What is a Council Plan?
A Council Plan provides guidance to Councillors, staff, community, State and Federal governments, and local service providers on how Council will respond to the opportunities and challenges the municipality faces over the next four years.
In this way a Council Plan is more of a ‘strategy’ indicating medium to long range thinking rather than more detailed instructions or a map of what Council will do.
Whilst we can plan for the known – service improvements or scheduled capital works – most of the value of the Council Plan is in providing guidance of how to deal with the unknown; the issues, partnerships or funding that may become available along the way. The Council Plan needs to engage with what’s happening in Yarra and what may impact on us.
Elements of the Council Plan
Under the Local Government Act (1989), each Council is required to produce a four-year Council Plan by 30 June in the year following a general Council election. A Plan needs to include Strategic Objectives, Strategies, Strategic Indicators and a Strategic Resource Plan.
As only the Strategic Resource Plan is defined under the Act, Yarra City Council has interpreted the other elements:
Strategic Objectives: the ‘outcomes’ Councillors want to have achieved within their four-year term, and the underlying issues or problems Council wants to address.
Strategies: a set of ways Council will work to achieve each Strategic Objective. Strategies will clearly relate to ongoing Council services and priority projects.
Strategic Indicators: how progress towards the Strategic Objectives will be evaluated.
Annual planning and reporting
Council will produce an Annual Plan alongside each year’s Budget, setting out specific projects and activities that Council will undertake towards achieving the Strategic Objectives. This will include priority projects, capital works projects, actions in response to Council strategies and plans, as well as service improvements and targets.
Council will detail progress against these projects and actions in the Annual Report, with progress on priority projects as well as service highlights and achievements provided through a quarterly report.
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