Agenda item

Council Plan Refresh 2023/24

The Council Strategy sets out the Council’s key priorities, the outcomes we expect to achieve and the programmes that we will deliver. The Council Plan is the delivery plan which sets out the measures that will be used to track performance against the Council’s key priorities.


Following consultation with directorates, this report proposes the Council Plan 2023/24.


Members are asked to consider these proposals and forward any comments to Cabinet on 7 February 2023, prior to consideration by Full Council on 23 February 2023, for implementation from April 2023.




The Chief Organisational Culture Officer introduced the report which presented the annual refresh of the Council Plan and proposed what measures and targets should be used to track performance against the Council’s key priorities for 2023/24.


She also explained that since the report had been published, the Department for Education had discontinued one of the measures which related to the percentage achievement gap at Early Years Foundation Stage Profile between the lowest attaining 20 % of children and the mean (code CASEIEYFS Gap). Data had not been available since 2018/19 due to the pandemic and officers therefore proposed that the measure be removed. Officers confirmed that data relating to the percentage of different groups of children achieving “a good level of development”, dependent on characteristics such as Identified SEN, Ethnicity, FSM, would continue and would be reports in the Council’s annual schools’ report.


Members then raised a number of questions and comments, which included:


·       Excess weight in children (PH14 and PH15) – comment was made that despite officers’ focus on this target, it remained stubbornly red and that a wider strategic approach and investment into resourcing this area of work was vital to see improvements made.


·       Children Social Care - reference was made to the suite of measures relating to children’s social care and that the issues regarding staff shortages put the improvement journey at real risk of progression.  ILAC7 and ILAC7(N) were also referred to as being tricky measures but essential to the overall improvement journey. In response the officer explained that ILACS7 reduction was to provide an ambitious but more realistic target for 2023/24 by changing the target from 80% to 50% and the proposed removal of ILAC7(N) provided an opportunity for the organisation to focus on the one more meaningful target, as both were measuring the same thing but in a different way, which was causing confusion.


·       Number of maintained primary schools that are good or better – it was being proposed that this measure be removed due to so many schools no longer being maintained by the Local Authority.  Concern was raised about this change and it was considered that instead it should be a measure that covered all schools, including academies, reflecting the Council’s role in school improvement generally.


·       Smoking at time of delivery (PH16) – it was suggested this target should be revisited to be more ambitious.


·       Missing areas – comment was made that there should be measures on the following priorities which were important for Medway; Child Friendly Medway, climate change, digital enablement and health inequalities.  Officers confirmed that the next look at the Council Plan, for 2024/25, would be a complete rewrite rather than a refresh, which would look at areas such as these and would include a fundamental new approach to performance monitoring which would move to a greater focus on output.


·       Average journey time (NI 167) – it was considered this measure needed reviewing further as lived experience was that congestion was high in Medway and did not reflect current medway, particularly given the measure was established in 2011.


·       Role of Chief Organisational Culture officer in performance – in response to a question about the role of this post in relation to performance, particular for measures that are performing poorly, it was explained that dialogue across directorates and CMT was key in ensuring targets are aspirational but achievable. The next refresh for the 2024/25 plan, would provide an opportunity to transform how performance is managed across the organisation.


·       The Chief Organisational Culture Officer undertook to feed the comments back to relevant officers and confirmed that consultation on the refresh had been conducted with officers and had been considered at Corporate Management Team.



1.    The Committee commented on the refreshed Council Plan measures as shown in Appendix 1.


2.    The Committee noted that those Council Plan measures still awaiting a proposed target, would be further considered by the Corporate Management Team and that Full Council would be asked to delegate authority to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Resources, to agree the final measures. 

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