The Council has developed a strong “big picture” vision, but the manner in which it is expressed in the Long Term Plan could be sharpened and simplified to better resonate with the community. Both councillors and staff are working well towards their community goals, but there are opportunities for them to work in better synchronisation.
The Council thoroughly identifies and considers issues but it is not clear how each of these matters inter-relate and how matters are prioritised for capital and operational expenditure.
The consultation with the community clearly puts forward the critical issues under consideration. There is very good transparency in the manner in which consultation results are analysed and responded to, but at the same time, it is unclear what weighting the Council places on the very low response levels.
Investing money well
The Council’s management team shows strong financial capability, and the financial strategy is well-expressed and well-executed. The Council has put itself in a sound financial position without compromising appropriate re-investment in its infrastructure assets. Its future challenges rest on the extent to which it will reinvest in its community facilities, and the potential impact of further regulatory requirements which may affect some infrastructure schemes.
The Council’s financial strategy has been developed to ensure that its financial resources are directed to address and resolve problems.
Delivering what’s important
The Council operates lean operational service teams, with a strong focus on accountability and cost-effective results. They willingly engage with teams in other councils to deliver results for the community. The quality of day to day service delivery could, however, be enhanced by complementary improvements to some of their documentation, including business cases, operational strategies and service reviews.
The Council’s performance measurement framework does not quite meet expectations in terms of being demonstrably linked to residents’ expectations and containing a good balance of quality, timeliness and value for money measures.
However, the Council is engaged on this issue. The LTP it is clear that Council will identify performance measures at a governance and management level that support service delivery to the agreed level and deliver its services that contribute to the five strategic intents.
Listening and responding
As a small organisation covering many communities across a large district, the Council does an admirable job of engaging actively and frequently with its residents. The “human touch” would benefit from being complemented by investment in online services and other forms of digital engagement to enable faster, more frequent and cost-effective communication and engagement.
There is very good transparency in the manner in which consultation results are analysed and responded to, but at the same time it is unclear what weighting the Council places on the very low response levels.