The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead is sharing key areas of progress and achievement in delivering over the first year of its Corporate Plan, the council’s five-year strategy setting out its vision, organisational priorities and goals.
Adopted by Full Council in November 2021 following extensive community consultation, the Corporate Plan 2021-26 has an overarching vision of creating a sustainable borough of opportunity and innovation, supported by three core objectives and several specific goals.
The plan helps to coordinate all planning, decision-making and delivery across the council around the priority areas where change needs to be driven the most, focussing on thriving communities, inspiring places, and a council trusted to deliver its promises.
Last night, Cabinet reviewed the year-one progress report. Cabinet also agreed changes to five goals to refresh and strengthen the Corporate Plan in light of the current economic picture and new insights from the recent Resident Survey, 2021 Census and other sources. This Cabinet decision is subject to the standard call-in period.
The changes include recognising the council’s focus on working with partners to help reduce the impact of cost of living rises, especially on vulnerable residents, a greater focus on prevention in social services to help manage demand and improve outcomes, and an increased emphasis on reducing inequalities.
They also include increased focus and ambition around economic growth, strengthening the council’s place leadership role and setting a clear vision for the future of Windsor, Maidenhead and Ascot.
Key areas of progress in the first year include approval of the Borough Local Plan, Maidenhead’s ongoing regeneration, preparing to start public realm improvement in Windsor, community engagement to help shape a Vision for Windsor, the launch of the Climate Partnership, and the Here to Help cost of living support campaign.
The report also highlights several areas where targets have been exceeded, including the borough’s recycling rate, the number of leisure centre visitors, the proportion of schools rated by Ofsted as Good or Outstanding, and the percentage of young care leavers living in suitable accommodation and in education, training or employment.
The report also reflects on the Resident Survey, which indicated that residents' perceptions of the council are above the Local Government Association national benchmark for the key measures of trust, satisfaction and value for money.
Councillor Andrew Johnson, the council leader, said: “Our Corporate Plan provides the strategic direction to maximise for our communities the benefits of our borough’s significant opportunities, and to continue working well with partners to address our challenges, setting out the council’s priorities and specific goals for achieving change by 2026.
“This year one review is part of good governance, transparency and scrutiny, allowing us to monitor progress against our priorities and update our goals in some areas to keep the plan fresh and relevant, reflecting prevailing circumstances such as the rise in the cost of living that has affected everyone.
“While many of the goals were set to be achieved over the longer-term, I am pleased to see that the council has achieved or exceeded targets in a number of areas, with successes highlighted across each of the three core objectives.
“At the same time, we recognise there’s more to do as a borough, and the Corporate Plan continues to be an important tool to help focus our collective efforts and resources on the right things, something even more important than ever in the context of constrained budgets and rapid change.”