Hampshire County Council Item 4


1 June 2004

Review of the Corporate Strategy

Report of the Chief Executive

Contact: Paddy Hillary Ext. 7391

E mail: paddy.hillary@hants.gov.uk

1. Summary

1.1 The following decision is sought:

That the revised Corporate Strategy be approved for publication in June 2004

2. Reason

2.1 This decision supports all 6 aims of the Corporate Strategy by proposing a review to ensure that the aims, priorities and targets are up to date and relevant for the coming year.

2.2 The Corporate Strategy has been reviewed to monitor progress, update in relation to changes in County Council or Government policy and to clarify and reinforce the key messages for partners and staff.

3. Other options considered and rejected: Not applicable.

4. Conflicts of interest declared by the decision maker or other Executive member consulted - Not applicable.

5. Dispensation granted by the Standards Committee - Not applicable.

6. Reason(s) for the matter being dealt with if urgent - Not applicable.

Approved by: Date:

Councillor T K Thornber CBE

Hampshire County Council



1 June 2004

Review of the Corporate Strategy

Report of the Chief Executive

Contact: Paddy Hillary, Ext 7391 email: paddy.hillary@hants.gov.uk

1 Summary

1.1 This review of the Corporate Strategy has been undertaken with three main aims:
- to monitor performance in relation to the indicators and targets set in 2002
- to update the document in relation to emerging issues and priorities and
policy changes both within the County Council and from central government
- to clarify and reinforce the key messages and the links between the major
corporate priorities covered by the Local Public Service Agreement (LPSA),
Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) improvement programme,
Cabinet priorities and the emerging Community Strategy.

1.2 Cabinet is asked to consider the outcome of the review and to approve the revised version for publication in June.

2 Introduction

2.1 The current Corporate Strategy was published in October 2002 and has now been reviewed against 3 main factors:

- progress on actions, indicators and targets

- the need to update in relation to emerging issues and priorities identified by
members, departments and partners and changes of policy from central

2.2 The timing of the review has also been to ensure that the corporate strategy will provide the main driver for service planning and, alongside the Performance Plan, provide the basis for a consistent monitoring system as part of the performance management framework. This can then feed into the annual refresh of the CPA in the autumn. This is in line with the revised guidance on Performance Plans published by the ODPM in February 2004. The revised corporate strategy will be published at the same time as the Performance Plan and the Hampshire Community Strategy, reinforcing the links between these documents and giving clarity to the major corporate messages for both staff and partners. This is also a response to the CPA recommendation that the County Council should `review the aims and objectives included in the whole range of its corporate and service strategies to produce a single, integrated statement of corporate aims and objectives.'

2.3 The revised strategy will present the 6 key aims in the context of an overarching aim of `developing the quality of life for everyone', reinforcing this as the key corporate message which gives direction to all other priorities. This message will then influence the County Council's overall communications through departments and avoid multiple and potentially confusing messages being developed.

2.4 These key aims themes of the Strategy cover the period to the end of the current administration. Most priorities and targets are set within that timescale unless determined by other factors. This is the last revision until after the elections in May 2005 when the new administration will have the opportunity to review the document to reflect any changes in policy and priority.

3 Review of the Corporate Strategy

3.1 Members will recall that at present the document has a series of static pages giving an outline of the key aims and a set of separate loose leaf pages in tabular form giving the details of the actions, performance measures and targets for each key aim. As a result of the review, overall the document will look the same with some small changes to the design, such as removing the date on the front cover, and the text has been changed to reflect the updated information. The document has also been assessed under the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000 and is compliant for race and equalities. Services will be assessed for impact at the point of delivery.

3.2 The proposed draft text and design both for the static pages and the loose leaf tables is attached as Appendix 1.

4 Review of progress

4.1 The current strategy includes up to 60 targets in relation to identified priorities. This includes the 13 targets set in the Public Service Agreement. The review established that overall progress in relation to the targets has been mixed but that there have been many changes which require a revision of the priority, the indicator or the target. For those priorities and indicators where it is still appropriate to include them in the Strategy, new targets have been set to 2005 (or beyond if appropriate). Full details of these outcomes and proposed changes are included in Appendix 2 and 3 to this report.

