Our corporate plan outlines our ambitions and priorities for Buckinghamshire Council. Overall, our aim is to create positive changes for local people, communities, visitors, and businesses. This refresh builds on the original plan from when the council was formed in April 2020 and reflects the ever-changing world around us amidst a period of significant change, challenge, uncertainty and turbulence.
Our vision for Buckinghamshire is one that aims to allow all Buckinghamshire residents to access the opportunity to succeed and thrive. 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 and an example of how we plan to do this includes 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 live healthy, successful lives and age well with independence. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, work and think and presented a number of challenges in ensuring we continue to protect and support people who are vulnerable and in need. This has been further impacted by the recent war in Ukraine and resulting inflation and cost of living pressures. Whilst we deal with these challenges we will continue to lay the foundations for what is best for Buckinghamshire in the longer term.
We remain focused on the importance of a local approach and will continue to engage with our communities, offering opportunities for our residents, business, and partners to influence new approaches to their local places and services.
Buckinghamshire’s Strategic Vision for 2050 (PDF, 4.2 MB) 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.
The 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 build resilience and continue to grow.
A number of strategies and policies underpin this plan including details about how we evaluate our success and how we use benchmarking information to ensure we measure success and best practice.
Demand for our services rises each year due to many changes including our population growth and where immediate challenges such as cost of living pressures and supporting refugees and asylum seekers into our county. Our income, for example, parking charges as well as council tax and business rate collections remain reduced compared to pre-pandemic levels. However, we are committed to continuing to be a well-run, financially prudent, efficient and value for money council, which also supports its residents especially through the additional cost of living pressures. Although recovering in some areas, the cost of living crisis may bring additional pressures.
During the challenges of the recent years, we have seen how people from across the county have stepped up to help those in need and look out for their family, friends, and neighbours as well as helping refugees and asylum seekers temporarily settle in the county. 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 these new ways of doing things have worked 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 continue 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