Our corporate plan outlines our ambitions and priorities for Buckinghamshire Council, a brand-new organisation bringing together the best of the previous five councils to create positive changes for local people, communities, visitors, and businesses.
Our original plan was developed over many months in consultation with the public, our partners and our staff and was published in April 2020.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic will leave a social and economic legacy long after it has ended and as such, we have reviewed the plan to reflect key events and changes in priorities since the plan was drafted in 2019/20.
Our vision for Buckinghamshire has not changed and remains one where growth will be carefully planned and managed, so that all our residents benefit. This includes well-designed, more affordable homes in thriving communities; providing excellent education opportunities for our young people, developing a skilled workforce with access to great job opportunities in highly productive sectors; and a world-class physical and digital infrastructure to support our businesses to flourish.
We also want to play our part in tackling climate change by planting over 500,000 trees, increasing recycling and improving our environment.
We are committed to making Buckinghamshire the best place to live, raise a family, work, and do business. We want our county to be a place everyone can be proud of, with excellent services, thriving businesses and outstanding public spaces for everyone. We want our residents, regardless of background, to have access to great opportunities, living healthy, successful lives and ageing well with independence. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, work and think and presents a number of challenges in ensuring we continue to protect and support people who are vulnerable and in need; whilst meeting the extra service demands produced from the Covid pandemic. While we do this, we will continue to lay the foundations for what is best for Buckinghamshire in the longer term.
We will need to continue to adapt to achieve this, building on some of the positive changes we have already made as well as increasing resilience, agility and the skills required to be able to manage ongoing challenges. We remain focused on the importance of a local approach and will continue to engage with local communities and offering opportunities for our residents, business, and partners to influence new approaches to their local places and services.
Buckinghamshire’s Strategic Vision for 2050 will help us deliver a lot of these ambitions and delivering on this will not only benefit the residents of Buckinghamshire but also the economy.
This refreshed plan provides the building blocks to our success and sets out the Council’s strategic priorities and how we can achieve these. It will be used to inform cabinet portfolio priorities, service, and team planning – setting out the challenges and vital opportunities we will focus on to support the county to recover, build resilience and reset.
Supporting this plan will be a number of strategies and policies which will detail how we will deliver our ambitions and priorities. Underneath each of these there will be details about how we evaluate success against set policies and where appropriate use of benchmarking to ensure we measure success and best practise.
Demand for our services rises each year due to changes in our population, but new pressures from the pandemic have added to this. We are down on income compared to pre-pandemic levels with reduced levels of income from council tax, business rates and parking charges for example. However, income is slowly recovering.
During this challenging time, we have also seen great strengths and opportunities for the future. All over the county, people have stepped up to help those in need and look out for their family, friends, and neighbours. The public sector and community services have worked more closely together than ever before to find ways to continue supporting those that rely on them, thinking innovatively through the challenges. Some of the new ways of doing things have proven to work well and have demonstrated how we can make improvements to the way we deliver our services. Our staff are our greatest asset, and it is important that we acknowledge and thank them for their ongoing hard work, dedication, and resilience.
The next few years will undoubtedly be a challenging time for Buckinghamshire, but there are also exciting and unique opportunities available to us to improve the services we provide and accelerate the county’s success and prosperity in the future, such as devolution from central government. We must continue to attract investment into the county and seek to maintain valued universal services that make a big difference to quality of life for our residents. By seizing opportunities available to us now and working on our ongoing commitments, such as our objective to achieve net carbon zero for Buckinghamshire by 2050, we can avoid over burdening future generations that make Buckinghamshire their home and ensuring that current residents benefit from positive changes in the years to come.
Martin Tett, Leader
Rachael Shimmin, Chief Executive