The Policy and Performance Manager thanked Members for identifying a range of issues, but warned that many were out of SBC’s control. He said that partnerships and supporting community groups could be encouraged.
The Vice-Chairman in-the-chair thanked the Deputy Leader and the Policy and Performance Manager for their attendance.