Agenda item

Council Strategy 2022 - 2026


The Corporate Director of Resources provided the Committee with detail on the Council’s Strategy for 2022 – 2026, as part of the consultation process before the Strategy’s adoption.


The Committee was advised that Hillingdon was embarking upon an ambitious new transformation programme to ensure the Council was well placed to manage the changing economic context and to ensure that services continued to be delivered effectively. 


The Strategy’s stated vision statement, ambitions, and commitments to residents were highlighted as set out in the report. The consultation currently being undertaken, and proactively being advertised, would canvass a variety of stakeholders. Feedback and responses would then inform subsequent plans, including targets, actions, and accountability.


The Strategy was confirmed to be in its formative period, with the new corporate structure having been finalised in May 2022. This new structure included a renewed focus on integrated partnership working (e.g. with the NHS), and a matrixed structure combining service areas that had previously been separate, to ensure greater efficiency and strategic oversight from senior officers.


It was confirmed that the core of the Strategy had been drafted to uphold the current administration’s manifesto, via partnership working between the Leader of the Council, the Cabinet, and relevant key officers.


Next steps included working up detailed service plans with Directors and Service Managers, (taking an outcomes-based approach), with a view to the strategy being adopted by Council later in the year.


The Committee considered that the Strategy provided a refresh on collaborative and integrated working that would lead to positive outcomes.


In response to Member questions around the use of digital technology and the impact on residents, it was recognised that there was the customer facing aspect and internal workings of the Council aspect. Using digital technology in internal processes such as cross-checking information over different technology programmes could drive a faster, cheaper and more effective response to residents. In terms of resident engagement and accessing services, it was acknowledged that increasingly residents wanted to engage digitally through their phones and more choices needed to be provided.  Whilst there was a drive to move services digitally, it was recognised that not all services worked well this way and contact still needed to be accessible via telephone in areas such as social care.


In terms of ensuring that the Council remained resourceful without being detrimental to the services provided, it was explained that responding to needs in different ways through collaborative working and being outcome focussed allowed coordinated responses to be achieved better.


Members welcomed the report as it had aspiration and commitment to deliver quality services and improvements. In terms of regular performance monitoring with both Hillingdon maintained schools and academies, it was explained that there was an annual action plan that would complement the Strategy, and this would identify key actions and  targets that would be reported to Cabinet Members. This would also ensure accountability and transparency about what progress was being made on the Strategy. Once information was obtained from school such as test results, these results were analysed and discussions on how to improve outcomes took place. This had led to increased partnership working that identified  clear interventions to address gaps.


During Member discussions, it was highlighted that some residents were resistant to digital technology. 70 % of households had ‘My accounts’ that allowed residents to report incidents digitally using a simple form. An area to be explored further included how the Council measured resident values and how this differed across different parts of the Borough


The Committee recognised that digital poverty was still a problem although starting to affect a smaller amount of people. It was suggested that point 5 of the commitment, ‘A Digital- Enabled, Modern, Well-Run Council’ included access to skills and training.


It was noted that the Strategy was going to be delivered locally and buildings would be utilised more effectively to meet resident needs. The term affordable housing was a broad definition that included social rented and social purchased housing.


RESOLVED: That the Committee delegated to the Chairman, in conjunction with the Democratic Services Officer (and in consultation with the Opposition Lead) to agree comments to submit to Cabinet on the Council Strategy.

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