Basingstoke and Deane
Council Plan 2007-2010
This Plan is in two parts. Part 1 explains what we will be focussing on over the next
3 years. Part 2 of the Plan explains the activities we will carry out to deliver our
Part 1 - Section Page Content
1. Foreword 3 Foreword by the Leader of the Council
2. Why we need a 4 Purpose of document
Council Plan Community leadership
Relationship to the Community Strategy
and Local Area Agreement
3. The Borough of 7 Profile of the Borough
4. Tackling the Issues 11 Our vision to deliver community wellbeing
facing the Borough Our priorities and key aims
How we will consult on our proposals
5. Our projects for the 15 Focussing on the right things
period 2007-2010 Emerging activities
How we set targets
What are the main risks in delivering the
6. Corporate 21 Business Units
management Performance management
Key links in service planning and delivery
Commitment to equalities
7. How we will fund our 24 Outline of the Budget Strategy
activities Revenue Budget Forecasts
8. Contact details 29 Details of who to contact for more
Foreword by the Leader of the Council
Foreword from the Leader of the Council
This council plan differs in both structure and content from what has been presented
in the recent past. The content reflects our new vision for Basingstoke and Deane,
with a clear focus driven by our interrelated key priorities: prosperity, well-being,
inclusion and partnerships.
Prosperity is central to all the Borough's needs. We need to be a Borough that
attracts and retains enterprises, providing excellent, well-paid work opportunities for
local people, enables local businesses to thrive and local entrepreneurs to have
every chance of success. Our second priority is the long-term well-being of all our
residents. This requires due attention to the social, built and natural environments.
People need to be and to feel safe, in communities that are healthy in every sense of
the word, living and working in attractive settings that minimise adverse
Inclusion means giving special attention to the needs of those who may be less able
to speak and act for themselves, whether this be in housing, employment, education,
skills, know-how, travel or access to the Council's services. To help in delivery, we
are putting a new and sharper focus on partnerships. In particular, we will define
more clearly those outcomes that are the Council’s direct responsibility; those over
which the Council can and should exert influence; and those where a well structured
partnership, with clear goals and effective management, is the right way to deliver
Supporting all of our work is a determination to make the Council’s own operations
as cost effective as possible, in the interest of all our residents and partners, and to
be open to more innovative and creative approaches in both the management of our
large asset base and our use of the Council’s finances.
The structure of this new council plan is designed to make it easier for any resident –
and our partners to understand and contribute to the direction we are setting and the
basis on which we will make our key decisions. The plan's format is also designed to
provide officers at every level with a clear background against which to assess how
their own day to day work and decisions contribute to our vision for the future of the
Cllr John Leek
Leader of the Council `
Why we need a Council Plan
Purpose of the document
2.1 Planning for the medium to long term future of the Borough so that we continue to
deliver essential services that improve life for everyone is a key responsibility of this
Council. It is important that we plan ahead for at least the next three years and take
an initial view for years four and five. This plan provides details for the period 2007 –
2010, with longer term forecasting for the demographics of the Borough and for the
Budget Strategy. Some of the policies and programmes being proposed will run
beyond the three-year period and form part of a longer term view.
2.2 This three-year plan sets out details of how, over the next three years, we will:
Use the Council’s resources to meet local need
Work jointly with a wide range of partners from several sectors to meet
Develop initiatives to plan, deliver and improve services
Measure the performance of our activities through clear targets and service
2.3 The Plan includes our vision for the next three years together with priorities, aims,
activities and targets that will work towards that vision.
2.4 We have identified four interlinked main priorities, the key aims that relate to those
priorities and activities which will contribute to those aims and the delivery of what is
important to local people, communities and local businesses. This cross cutting
approach will help outline how different activities from each area of the Council, often
planned and delivered in partnership with others, will contribute to the future social
and environmental well-being and prosperity of the whole Borough.
2.5 The plan applies to the whole Borough with policies and resource allocation
proposed across both the town and rural areas. This ensures the particular needs of
different communities are taken into account fully in planning for the future
2.5 The Local Government White Paper1 published in November 2006 sets out a vision
for local government to be empowered to work in partnership with others to create
genuinely sustainable communities – places where people want to live and work now
and in the future. We intend to place this Council at the heart of any framework for
co-operation, driving forward delivery of shared priorities which reflect the needs of
local communities. We intend to work closely with national and regional bodies, the
County Council, parish and town councils and our various partners from all sectors to
ensure our communities’ interests are represented to best effect and that local
services are effectively resourced, developed and delivered.
Strong and Prosperous Communities – The Local Government White Paper
2.6 The role of local strategic partnerships (LSPs)2 is enhanced in the White Paper
together with new relationships to local councils. We will ensure the Council’s role as
community leader in this process is developed to the full to ensure community well-
being is delivered across the Borough.
2.7 We will make use of new well-being powers provided by government, adopting
innovative ways to improve the quality of life for local people and to encourage long
term prosperity for the Borough.
2.8 Community engagement in the planning of services and in local decision making is
essential. We will continue to work with communities and the voluntary and
community sector to establish the most appropriate mechanisms to achieve this
within the framework of the new arrangements proposed by central government.
2.9 Devolving powers for some service planning and delivery to the local level will
reinforce effective community engagement and options will be considered for both
urban and rural areas.
