Strategies, plans and policies
In order to deliver services today and plan for the future we have a strategic direction, strategies for service delivery, and policies in place to govern the way we work.
Our strategic direction covers how we will work between 2017 and 2022. It sets out our purpose:
- we exist to serve the communities and residents of Ashfield
- we will provide good quality, value for money services
- we will act strategically and plan for the future, working with others to bring about sustainable improvements in people’s lives.
Our values are:
- ambitious and innovative
- community and customer focused
- positive, proactive and successful
- transparent and accountable.
Size and scope of our strategy
- We will retain our purpose as set out in this document
- the assumption is that in 5 years we will still be an independent sovereign council. However with greater levels of integration with other public sector services. The potential for more shared services will also be explored
- we will be smaller in terms of its employee numbers, spending power and will likely offer fewer services to residents
- we will be better placed to engage with and work alongside local communities and businesses to support them in delivering local improvements
- we will have greater influence with external partners
- we are likely to expand some service areas especially where generating net commercial and income gain.
- We will treat customers with courtesy and respect, have a better understanding of our different customers needs and preferences and be transparent and open in our decision-making
- we will have a greater knowledge of our customers and offer a more personalised service
- customers will have access to a customer account where they can get information on their dealings with the council including payments
- we will significantly increase the digital service opportunities for people to self-service their request via online and digital methods, but remain accessible to those who have difficulty operating technology
- we will seek to reduce demand through solving customer’s problems without the need for multiple referrals and signposting
- after an interaction with us customers will be satisfied
- we will consider the impact of our decisions on individual customers, other services and partners.
Money and finances
- We will aim to be self-financing based on reducing our expenditure and generating income from Council Tax, Retained Business Rates and Government Grants e.g. New Homes Bonus, Returns on Investments and income from trading services
- our finances will still depend largely on national government policy
- as all our house rents received are put back into maintaining the properties, providing services for residents and acquiring additional houses significant efficiencies will be required to balance the Housing Revenue Account.
Buildings and assets
- We will continue with a process of rationalising and sharing our office space
- we will continue with our commitment to increasing our social housing properties
- we will have reviewed our depot and maximise the potential for the site
- we will need to rationalise other assets and this could include community and parks buildings. These buildings may remain in community use but perhaps not delivered by us
- we will increase the amount and quality of commercial property we hold and seek to maximise the income generation from these holdings, this might include disposing of non/low-profitable commercial property
- we will seek to ensure our buildings are environmentally friendly and energy efficient
- we will maintain Decent Homes standard and maximise our return from Housing Revenue Assets.
Our People Strategy supports the achievement of the key themes in our Corporate Plan. An effective People Strategy enables us to plan for the future with a clear focus on improving services through partnership.
The People Strategy and associated Workforce Development Plan (WDP) is an integral part of each performance management framework. It provides the link between valuing and developing people, with improving and developing services and enabling local leadership.
- Our people will have a public service ethos and commercial awareness, ensuring the public gets value for money
- there is likely to be fewer people directly employed by us
- there is likely to be a move towards more generic jobs although specialisms and technical specialists will still be required in many services
- we will employ talented, proactive and highly engaged people ‘living and breathing’ the values and competency behaviours
- our future workforce will be recruited and developed based on our competencies
- our people will be more adept at working in partnership and across departmental and organisational boundaries to solve customers’ problems and provide improved services
- we will have a workforce more representative of the local community profile
- our workforce will be more agile in how and where work is conducted. Jobs and job design will be more flexible and support a good home/work life balance
- we will be a competitive and desirable ‘employer of choice’ through an attractive package of pay, personal development, lifestyle rewards, flexible working and wellbeing support
- our organisational culture will be focused on innovation, creativity, engagement, empowerment, trust, accountability, customer first and transformational change.
- We will make open and transparent decisions, underpinned by good governance and democratic processes
- councillors will be provided with the skills, knowledge and information to carry out their roles effectively and will be accountable for their decisions
- councillors will be effective community leaders, leading by example, demonstrating appropriate behaviours and upholding the Seven Principles of Public Life.
We aim to modernise services, be innovative and adaptable and make use of technology to help transform service delivery.
- There will be a significant introduction of new technology and systems producing leaner, joined up, user-friendly access to services, 24/7
- employees will be ‘digital savvy’ increasing their productivity through full use of technology in their work environment. Single entry data input and the use of digital analytics will be used to measure performance
- there is likely to be enhanced electronic data transfer between partners further supporting integrated services, collaborative working and sharing of services
- we will be using a range of social and digital media and marketing approaches to effectively engage with residents and customers recognising their own preferred engagement approach and enable faster 2-way feedback
- we will use technology to further enhance 2-way engagement for all its employees and elected members.
How will we change?
The existing action plans that underpin the following strategies will be periodically reviewed and updated to deliver the above principles:
- Corporate Plan
- Medium Term Financial Strategy
- People Strategy
- Technology Strategy
- Commercial Enterprise Strategy.
You can find these strategy documents in the related documents section of this page.
Commercial enterprise strategy
We strive to commercialise as many services as possible to generate income and so that the customer can expect the high standard of service we provide.
Service specific strategies
- Allotments strategy and technical paper
- Budget and medium term financial strategy
- Capital strategy
- Cemetery strategy
- Contaminated land inspection strategy
- Homelessness strategy
- Housing strategy and research
- Treasury management strategy
- Waste strategy.