Agenda item

Consultation on the Council Strategy 2022 - 2026


Tony Zaman, Interim Chief Executive, and Dan Kennedy, Corporate Director of Central Services, provided an overview of the Council Strategy 2022-2026. The strategy set out the Council’s high-level objectives for the next four years and aimed to ensure services worked together across Directorates to achieve better outcomes for residents. It set out ambitions both for residents and for the Council. Five commitments to residents were incorporated within the strategy relating to: Safe and Strong Communities; Thriving, Health Households; a Green and Sustainable Borough; a Thriving Economy and a Digital-Enabled, Modern, Well-Run Council. Specific targets for the Council were not included in the Strategy but would be reflected in the annual delivery plan.


A consultation stage would actively seek the views of residents, partner organisations and businesses and would inform the final strategy which would be presented to Cabinet in October 2022. The consultation stage would also invite comments from the Select Committees.


Members enquired how the Council intended to interact with hard-to-reach communities noting that some residents would be reluctant or unable to use digital platforms. It was confirmed that community groups and faith leaders would be actively engaged. Ward Councillors would also be encouraged to promote services and assist residents in accessing help and support. Members heard that approximately 81,000 residents had already signed up to ‘My Account’ which was encouraging. It was hoped that this number would continue to increase; however, it was acknowledged that some residents preferred to access Council services in traditional ways.


Members noted the importance of residents having the confidence to access services independently rather than being reliant on their Ward Councillors. The Committee was informed that the NHS had been working on a project in North West London to gain a better understanding of local communities; the Council intended to ‘piggy back’ onto this in the future to target hard-to-reach communities. Moreover, services would be localities-based and differentiated according to the needs of local residents – this model would be included in the Council’s future service plan.


In response to further questions from the Committee, it was confirmed that the Council aimed to eliminate rough sleeping by 2024 in line with Central Government objectives. A target of zero had been set; however, Central Government had been informed that this would be difficult to achieve in Hillingdon given the existence of Heathrow Airport in the Borough. Members were informed that the Council had a responsibility to ensure that all new housing developments were appropriately located. Moreover, it was committed to enabling more residential properties in the Borough in line with planning policy.


Members requested further clarification regarding ‘My Account’ usage. It was confirmed that a heat map by Ward had been shared with the Cabinet Member. Analysis of ‘My Account’ usage information would enable the Council to target those areas / community groups with lower take up. In terms of access to technology, it was acknowledged that some residents were unable to afford broadband, buy devices etc. The Council would work in collaboration with local partners and organisations to support these residents e.g. by providing access to reduced-cost broadband / free devices for families. The Council aimed to be as digital as possible in the future; however, it was acknowledged that the movement to a digital framework had to match the needs of society – some groups may not be able to access digital information, may lack technical skills or may struggle to understand due to language barriers.


In response to further questions from the Committee, Members were advised that steps were being taken to make better use of all data currently available (to include Hillingdon First data). This would facilitate studies into patterns of behaviour and would enable officers to better understand the needs of residents across the Borough.


At the request of Members, it was agreed that resident associations would be contacted regarding the strategy prior to the close of the consultation period. It was further agreed that the maintenance of trees would be included in the strategy under section 3 (A Green and Sustainable Borough). Any further questions or comments could be forwarded to Democratic Services.


Select Committee comments on the Strategy would be delegated to the Democratic Services Officer, in conjunction with the Chairman and in consultation with the Opposition Lead.




1.    That the report be noted.

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