Relationship to the Community Strategy
2.10 The Basingstoke and Deane LSP published the revised Community Strategy “Pride
in our Place”3 in April 2006. The Strategy sets out how a range of partnerships can
work together to help ensure the overall economic, social and environmental
well-being of our area and provide sustainable communities. This plan outlines the
Council’s contribution to the Community Strategy and the wider contribution to the
wellbeing of the region through input to the Regional Economic Strategy and any
local area agreements.
Hampshire Local Area Agreement
2.11 The Council is a partner in the Hampshire Local Area Agreement (LAA), a process of
agreeing community priorities for the county area based on district level community
strategies and local priorities. Support and resources from a range of partners helps
achieve better outcomes for agreed priority themes. In the future, government
funding will increasingly be allocated through the LAA process. We will ensure this
Council plays a full role in planning and delivering the LAA and in securing the
maximum level of government funding possible to support effective local services.
LSPs – a partnership of local public, private and voluntary sector organisations working together to
deliver economic, social and environmental well-being for the local area.
Community Strategy – a plan to deliver sustainable communities by delivering a vision for the area
and improved economic, social and environmental well-being through better aligned work across
organisations and across different sectors.
2.12 To guide our work we also have clear organisational values:
Delivering community well-being for a sustainable future means that we will
consider the economic, social and environmental issues and their impact now
and for the future in planning and providing appropriate services and for all
sectors of the community.
Ensuring equality and valuing diversity where all sections of the community
have access to and engagement with services provided for the community. We
will treat people fairly and tackle all types of unlawful discrimination. Local
communities must be given the opportunity to play an active role in planning for
the future and shaping local life.
Social inclusion underpins the work of the Council. We are committed to
reducing poverty and social exclusion in the Borough by working to maximise
use of resources, information and activities to achieve the best and most
equitable outcomes for local communities.
Partnerships are fundamental to making sure services are able to meet the
needs of local people. We will work directly with the community, partner
organisations, other local authorities and the Basingstoke and Deane LSP to
deliver real improvements for our communities whether by leading partnerships
or as an active participant.
Transparency and accountability, with excellence in communications and
access to information are essential to enable staff at all levels to understand
fully and support the Council’s priorities while avoiding duplication of effort, and
to enable residents and others to access council information and services with a
minimum of bureaucracy and ‘red tape’.
Securing efficiency and value for money will underpin our service planning
and delivery. We will ensure that we procure and deliver what is important to the
community, to the right level of quality, in the most cost efficient way. The
Council’s own internal operations will continue to be reviewed to ensure both
effective and efficient outcomes. We will work closely with partners in seeking
efficiency to achieve economies of scale and to give better service to the public.
Valuing staff is important to successful service delivery. We want to be an
employer of choice in the local community enabling staff to maintain high
morale, to reach their full potential and contribute fully to the success of the
organisation and the wider community. We will continue to invest in staff well-
being, development and training and in high standards of customer care.
The Borough of Basingstoke and Deane - 2006
Basingstoke and Deane – Profile of the Borough 2006
3.1 The Borough of Basingstoke and Deane covers an area of over 245 square miles
within northern Hampshire, over 90% of which is agricultural land, woodland or in
other greenfield use. Less than 8% of the Borough is built up, supporting the
majority of a population of nearly 157,000 people4.
3.2 Around 60% of the population (94,000) lives within the town of Basingstoke, which
has grown to more than five times its size half a century ago, extending into a
number of adjoining parishes.
3.3 If the recent increase in house building rate continues as currently forecast the
population can be expected to increase by more than 10,000 over the next five
years. 5 Most of the recent and planned major development is around the northern
urban edge of Basingstoke town.
3.4 The second largest settlement in the Borough is the Tadley /Baughurst /Pamber
Heath area, on the northern Hampshire boundary, with a population approaching
3.5 The western half of the Borough includes a large part of the North Wessex Downs
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on the periphery of which are a number of
settlements of 3,000-5,000 population, such as Overton and Whitchurch, both of
which lie within the upper valley of the River Test.
3.6 Elsewhere, numerous smaller villages and hamlets are scattered throughout the
Borough, where the attractive rural environment and historic significance is
characterised by 47 Conservation Areas, 69 scheduled ancient monuments, 10
historic parks and some 1800 Listed Buildings. 1.3% of the Borough is designated
as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and 9.4% as Sites of Importance for
Nature Conservation (SINC).
3.7 At the 2001 Census, the Borough had a younger than average age profile with over
25% of the population aged 19 or under and only 17% of the population aged 60 or
older. In the medium term, on the basis of current trends in life expectancy and
migration, the over 60 age group is predicted to increase most rapidly, reaching
36,000 people (21% of the total population) by 20126.
3.8 Looking further ahead, Hampshire County Council Long Term Population and
Household Projections indicate that the Borough population will increase to
approximately 177,000 by 2026, of whom more than 33,000 will be aged over 65.
The main assumption underlying these projections is that the number of dwellings
Resident Population Estimates Mid-2005. Office for National Statistics.
2005-based Small Area Population Forecasts, HCC.
2005 – based Small Area Population Statistics, HCC
built between 2006 and 2026 in the Borough will be consistent with the numbers
proposed in the South East Plan, although the Borough Council is promoting a lesser
number than currently indicated in the submission Draft of the Plan.
3.9 As in Hampshire as a whole, demand for water is increasing due to population
growth, decreasing household size and changing lifestyles.
3.10 The water quality of the Borough’s rivers is generally good to very good, though
nitrate and phosphate pollution is a problem in some areas. There are significant
concerns about water supply and waste water disposal in the context of future
development. This is being addressed by research jointly with partners - including
the water authorities - due to report during 2007.
