The Committee is asked to note the development of the Strategy Forward Plan.
The Committee considered a report providing an overview of the Strategy Forward Plan, which had been created to manage the Council’s strategies and plans. The Chair of the Scrutiny & Overview Committee welcomed the report, noting that it would help to provide greater transparency over the Council’s strategies and also help with planning future Scrutiny items.
During the discussion of the report there were a number of questions raised by the Committee, with the first relating to the Council’s adoption of the Public Health Approach to Violence Reduction and where this sat. It was confirmed that the Public Health Approach required a wide ranging response and would be picked up and embedded in strategies across the Council.
It was confirmed that the review of the Autism Strategy would be led by the Health and Wellbeing Service supported by the Policy Team and as with any Council strategy would include engagement with stakeholders, which in the case of the Autism Strategy would include the Autism Partnership Board. It was also confirmed that although development of the Strategy would be led by the Health and Wellbeing Service, similarly to the Public Health Approach, it would require a wide ranging response to be embedded across the Council.
It was confirmed that the Policy Team was working with the Digital team to ensure that all Council Strategies were included on the website in an easy to find location.
In response to a question about whether there was a template for creating a good strategy, it was confirmed that would be guidance provided, but given the wide variety of strategies held by the Council it was important not to take an overly prescriptive approach.
It was questioned whether there was a process in place for capturing any lessons learned from across the Council during the production of strategies. It was confirmed that there was not a formal process, but in having the forward plan it would provide clarify on who was leading on strategies and help to facilitate discussions on best practice. It was also anticipated that any approach to reviewing a strategy would involve looking at other authorities to find out who were the market leaders in terms of individual strategies and learning from their approach.
It was noted that as part of the process for creating the Strategy Forward Plan there had been an audit of all existing Council strategies that had led to it being discovered that some strategies were either no longer applicable or had been superseded. It was agreed that the full list of strategies including confirmation of the reason why particular strategies were no longer required would be provided for the Committee’s information.
A request was also made for the Committee to be provided with an expanded version of the Strategy Forward Plan (as set out in Appendix 1 of the report), in a matrix format to included information such as the strategy owner, lead and relevant Cabinet Members, the department, any interdependencies with other strategies and the timetable and reason for review.
At the conclusion of this item the Chair thanked the officers for their work in preparing the Strategy Forward Plan and noted that there were a number of strategies reviews in the pipeline that may be of interest to Scrutiny.
Arising from the discussion of this item, the Committee would like to request that they be provided with the following information:-
1. The full list of the strategies considered as part of the audit of the Council’s strategies, including confirmation of the reasons why it was decided that particular strategies were no longer required.
2. That an updated Strategy Forward Plan be provided to include information such as the strategy owner, lead and relevant Cabinet members, the department, any interdependencies with other strategies and both the timetable and reason for review.
Following discussion of this item the Committee reached the following conclusions: