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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 07/12/2004
Consultation on Corporate Strategy


Waverley Borough Council: Consultation on Corporate Strategy


Discussion of the aims and objectives for WBC was wide-ranging and the balance differed between the different areas within Waverley. However, it was possible to identify a majority rank ordering for the aims and the top five objectives for a majority of residents taking part in this exercise. Initially some groups and interviewees found it difficult to prioritise the aims and objectives, feeling that all were important, but later discussion tended to make clear those where residents felt there should be greatest emphasis.

Overall rank order of aims:
1. Maintain an attractive, sustainable environment
2. Enhance the quality of life – closely allied to the above aim, and seen as an over-riding aim to which all the others contribute. It took time and discussion for the importance of this aim to emerge in the groups, hence it was lower ranked in the telephone interviews.
3. Listen to and be accountable to the people of Waverley
4. Deliver good quality housing – within this affordable housing was the key issue
5. Encourage a strong local business community
6. Focus the Council’s resources on our priorities

Top 5 objectives: strongly supported in Farnham and Cranleigh. 3. Make licensing decisions to support control of late night nuisance and anti-social behaviour 4. Support the provision of a range of leisure provision across the Borough for children and young people (emphasis on young people rather than children) 5. Enable more affordable housing for essential workers and local young people – this was seen to be essential to maintaining services in the area and to providing a mixed community. The objectives relating to ‘efficient and effective delivery of priority services, avoiding bureaucratic costs’ and ‘prudent and sound financial management’ were also considered very important but many felt that these should be self-evident and should not need to be stated as objectives.

Many respondents found it difficult to identify things WBC should not be doing but objectives identified as unimportant or irrelevant were of two types:
1. Those referring to very local developments were largely irrelevant to those in other areas, given the very area-specific outlook of the residents taking part in the research e.g. East Street, Godalming Key Site.
2. A number of objectives were felt to be very obvious and simply what respondents would expect of any well-managed organisation. Their presence on a list of objectives raised questions as to ‘aren’t they doing that anyway?’. The objectives within the aim ‘Focus the Council’s resources on our priorities’ were very much of this type.

Further objectives important to respondents, but not included on WBC’s list were as follows:
Street cleaning
Ensure contractors leave areas tidy
Improve information on providers of specific services
Foster civic pride/community spirit
Obtain commercial sponsorship
Provision and maintenance of public conveniences
Better use of vacant properties
Enabling role in transport provision
Facilitating role in traffic control

Overall it was felt that WBC’s objectives needed to be specific and measurable in order for the Council to be accountable to residents. The statement of specific objectives should lead to feedback being provided to residents on performance against these objectives at a later date.