3.11 Nearly 63,000 tonnes of household waste was collected in the Borough in 2005/6, of
which 10,800 tonnes was recycled.
3.12 Basingstoke’s strategic location on the national road and rail networks has
contributed to its success as an employment centre, with 83% of the Borough’s jobs
located in Basingstoke town. The Borough’s close proximity to London, to the ports
of Southampton and Portsmouth and to Heathrow and Gatwick airports has also
helped its commercial success.
3.13 Commuting out of the Borough to work in other nearby centres such as Newbury,
Reading, or in London, is approximately matched by those commuting into the
Borough from other parts of Hampshire and surrounding counties. The Borough
provides jobs for two thirds of its employed residents, a higher ‘self sufficiency’ ratio
than any other Hampshire District. 76% of residents travel less than 15 miles to
3.14 Unemployment is relatively low at around 3% of the economically active working age
population7, which is typical of rates in the South East. The proportion of
economically active people in the Borough is one of the highest in the South East –
and indeed the country as a whole.
3.15 Average earnings levels compare favourably with wage levels for Hampshire and the
South East and with national averages, but affordability of house prices is an issue
for many of the Borough’s younger residents. Recent policy has increased the
proportion of smaller homes and flats for one- and two-person households.
3.16 While the 2001 Census shows that levels of car ownership are generally high, and
data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) records 87,000 vehicles
registered in the Borough in 2004, there are some communities where up to 30% of
households do not have access to their own transport. While over 70% of Borough
residents travel to work by car or van, access to affordable transport in rural areas
and in some parts of our towns remains an issue.
3.17 The Borough road accident casualty rate has declined from 6.1 per 1,000 population
in 1997 to 4.1 in 2004, lower than the County, regional and national averages.
This is now considered to be a more realistic measure of unemployment than the Job Seekers
Allowance claimant count, which stands at about 1.3%
3.18 The English Indices of Deprivation 2004 (ID2004) indicate that Basingstoke and
Deane experiences relatively little deprivation in the national context. When all
indicators are combined into the ‘Index of Multiple Deprivation’ (IMD2004), none of
the Borough’s geographical areas fall within the top 1/3 most deprived areas in
England. More than half fall within the least deprived 20% in England, 12 of them
within the least deprived 1% nationally. However, some parts of the Borough
experience relatively high levels of disadvantage in terms of education, crime and
3.19 Within the Borough, there are 17 Infant, 17 Junior, 25 Primary and 11 Secondary
schools supported by Hampshire County Council as the Local Education Authority
(LEA), as well as private sector schools. Eight of the Borough’s eleven Secondary
schools have achieved Specialist Schools Status. Post 16 education is served in the
further education colleges of Basingstoke College of Technology, Queen Mary’s
College and the University of Winchester, which has a local campus in Basingstoke
town. Some of those in the outlying areas also choose to attend schools and
colleges outside the Borough.
3.20 The 2001 Census showed that 21% of Basingstoke and Deane’s working age
population are educated to degree level or equivalent. This compares favourably to
the South East and is higher than both Hampshire and national averages.
3.21 GCSE results in recent years have shown grades for the Borough’s pupils to be
above or around national levels in terms of the percentage gaining 5 or more A* to C
grades; and in terms of all results (pupils gaining five or more A* to G grades) they
are higher than both national and LEA averages.
3.22 However, the percentage of pupils gaining five or more GCSE grades at A* to C has
been lower than the Hampshire average (LEA) for the last five years. The Census
has also shown that 22% of the working age population have no qualifications.
3.23 Residents enjoy a wide range of leisure services and facilities in and around the
Borough such as arts venues, museums and sports facilities, parks, local nature
reserves and woodlands. This is complemented by a range of private sector
attractions such as cinemas, health clubs, golf clubs and tennis clubs. As well as
main facilities there is access to a wide range of local opportunities including skate
parks, allotments, play areas and football and cricket pitches.
3.24 According to the annual leisure survey 2005, people used parks and open spaces
frequently with 17% saying they used them every day and 67% using them at least
once a month. 28% participated in sports and leisure activities at least once a week,
and 40% had been to a concert hall or a theatre in the last 6 months.
3.25 Festival Place, a major redevelopment of Basingstoke town centre in 2002, has
greatly enhanced the Borough’s shopping, restaurant/cafe and leisure facilities.
Together with emerging improvements to the “Top of Town”, and proposals to
refurbish The Malls, the town centre continues to attract local shoppers, as well as
bringing people to the area from further afield.
3.26 There is a strong voluntary and community sector in the Borough, with about 1,000
active organisations. The 2006 “State of the Sector Report”8 analysed 125 voluntary
and community organisations which provide a service within Basingstoke and
Deane. This showed they were supported by 4,573 volunteers, providing 638,212
volunteering hours in that year, which equated to a value of between £4million and
3.27 There are 24 community facilities and 65 village halls in the Borough, where a wide
range of activities take place, including health services, education and learning, arts
clubs, uniform groups, social clubs and events, and sporting activities. The voluntary
and community sector also works alongside the statutory organisations, delivering
highly valued services to the public.
State of the Voluntary and Community Sector in the Borough. Basingstoke Voluntary Services –
Tackling the issues facing the Borough
A Vision for the Borough
Our long term vision is for our Borough to be a place where people of all ages
are and feel safe at home, in their communities, at work, while enjoying leisure
pursuits and while travelling. A place where children, young people and adults
enjoy first class educational and leisure facilities, with attractive and well paid
work opportunities and a supportive environment for both commercial
enterprises and voluntary organisations in both urban and rural areas.
Basingstoke and Deane should enjoy an outstanding reputation for the
excellence of its public services, delivered in active partnership with the
private and voluntary sectors and with an appropriate balance between the
quality and extent of services and their demands on the taxpayer. The
development needed to sustain prosperity and provide decent homes should
balance architectural merit with respect for its local context, the natural
environment, the demand for natural resources and the opinions of local
communities. Development, employment and lifestyles should fully recognise
and respond to the threats of climate change, with the Borough Council taking
a leading role in the necessary changes in behaviours and practices.
4.1 In striving for this Vision we will:
focus on what matters to local people – concentrating on doing what makes
the most difference to people of the Borough;
provide great customer services – setting high standards of quality and
customer satisfaction with easy access available for all;
involve the people of the Borough – listening to your views and including
individuals, communities and partner organisations in decision making and
planning for the future;
explore innovative ways of delivering services - finding new ways to
improve and develop efficient services and benefits for the community.
Our overall priorities to achieve this vision
4.2 Priorities – Planning for the Future
The Council’s work and decisions during 2007-2010 will focus on four interrelated
P1 To secure and enhance prosperity
Goal: To ensure attractive employment opportunities, excellent and affordable
services, and the means to invest in the future, support those in need and
address emerging challenges while minimising the tax burden on local
people. To this end, we will actively encourage inward investment and work
to establish an environment in which local businesses, entrepreneurs and
organisations can flourish.
P2 To maintain and enhance local community well-being
Goal: The well being and sustainability of our communities enhanced through due
attention to the social, built and natural environments. The Council will show
effective leadership and direction in meeting housing need, public safety,
access to learning, skills development and leisure, transport, health, and
environmental protection, including the reduction and management of waste.
Appropriate, attractive and sustainable new development must be supported
by investment in infrastructure. This will be led and managed through
effective strategic planning and development control approaches that
balance the needs of the future with the conservation of our built and natural
heritage and the views and needs of today’s residents.
P3 To build and sustain a strong focus on inclusion
Goal: Public policies in all spheres that recognise the needs and aspirations of all
residents, but especially those least able to act and speak on their own
behalf, those in need of help with access to decent housing and other
essentials of life, and those in minority groups who might otherwise be or feel
excluded from the decision process, policies and outcomes. Wherever
possible people should be encouraged and assisted into independence.
P4 To develop and support effective partnerships focused on community
Goal: Partnerships embracing the public, private and voluntary sectors, working
well to deliver excellent outcomes as a result of strong leadership, clear
goals and well-defined roles and responsibilities, with effective measurement
and reporting. Both directly and through partnerships, the Council will set
very high standards in community engagement.
Key Aims that will help us achieve these Priority Themes
4.3 Our proposals for the next three years will be to meet these priority themes and build
on the Council’s previous investment and successes. We intend to focus our actions
over the next three years on the following aims:
A1 Promote more efficient and innovative ways to fund and deliver
services, projects and benefits for local communities and enterprises.
A2 Secure sustainable economic growth and overall prosperity for both
town and rural areas of the Borough.
A3 Promote improved educational provision and attainment and the
development of skills to meet local needs.
A4 Improve the image of the Borough as a place to live, work, invest, do
business and visit.
A5 Improve access to the right types of housing in the right places to meet
local needs within planned attractive and sustainable communities.
A6 Regenerate and improve areas of the Borough to meet community and
business needs and enhance well-being.
A7 To become and remain a Borough in which residents and visitors feel
and are safe in our streets, roads, rural lanes and countryside.
A8 Improve provision of local leisure, cultural and community facilities and
encourage and facilitate their use by local people and visitors.
A9 Protect and improve the environment, through promoting biodiversity
and landscape quality, waste reduction, promotion of recycling and
planning and managing for climate change.
A10 Ensure the needs of children and young people as outlined in Every
Child Matters9 are considered in planning and delivery of council
services and in partnership activities.
A11 Understand and respond to the needs and aspirations of older people in
planning and delivery of Council services and in partnership working.
A12 Have greater engagement of residents, local enterprises and
organisations in the life, well being and future development of their
neighbourhoods and communities.
A Government initiative to provide a new integrated partnership approach to the well-being of children and
young people from birth to 19 yrs. - www.everychildmatters.gov.uk
A13 Achieve and sustain equality of access and opportunities across all
aspects of the Council’s own activities and influence to ensure no one is
excluded from the general prosperity and well being of the borough.
A14 Raise the quality of life, opportunities and aspirations in areas of relative
A15 Improve access to information, support, services and facilities for all
sections of the community.
A16 Through active leadership, help establish the Local Strategic
Partnership (LSP) as the primary focus and channel for delivery of the
Community Strategy in cost effective and timely ways.
A17 Through the LSP, county and parliamentary elected representatives and
all appropriate partners and stakeholders, use effective communications
and influence to secure the strongest possible representation of the
interests of Basingstoke and Deane’s communities at regional and
A18 Through active and positive engagement, make an effective contribution
to the Hampshire Local Area Agreement, securing outcomes that
strongly contribute to Council priorities and the Community Strategy.
A19 Promote effective commissioning, joint working and delivery of shared
services with other organisations including our strategic partners, other
local authorities, parish and town councils, the voluntary and
community sector and other partners.
A20 Ensure that in all partnerships the relationship is meaningful to all
parties, with clear aims that offer mutual benefits, and with
measurement and reporting that provides early identification of issues
and confirms that planned outcomes are being achieved.