4.2 Ongoing monitoring of the outcomes of the targets set within the Strategy are to be included in the proposed quarterly monitoring system to be established by the Corporate Performance Steering Group which will be reported to CMT and Cabinet.

4.3 Additionally the review has allowed those priorities and targets which are no longer appropriate or are incapable of being measured to be removed and replaced as appropriate with more relevant targets.

5 Reinforcing the links

5.1 One of the aims of the review was to identify and highlight those priorities which derive from the various corporate activities that the County Council has undertaken over the last two years. This includes the identification of the Cabinet priorities, the improvement programme which was drawn up as a result of the CPA, the development of the Hampshire Community Strategy by the Hampshire Strategic Partnership and the roll forward of the best value review programme. The document continues to highlight the current LPSA targets.

5.2 The Hampshire Community Strategy (HCS) presents a longer term vision for the county, developed in partnership, reflecting the priorities of the community and outlining a partnership approach and actions for tackling these. The Corporate Strategy is informed by the HCS and is key in outlining the County Council's responsibilities under the community strategy. The key elements of the emerging HCS, which appears elsewhere on this agenda, are highlighted in the document.

5.3 The Cabinet priorities were identified in March last year as a clear set of shorter term priorities concentrating on older people; youth, crime and deprivation; education and skills and transportation (including mobility and accessibility) and economic housing. More specific targets and activities in relation to these areas set within the overall Strategy and the key elements are highlighted in the document.

5.4 In order to reinforce the development of the performance management framework, the CPA improvement and best value review programmes have been incorporated into the Strategy and will no longer appear as a separate documents. They will be monitored quarterly alongside the Corporate Strategy targets.

5.5 The effect of this is to present a clear picture of how these different sources are reflected overall in the Corporate Strategy underlining the message that the Corporate Strategy is the County Council's key strategic document.

5.6 To underline this linking of key messages, the document has also been given a sharper focus on the strategic priorities and targets and strengthens the links to other key County Council documents which give the detail of service delivery or provide guidance or standards for service delivery, financial management or work force issues.

5.7 This approach will be maintained by ensuring that new initiatives, activities or changing priorities are integrated into the Corporate Strategy as they emerge to avoid creating separate and potentially confusing initiatives and messages.

6 Publication

6.1 The revised Corporate Strategy will be published in June alongside the Performance Plan and the Hampshire Community Strategy. Corporate Communications is revising the graphics so that the emphasis is on `review' rather than creating a whole new image for the document.

6.2 The intention is to prolong the shelf life of the main document by replacing the Introduction and Forward by the Chief Executive and Leader with a simpler introduction which explains the rationale behind the document. A covering letter will provide an opportunity for the Chief Executive and Leader to give their support to the document in presenting it to staff.

6.3 The graphical presentation of the loose leaf formatted sheets will further reinforce the links between the various priorities and sources and underline the key messages. This will give a reference point for other County Council communications.

6.4 The costs of producing the document and associated promotional material will be around £10,000 which can be found from within existing budgets.

7 Conclusion

7.1 This review has achieved the 3 key aims of monitoring performance against targets set in the Corporate Strategy, updating the document with current issues and policy changes and reinforcing the key corporate messages and priorities.

7.2 It is also a key element in the development of the performance management framework and provides a response to CPA recommendations on clarification of corporate aims and objectives by delivering a single, clear corporate statement of priorities and targets.

8 Recommendation

8.1 That the revised Corporate Strategy be approved for publication in June 2004.

Background Information

Section 100D - Local Government Act 1972 - background papers

The following documents disclose facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report.

NB the list excludes:

1. Published works.

2. Documents which disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act.

File: Chief Executive's working papers Location: Chief Executive's Department