What is a Strategic Community Plan?
A Strategic Community Plan outlines the community's long-term (10+ years) vision, values, aspirations and priorities, with reference to other local government plans, information and resourcing capabilities.
A Strategic Community Plan:
establishes the community's vision for the local government's future, including aspirations and service expectations;
drives the development of local government area/place/regional plans, resourcing and other informing strategies, e.g. workforce, asset management and services; and
will ultimately be a driver for all other planning.
The integration of asset, workforce and financial plans means the local government's resource capabilities are matched to their community's needs.
How was the community involved in the development of the 2013-2023 Strategic Community Plan?
Extensive community engagement was undertaken when the 2013-2023 Strategic Community Plan was developed. The Council engaged the community in the setting of a vision and identifying the priorities for the next ten years to the year 2023.
A series of precinct-based community workshops were held over April and May 2012. Feedback from these workshops covered:
In order to receive as much feedback as possible, the City undertook a number of engagement activities, as follows:
Following these workshops, a community conference was held in June to bring 45 people together to asses investment options and financial implications. This was an in-depth workshop utilising technology to record the participants' preferences.
Please refer to the document library for the community engagement results.
Why do we have a Strategic Community Plan and why is it being reviewed?
Having a Strategic Community Plan in place is part of the City’s fulfilment of the Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework, implemented by the State Government’s Local Government Reform Program. All local governments in Western Australia were required to implement this framework by 1 July 2013, as required under the Local Government Act 1995.
The first version of the City’s Strategic Community Plan, Nedlands 2013-2023, was adopted by Council at its meeting of 11 December 2012, coming into effect from 1 July 2013.
The Strategic Community Plan is a ten-year plan. However, it is not fixed for ten years – it would be long out of date by then. Rather, it is a “rolling” plan which is required to undergo a four-yearly major review with smaller reviews in-between.
The plan is continuously looking ahead, so each major review keeps a ten-year horizon. This is to ensure that the best decisions are made in the short to medium term.
How will the community feedback be analysed and incorporated into the development of the Nedlands 2027?
The City has appointed a Facilitator (Localise) to assist with the community engagement activities and the development of Nedlands 2027.
Localise also assisted the City with the community engagement facilitation and he development of the 2013-2023 Strategic Community Plan.
A framework is being developed where the results of the community engagement can be populated. The online activities are aligned with the Community Information Sessions and provide the community with an opportunity to participate whether attending a workshop, or not.
The analysis would identify the community's preferences in terms of vision and any adjustments to the strategic direction at the level of priorities, objectives or strategies.
This analysis would form the basis of presenting the findings and the implications to the City. A workshop with the Council is planned for September where the findings from the community engagement process and analysis will be presented for deliberation and response.
What is the vision?
The community first engaged with developing a vision and strategic direction in 2011. The results of that have been published previously. For the Strategic Community Plan, that vision was tested through the precinct workshops which led to some refinements. This vision is as follows:
“Our overall vision is of a diverse community where people can live through the different ages and stages of their lives.
We will have easy access to community ‘hubs’ where a mix of parks, shops, community and sporting facilities will bring people together, strengthening local relationships.
Our gardens, streets, parks and bushlands will be clean, green and tree-lined and we will live sustainably within the natural environment.
We will enjoy great transport systems and people will have access to local facilities through efficient cycling and walking facilities.
We will be an active, safe, inclusive community enjoying a high standard of local services and facilities.
We will live in a beautiful place.”
The Council considered the Community’s vision and responded by creating a vision that highlights the elements it will focus on, including its governance and civic leadership role. This vision guides the Strategic Community Plan. This vision is as follows:
"Our overall vision is of a harmonious community.
We will have easy access to quality health and educational facilities and lively local hubs consisting of parks, community and sporting facilities and shops where a mix of activities will bring people together, strengthening local relationships.
Our gardens, streets, parks will be well maintained, green and tree-lined and we will live sustainably within the natural environment.
We will work with neighbouring Councils and provide leadership to achieve an active, safe, inclusive community enjoying a high standard of local services and facilities.
We will live in a beautiful place.”
What information will be gathered and used for this review of the Strategic Community Plan?
A lot! Information will be gathered and used as part of this review activity from a variety of sources, including:
identified community well-being issues;
community feedback gathered from previous engagement activities relating to various City projects and engagement activities directly linked to this review;
identified social inclusion issues;
internal strategy and research on emerging trends;
demographics State/National legislation or policy that may impact on the City;
known State/National events that may impact on the City;
local area/place planning information;
changing external factors such as global events that may impact on Western Australia and the City’s community; and
previous Strategic Plans and reviews.
What role does the Strategic Community Plan play in Council decision-making?
These criteria show what Council takes into account when considering significant issues. They reflect the decision-making approach applied to developing this plan and will continue to be applied as it is implemented.
How well does it fit our strategic direction?
How well does the option fit with our vision and strategic priorities as identified in the Plan?
Are we ensuring an equitable distribution of benefits in the community?
Can we afford it?
How well does the option fit within our long term financial plan? What do we need to do to manage the costs over the lifecycle of the asset / project / service?
Does it involve a tolerable risk?
What level of risk is associated with the option? How can it be managed? Does the residual risk fit within our risk tolerance level?
What is the Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework?
The Western Australian Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework is shown in the following diagram:
The idea behind the framework is to ensure that the Council’s decisions take the community’s aspirations into account and deliver the best results possible with the available resources.
The Strategic Community Plan sets the scene for the whole framework – it expresses the community’s vision and priorities for the future and shows how the Council and community intend to make progress over a ten-year period.
Detailed implementation for the next four years is covered in a Corporate Business Plan. The Informing Strategies – particularly the Long Term Financial Plan, Asset Management Plans and Workforce Plan – show how the Plan will be managed and resourced.
The Annual Budget relates to that year’s “slice” of the Corporate Business Plan, with any necessary adjustments made through the Annual Budget process.
How does the Corporate Business Plan fit into this framework?
The Corporate Business Plan is an internal business planning tool that translates council priorities into operations within the resources available. The plan details the services, operations and projects a local government will deliver within a defined period. It also includes the processes for delivering these and the costs associated. An up-to-date Corporate Business Plan will also be developed as part of this review process.
The key difference is that a Strategic Community Plan will identify where we are, where want to be, and how do we get there, whereas a Corporate Business Plan activates this and breaks the strategic plan down into priorities that focus on achieving goals and services in the short term.
A Corporate Business Plan responds to:
How do Informing Strategies fit into this framework?
Informing Strategies (particularly Financial, Asset Management and Workforce) inform the local government of how capable it is to deliver the services and assets required by the community.
Issue specific Informing Strategies, such as the Waste Minimisation Strategy and Disability Access and Inclusion Plan, also assist the local government to deliver the services, assets and projects required by the community.
What does the framework achieve overall?
A successful integrated strategic planning process, which, at its most simple, will deliver the following outcomes:
ensures there is a long-term strategic plan that clearly links the community’s aspirations with the Council’s vision and long-term strategy.
ensures the local government has a Corporate Business Plan that integrates resourcing plans and specific council plans with the Strategic Plan.
ensures the Council has a clearly stated vision for the future viability of the whole City.