A21 Provide ready access to excellent information resources, providing
Members, officers, partners, residents and others with the soundest
possible basis for timely and appropriate decisions.
4.4 This range of key aims means that much of the work and services already identified
in the 2006-2009 Council Plan continues to be important and is therefore included in
Part 2 of the Council Plan document together with new areas of work.
Our projects for the period 2007 to 2010
Focussing on the right things
5.1 Our Community Engagement Strategy ensures that residents, partners and other
key stakeholders in Basingstoke and Deane have an ongoing voice to influence the
development of policies, strategies and service standards that will affect their lives,
and are able to inform the way in which services in the Borough are planned and
Services or activities we will be providing
5.2 We intend to focus new investment on priority areas that can deliver real and
sustained improvements for local communities. We will build on the successes and
investments of the last few years and focus on targeted improvement in the priority
Several key issues are now emerging which we will act on during this plan period.
5.3 Sustainable Communities
A focus on social inclusion, economic development and a quality environment will
help to deliver ‘Sustainable Communities’ that ensure a high quality of life, while
meeting the needs of all our local communities, now, and for the future, as well as
contributing to both regional and national targets. Activities will include:
Implementing the revised Community Strategy “Pride in our Place” to ensure a
more sustainable approach that will help extend its influence. This will support
sustainability appraisals across the council’s work.
Closer alignment of the Local Development Framework (LDF) and the
Community Strategy to maximise wellbeing benefits.
Maximising the benefits derived from involvement in the Government’s Growth
Engaging local communities in determining priorities for the Borough.
We will be reviewing our Housing and Homelessness Strategies, Housing Market
Assessment and providing greater clarification of the Housing Mix Policy. This will
ensure the Council is able to respond to identified local housing need in the most
appropriate way including innovative work with partner organisations to deliver joint
Government funding provided to support infrastructure projects in areas which are experiencing
housing provision solutions. We also aim to introduce more choice and customer
empowerment to the way social housing is allocated, together with a range of
sustainable funding options made available to reduce homelessness.
5.5 Environmental issues
Climate change and concern for environmental issues will increasingly influence the
planning and work of the Council. We will place a high emphasis on:
continuing promotion of recycling and waste minimisation and improving
recycling rates in the Borough.
investigating renewable energy opportunities and projects.
acting on the outcomes of the Councils’ Single Issue Panel report on climate
incorporating sustainable construction objectives into development schemes
involving council land or funding.
promoting local purchasing where possible in accordance with the Council’s
working with partners to raise awareness and understanding of environmental
issues and reduce negative impacts on environment.
5.6 Economic Prosperity
The Borough’s regional and national role and profile will also continue to be
promoted to ensure our economic, social and environmental well-being is maximised
as part of the objective of securing a sustainable community. This will include
working with other local authorities in the Diamonds for Growth initiative11 to
maximise economic prosperity in the area. Basingstoke is one of eight Diamonds for
Growth identified in the Regional Economic Strategy for the South East. These are
major centres of economic activity that can act as catalysts to stimulate prosperity,
but which need to be reinforced by selective infrastructure investment as a stimulus
to further economic growth.
The regional designation of Diamonds for Growth differs from the national
designation of 29 New Growth Points announced by the government in October
2006. The Government has stated that New Growth Points, which include
Basingstoke, will form a key feature of its approach to growth in preparation for the
next government Spending Review. Under this initiative, the Borough Council will be
in receipt of £340K towards infrastructure investigations. The indications from
Government are that, following completion of these studies, further significant
funding could be available for infrastructure investment.
Regional Economic Strategy initiative by a group of nine local authorities in the South East to
promote economic development.
5.7 Image of the Borough
We will co-ordinate, working in partnership with the business community and other
key stakeholders, a clear approach to overcoming the external misconceptions of the
image and reputation of the Borough. It will set out how to promote an improved
image of Basingstoke and Deane which will contribute to supporting the overall
sustainable growth and well-being of the Borough for the future and for wider
community based benefit.
5.8 Regional role
We will be working closely with the South East England Development Agency
(SEEDA) and other regional partners, as well as seeking to achieve joint working
with HCC and other local authorities, to realise better community and economic
outcomes for local communities and greater opportunities for investors in the area.
5.9 Leisure and Cultural Infrastructure
We will continue to encourage investment in our extensive leisure and cultural
facilities and services to maximise the community and economic benefit they bring to
the Borough. This will include partnership opportunities with other local authorities
and arts based organisations.
5.10 Improved Access to Health Services
We will investigate how the Council can help the existing established health service
providers in innovative ways to improve access to health services including provision
of G.P. surgeries and improved transport to and parking at the hospital.
5.11 Park and Ride Services
We will investigate partnership opportunities to improve park and ride provision to
the east of Basingstoke from the M3 and more efficient use of the existing Shuttle
Bus service to support local transport needs.
5.12 Learning Campus
Basingstoke is one of eight Diamonds for Growth identified in the Regional Economic
Strategy for the South East. A report commissioned on behalf of the Diamonds
states that Basingstoke and Deane currently lacks the large base of new graduates
and other highly skilled workers that will be increasingly in demand. It proposes that
a shortfall of highly skilled workers may need to be addressed as an urgent priority
for the area.
The options to secure improved learning and training opportunities through
partnerships within the Borough will be investigated. These include the provision of a
“Learning Campus” or “Multiversity”, with an enhanced Higher Education presence to
meet the demand for lifelong education and training and to support local business
needs for a skilled and flexible workforce.
