3 Draft Corporate Strategy 2022-27
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Bryan Davies attended to introduce the
Draft Corporate Strategy covering the next five years. The Leader took the
Opportunity to thank the previous administration (Cabinet Members and
Councillors) for the former Corporate Strategy. He stated that following the local
elections in May 2022, a new Corporate Strategy was required to set out the
Council’s new Corporate Well-being Objectives (corporate priorities) and
ambitions for the next five years and how the Strategy illustrates how the Council
will seek to enhance the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being
for the citizens and communities of Ceredigion and maximise its contribution
to the seven National Well-being Goals in accordance with the Well-being of
Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. The Leader also stated that the Authority
has a challenging time ahead. The Chief Executive, Eifion Evans was also
present and agreed with the Leader’s comments. He also thanked the
Officers involved, Alun Williams, Diana Davies, Rob Starr for their hard work in
producing the Strategy.
Rob Starr, Performance and Research Manager, continued with presenting the
report contents. He explained the core purpose of the Corporate Strategy is to
illustrate how the authority will support and promote sustainability and the
wellbeing of the citizens of Ceredigion, through its long-term Vision and its
Corporate Well-being Objectives. The proposed Corporate Well-being Objectives
· Boosting the Economy, Supporting Businesses and Enabling Employment
· Creating Caring and Healthy Communities
· Providing the Best Start in Life and Enabling Learning at All Ages
· Creating Sustainable, Green and Well-connected Communities
Rob Starr explained that the objectives have been identified through extensive analysis of evidence and engagement with residents, including the ambitions of the new political administration, the Ceredigion Assessment of Local Well-being and the recent public consultation on the draft strategy which took place between 24 August and 30 September 2022 of which a total of 51 responses were received – some received after the closing date hence the figure had not yet been included in the document although they had been taken into account.
Rob Starr also explained that the objectives had also been identified through the
lens of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. This involved
identifying how the authority could maximise our contribution to the national
well-being goals and ensure that the sustainable development principle to
ensure that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their own needs.
The draft Corporate Strategy includes an action plan detailing the steps
necessary to deliver each of the Corporate Well-being Objectives. Progress is
reviewed each year which will be published in the Council’s Self-Assessment
Rob Starr then explained the process and the steps involved with producing the
strategy. He also referred to page 6 of the strategy, Improving outcomes and how
they align with the self-assessment whilst meeting the Local Government and
Elections (Wales) Act 2021. He advised Committee Members that the 3 most
prevalent themes from feedback received were the Welsh Language, Active
Travel and Childcare. Public comments are now reflected in the Strategy.
Members were then given the opportunity to ask questions, which were answered
in turn by Officers.
In response to a question, it was confirmed that the most recent Census results
available regarding the number of Welsh speakers is 2011 and the 2021 results
will be available during December 2022/January 2023.
A concern raised by a Committee Member was whether the Authority
can afford the ambitious target outlined in the report. It was confirmed that they
are deliverable at this present time.
Concern was raised with regards to Phosphates in that it could restrict the
BOOSTING THE ECONOMY, SUPPORTING BUSINESSES AND ENABLING
EMPLOYMENT objective from progressing. It was confirmed that there is a
specific group who monitors the phosphates situation carefully and whom are in
continuous discussions with Natural Resources Wales. The Chief Executive also
confirmed that Phosphates is currently identified as a risk and is on the Authority’s
risk register so can confirm it has every due regard.
A Councillor stated that in the strategy it states that there is a vacant seat in
Lampeter, this now needs to be amended.
A Member referred to page 36, bullet point 6, Enable more young people to build their lifetime home, in that in his opinion the LDP restrict development for young people in rural locations.
During discussions, the following queries arose to which Rob Starr will investigate
and return the replies to the Committee:
1. A Member referred to the Consultation feedback report, page 11, Equalities Monitoring Questions in that the total responses is 35 (as of 23 September) but the figures do not total 35. Why is this?
2. A Member commented that the number of consultation responses were small. How many of those responded in the Welsh language?
3. A Member referred to page 13 of the Strategy in that in one point the word states, deliver coastal defences and the word complete in another point. Should both state the same, either both are deliver or complete?
4. A Member referred to page 36, bullet point 5, Discourage the ownership of second homes in the county, enquiring as to where this information had been obtained from? It was confirmed that this information had been collected from a Group manifesto. Further information was requested on this point.
5. A Member referred to page 38, reference to flooding and requested that the following are also named in the strategy – Llanybydder, Llandysul and Llechryd.
6. There is reference to Community Connectors in the Strategy, could an Officer elaborate on what their role is? Suggest inserting an explanation into the Strategy.
7. It has been highlighted that there are some typing and mutation errors in the Welsh language version of the Strategy. These need to be amended.
Following consideration, Members agreed that the points numbered 1-7 above would be investigated and amended as appropriate by Officers. The Committee will reconvene to further consider their responses and the recommendation prior to presenting to Cabinet and Full Council.