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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 02/12/2003
The Council's Priorities

Summary & Purpose
Priorities and non-priorities have been the subject of recent discussions between Portfolio Holders and Chief Officers. This report sets out the priorities for the Council that have come from these discussions and clearly defines what are not priorities. Subject to endorsement at the Council, the priorities will shape corporate development and financial planning in 2004 and forward.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Resource Use
Prevention and Control
and Nature
Safe, Healthy
and Active

E-Government implications:

The proposed priorities will have a significant impact on the Council interface with the public and access to services.

Resource and legal implications:

The priorities will help the Council to focus on what matters and develop the capacity to deliver the desired outcomes. Some have significant implications for the Council’s finances, staff and property, which will be clarified during the budget making process in 2003 and in the Council’s medium-term financial strategy.

Developing the Council’s Priorities

1. Since the elections in May 2003, the Executive Portfolio Holders have worked together and with the majority group to develop clear priorities for the Council. On 29th July, the Council agreed the immediate post-election priorities recommended by the Executive.

2. The Portfolio Holders have continued to discuss priorities in the Liberal Democrat Group and with Chief Officers in the intervening period, particularly having regard to the alignment of resources and the budget process for 2004/05.

3. This has enabled the priorities to be further refined and for non-priorities to be clearly defined. The Council will focus on the efficient and effective delivery of priority services and avoid bureaucratic costs, particularly those arising from Best Value service reviews where these do not clearly contribute to driving service improvement. This will be achieved through management action and the decision of Members regarding the programme of Best Value service reviews. In addition, the following are no longer presented as priorities because they have already been actioned:
v Secure funding for CAB (done – 3 year intention to fund through SOS)
v Public speaking at Council meetings (done)


4. Proposed priorities for the Council for 2004 and forward, which financial and service planning will seek to deliver, are (not necessarily in rank order):
1. Community benefits in developments such as East Street, Farnham
2. Affordable housing
3. Improve management and maintenance of social housing stock, including progress towards meeting the Decent Homes standard
4. Services for young and older people
5. A new leisure centre in Godalming
6. Refurbish Farnham Sports Centre
7. Support the development of the Farnham Maltings, including the provision of performance/theatre space
8. Increase recycling
9. Enhance Housing Benefit service
10. Work with Town and Parish Councils to tackle community safety and identify opportunities for service development
11. To meet the statutory requirements for Environmental Health

5. In addition, the Council will continue to develop organisational building blocks and build upon:

v Performance management
v Investing in people
v Developing workforce planning
v Risk management
v Communication


6. As part of the 2004/05 budget process, steps are being taken to align resources with the Council’s priorities. Officers are working with the Executive to bring forward a constructive approach that moves resources from non-priority areas to support the delivery of the priorities. Non-priorities include:
v Over-reliance on external consultants
v Hidden subsidies
v Registered Tourist Office in Farnham
v Tourism (integrated into Economic Development to optimise synergies)
v Uneconomically low car park charges
v Theatre provision at the Redgrave Theatre
v Relocation of the Museum of Farnham
v Providing an all-year round noise nuisance service
v Expanding the pest control service
v Land drainage on land that is the responsibility of others
v Town Initiatives; the Council prefers to support specific projects that encourage wider partnerships
v Best Value Reviews of high-performing and/or non-priority (low budget?) services
v Continuing to support Community Transport without external funding and in areas where there is no local demand
v Maintaining the current level of provision of public conveniences
v The review of Council Office accommodation prior to Housing Options Appraisal


It is recommended that the priorities set out in this report be endorsed as the basis for the Council’s corporate plan for 2004 and forward, and that this be a primary consideration in setting the budget for 2004/05.

Background Papers (CEx)

Vision, Aims and Objectives; 2003 and Forward



Name: Miss Christine Pointer Telephone: 01483 523208
E-mail: cpointer@waverley.gov.uk
Mrs Anne Bott Telephone: 01483 523415
E-mail: abott@waverley.gov.uk