5.13 Parish Funding
We have recognised that Parish and Town Councils have been meeting some of the
costs for directly providing services in their areas. We are providing additional
funding for parishes to address this issue.
5.14 Effectiveness of Partnerships
There is a need to ensure all partnerships are both effective and efficient.
Completion and implementation of the Partnership Strategy and Toolkit will enable
us to examine how partnerships are established, what they are achieving, how they
are accountable to the local community. The Council sees effective working with the
Basingstoke and Deane LSP as a key mechanism for providing community
leadership. The effectiveness of partnerships is essential for the delivery of the
Community Strategy “Pride in our Place” and is a high priority for the Council.
5.15 Securing an Efficient Council
In addition to these emerging issues we intend to maintain a focus on the efficient
operation of the Council and innovative support activities to ensure delivery of high
quality services. This will include:
focusing on and directing resources to the core activities of the Council;
investment in the Council’s ICT systems;
customer care initiatives;
implementing the Procurement Strategy;
a review of discretionary pricing policies;
internal value for money and best value reviews;
maximising the benefits of flexible working and modern working methods to
benefit both staff and elected Members.
5.16 Statutory Functions
Statutory functions affect all who live, work or visit the Borough. We will deliver high
quality, customer focused approaches to statutory services in the most cost effective
way minimising ‘red tape’ wherever possible
How we set targets12
5.17 Investment of resources can only be justified if clear outcomes can be identified. For
each main priority area we have confirmed a range of measures and targets. These
targets link with the agreed outcomes for the Community Strategy and the Audit
Commission Quality of Life Indicators published in 2005. Wherever possible, we
The Council’s Scrutiny Committee has set up an informal panel to scrutinise the Council’s
performance. At its first meeting on 3 January 2007, the Panel considered that as well as focusing
on national performance indicators, progress against delivery of the Council Plan and its targets
should also be assessed. The panel will continue to meet and consider the most appropriate form of
targets for the plan. Final targets will be confirmed in early 2007/08 and update those stated in Part 2
of this document.
have used targets identified in the Hampshire Local Area Agreement (LAA/LPSA2)13
to help identify how local activities are contributing to wider County level and national
targets. The specific targets for each priority area listed in part 2 of the Council Plan
5.18 Further, more detailed targets and performance measures are included in the
Service Plans for each Council service. These are reported to the Council
Performance Board on a quarterly basis and as part of the Annual Report process in
What are the risks in delivering this plan?
5.19 In general terms, risks which the Council face in delivering this plan include:
anything that poses a threat to the achievement of efficient and effective service
inability to respond to, or manage, organisational change required to deliver new
failure to guard against impropriety, malpractice, waste, or poor value for
anything that could damage the Council’s reputation and undermine public
failure to comply with regulations such as those covering the environment,
health and safety, employment practice, and human rights.
5.20 These risks are assessed and managed within the corporate risk and service
planning processes and, where appropriate, risk mitigation actions are planned and
5.21 In specific terms of this plan the following particular risks are identified:
risks associated with the Budget Strategy particularly fluctuation in interest rates
and variability in the property market, which can affect revenues to the council;
achieving effective partnerships, where there is a high dependency on factors
outside the council’s direct control;
the potential for consultation overload, where the emerging Statement of
Community Involvement increases and extends local consultation processes,
together with a recent pattern of external (e.g. Whitehall) requests for
consultation responses with very short deadlines;
challenges in securing accurate, timely and sufficiently detailed information on
community needs in the context of the council’s leadership role in the LSP and
with other stakeholders;
LAA/LPSA2 – A range of stretching targets agreed with Central Government as part of the LAA.
Success in meeting targets over a three year period results in payment of ‘reward grants’.
The extent to which existing mechanisms for identifying and forecasting
demographic trends accurately reflect increases in migration (internal and
external), with consequent uncertainties regarding key factors such as
household size and population age profiles;
Actions to reduce these risks and/or mitigate their impact are included in the plan
and/ or in the corporate risk management process and within the service planning
Summary – Delivering the four linked Priorities
5.22 With these activities and the detailed activities listed in Part 214 of the Council Plan,
we aim to enhance the sustainability of communities across the borough. From the
focus on prosperity we intend that the whole community should benefit through our
commitment to inclusion, while the well-being agenda provides clarity and direction
in terms of both the needs of particular areas and sections of the community and
across the borough as a whole. Achieving all three of these priorities depends on
effective partnerships both within the Borough and beyond.
5.23 Within these linked priorities we will continue to invest in reducing homelessness,
tackling crime and disorder, protecting and enhancing the environment and
improving access to healthcare, education and leisure services. Further new service
growth will be confirmed during the plan period and funding is set aside to support
5.24 We will continue the search for even greater efficiencies and creative use of our
resources while setting high standards of customer care. We will also be developing
our partnership arrangements and strategies to explore new opportunities for joint
working and shared services. This will include other public sector organisations and
both the business and voluntary and community sectors. Attracting external funding
to ensure maximum benefit is secured for local communities is also a key task.
5.25 By implementing an integrated approach built around effective partnerships, we will
help ensure social inclusion and delivery of long term sustainable communities
where the future prosperity and wellbeing of the Borough and its communities is
Part 2 of the Council Plan document provides more detailed evidence on why we are focussing on
the identified priorities, together with a full list of the planned activities over the next three years.
See table 1. – Ongoing revenue growth items. Page 25
6.1 To ensure that we are well placed to deliver our objectives the Council needs to be
an effective, efficient and robust organisation that has the right resources in place to
support delivery of the Council Plan.
6.2 The Council currently has 20 business units within its organisation providing both
frontline service delivery and internal support for the frontline services.
6.3 The business units providing internal support services include: Personnel and
Training; Financial Services; Legal and Democratic Services; Corporate
Communications; Policy and Partnerships; Electoral Services; Internal Audit;
Property Services; Customer Services and Administration; and ICT.
6.4 The business units providing frontline services include: Local Tax and Benefits;
Planning, Transport and Development Control; Regeneration and Design; Housing
Services; Leisure Services; Community Safety and Development; Environmental
Health, Licensing and Parking; Enterprise, Learning and Skills; and Street Care.
6.5 This range of business units is being reviewed to consider how a more cost effective
overall service can be delivered for the new service delivery approach proposed in
the recent government white paper on local government.
How we manage and measure our performance
6.6 We need to know whether we are achieving our priority objectives to help meet
community need, to identify scope for improving the services we deliver and the way
in which we do it.
6.7 Through performance management we will:
ensure that service, financial and individual project plans are integrated to enable
community and corporate priorities to be delivered;
develop a culture of continuous improvement and best practice, by setting
challenging targets, developing a programme of service and performance
reviews, and initiating corrective action where standards are not being
measure and monitor success in achieving our goals;
ensure accountability through transparent reporting systems and a robust
6.8 A range of processes and documents confirm our performance on delivery of the
Council Plan priorities. These provide information on performance from the previous
year and ongoing results for the current year.
Figure1. Shows the key links between the Council Plan, Community Strategy and
3 Year Plan &
Detailed Service Annual Report/
Budget Book Plans Performance Plan
Staff performance reviews
How do we ensure that we are maximising our resources?
6.9 One of the key requirements for this council is being clear about how we will
maximise the use of our resources.
6.10 Our strategic focus is on deriving efficiency through improvement in overheads,
processes and productivity, contracts, partnerships and economies of scale, and
6.11 In terms of efficiency, we aim to achieve:
an extension of what has already been done to obtain benefit from investment in
e-Government, to deliver the maximum possible return;
integrated processes within and between business units;
greater self service by customers, with contact for exception only, or where
contact is essential to secure inclusion;
true gains in efficiency, reduced unit costs, and delivery of the same or more
without demand for additional resource, or by overworking staff;
better inter-working between business units, and consistency of approach to the
better cooperation with other organisations including other public sectors and
the various arms of government, to give better universal service to the public
and to realise even greater efficiencies;
efficiencies as a by-product of better working, and not the tactic of reducing
costs by cutting services, with its associated organisational decline;
What is our corporate commitment to Equalities?
6.12 Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council recognises that individuals and
communities may experience unlawful discrimination on the grounds of their race or
ethnicity, disability, gender (including transgender and transsexual people),
relationship or marital status, sexual orientation (because they are lesbian, gay,
bisexual or heterosexual), relationship or marital status, age, HIV or other health
status, language, background, physical or mental impairment, faith or religious belief
or physical appearance.
6.13 We believe that equality for all is a basic human right and actively oppose all forms
of unlawful and unfair discrimination. We recognise and value the diversity of society
and are striving to promote and reflect that diversity within this Council. 16 We will
implement the Corporate Equality Strategy to ensure this takes place.
Equality statement taken from the Corporate Equality Strategy 2006-2009
How will we fund our activities?
7.1 The Council has a medium term financial plan that creates a robust framework to
secure a balanced budget over the medium term, which sets a financial strategy to
help ensure a sustainable long term budget and supports delivery of the Council
Plan priorities over the period.
7.2 The key aims of the budget strategy are;
To target resources to achieve the greatest positive impact in delivering council
To look to the longer term to plan for sustainable services and budgets.
To pursue efficiency to make best use of the Council’s assets – Funds / Land /
buildings / staff / information technology.
To introduce a capital “invest to grow” policy to deliver enhanced financial and
community wellbeing returns.
To support working with partners to secure best outcomes for the benefit of local
7.3 The key features of the budget strategy are;
A planned 2.5% increase in Council Tax per year.
A planned 2.5% increase in fees and charges income per year.
New and amended funding for service priorities and pressures.
Establishing budget strategy savings and income targets.
The allocation of new capital resources in support of the capital strategy and
asset management plan.
The reintroduction of an annual revenue contribution to the revenue reserve for
capital purposes to support the future capital programme.
Creation of a new revenue reserve to support the “invest to grow” policy.
Setting an increase in the net capital receipts target of £8m by the end of
2009/10 to be invested to generate additional interest income of £0.4m per year.
Maintaining risk reserves at the current prudent level and planning for a contract
re-tender contingency budget.
7.4 The budget proposals for 2007/08 have been developed within the framework of the
Council’s budget strategy agreed by Cabinet. The main features are:
The net revenue budget proposed for 2007/08 is £15,396,800 (a 2.4% increase
in costs) with a Borough Council Tax increase of 2.5% from £94.39 to £96.75 for
Band D properties.
A revenue support grant settlement of £9.415m. The basic grant has increased
by 1.6% from 2006/07.
£536,000 of ongoing revenue growth items in support of Council Plan priorities.
These are shown in table 1.
Efficiency savings representing 2.6% (£395,000) of total net revenue
A revised capital programme of £26.4m incorporating proposed new allocations
of £1.5m for new capital bid schemes, £2.9m for asset and infrastructure
schemes and £1.6m for ICT and vehicle replacement.
The forward budget forecast for 2008/09 and 2009/10 is balanced and includes
savings and additional income targets.
Budget risks have been identified and risk reserves maintained in accordance
with the budget strategy.
Council Plan Growth Plan 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10
Ref. £’000 £’000 £’000
CCTV Running Costs AC59 60 60
Asset Management Staffing AC18 110 110 110
Tree Strategy Funding AC68 50 50 50
Community Warden Service AC61 75 75 75
Parish Funding AC93 70 120 120
Previous Priorities Continued:
Rural Recycling Scheme AC66 100 100 100
Domestic Violence Support AC63 20 20 20
Black and Minority Programme AC82 8 8 8
Furniture Store Project AC80 33 33 33
Art in the Community AC57 20 20 20
Reactive Road Signs AC47 10 20 30
Events Programme AC90 15 15 15
Youth Strategy AC111 10 10 10
Disability Forum AC83 10 10 10
Diversity Forum AC83 5 5 5
Provision for New Service Growth 5.23 40 55
TOTAL 536 696 721
Revenue Expenditure and Income for 2007/08
7.5 The following charts summarise the main areas of service expenditure and sources
of income for the Council to fund the services.
What The Services Cost
£ 88.6 million
Leader (Corporate & Leader (Other)
Democratic Core) 4% Planning & Transport
Funding of Capital
Schemes & Strategic
9% Housing &
Sport & Leisure
Educational Environment and
Development Community Services
Note: Includes notional capital charges of £3.6 million and notional pension costs of £1.1 million
which are reversed out by contributions from reserves and do not impact on the council tax
How The Services Are Funded
£ 88.6 million
Council Tax Payers Government Grants
Capital Reserves Grants
Fees & Charges
Revenue Budget Forecasts
7.6 In addition to the budget for 2007/08 a budget forecast for a further two years is also
prepared. The budget forecast forms an essential part of the Council’s medium term
financial planning process that ensures funds are available to enable the delivery of
services in accordance with the Policy and Budget Framework.
7.7 The summarised forecast is shown in the following table:
BUDGET FORECAST 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10
£000 £000 £000
Net Cost of Services from previous year 36,643 37,250
Inflation 1,317 1,303
Future Efficiency Savings (508) (450)
Agreed Future Revenue Growth 160 25
Removing One-off Costs (250)
Other Forecast Net Changes (112) (120)
Net Cost of Services 36,643 37,250 38,008
Interest from Investments (8,125) (8,210) (8,093)
Investment Property (Net Income) (11,290) (11,601) (11,956)
Pension Fund (Notional Costs) 1,110 1,110 1,110
Net Operating Expenditure 18,338 18,549 19,069
Planned Contributions to/(from) Reserves
Capital Priorities Reserve 404 453 595
Asset & Infrastructure Reserve 781 525 595
Invest to Grow Reserve 493 340 167
Pension Fund Reserve (to reverse notional costs) (1,110) (1,110) (1,110)
Capital Financing Account (to reverse capital charges) (3,556) (3,556) (3,556)
Other Reserves 47 566 413
Total Net Expenditure to be met from Government
Grant and Council Tax Payers 15,397 15,767 16,173
Headline Budget Target 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10
£'000 £'000 £'000
Revenue Support Grant 9,415 9,603 9,795
Collection Fund Surplus 75 50 50
Required from Council Tax Payers 5,907 6,114 6,328
Headline Budget Target 15,397 15,767 16,173
Balanced Budget 0 0 0
Council Tax Base 61,049.7 61,649.4 62,249.7
Borough Council Tax at Band D £96.75 £99.17 £101.65
7.8 The forecast is based on the continuation of existing services and new financial
policies and assumes a target increase in council tax of 2.5% per year and an
increase in Revenue Support Grant of 2.0% per year.
7.9 In addition to the revenue budget the Cabinet is proposing that the Council make a
significant investment in the future in the form of the capital programme which
represents expenditure on assets which have a long term value.
Capital Programme Budget 2007/2008
£ 6.1 m
Planning & Transport Economic &
Leader & Deputy
Sport & Leisure
Budget Strategy Summary
7.10 The proposed budget provides funding for the continuation of existing services and
the further development of new services in support of the Council Plan. These are
shown in Table 1 (see paragraph 7.4). This will be delivered with an increase in
Council of tax of 2.5%.
7.11 This approach assures a sustainable budgetary framework for delivery of Council
priorities in accordance with good practice.
Full details of the budget are available in a separate Budget Report available at
www.basingstoke.gov.uk or from the contacts listed on page 29.
Council Plan Part 2 – Detailed Council Plan Activities 2007 – 2010 is available
separately at www.basingstoke.gov.uk or from the contacts listed on page 29
For any further information on these proposals or the work of the Council
Councillor John Leek, Leader
Glyn Williams, Head of Policy and Partnerships
Kevin Jaquest, Head of Financial Services
The full Council Plan is also available on our website. If you would like further hard
copies or alternative versions (i.e. large print, audio, different language) please
contact the Council at:
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
How to get involved?
The Council encourages and welcomes community and partner organisation
involvement in all its work and there are various ways you can participate:
Working with ward Members
Involvement in the Overview and Scrutiny process
Attendance at Committees and Cabinet
Taking part in consultation activities.
Implementing joint projects.
For further details of how to get involved please contact Glyn Williams, Head of
Policy and Partnerships: firstname.lastname@example.org (01256 845794)