Corporate Plan 2023-2027
Our priorities and approach
Based on the results of our Community Engagement with residents from across the borough, this Corporate Plan outlines five strategic priorities that will provide the focus for our activities over the next four years. As part of our ongoing commitment to work in a way that recognises the varying needs of our borough communities, we will tailor our approach to where needed, to make sure it is relevant and appropriate.
Delivering lasting benefits for our communities.
Delivering long-lasting benefits for our communities is what matters most. We will put sustainability and resilience at the centre of how we deliver our services, our major projects and how we work with communities, to help meet their varying needs. This requires taking a long-term view and making sure that the council invests its energy, skills and resources in the right way, to achieve our vision. As we continue to make progress, we must make sure that our plans are financially viable, and that we continuously develop as an organisation in order to deliver results in a complex environment.
Building upon the identity, strengths and ambitions of our communities.
Test Valley is a borough made up of many different communities, each with their own unique identity, strengths and challenges. We recognise how important this is to residents and the pride they have in their communities – both in terms of where they live, but also around shared interests and the many connections that bring people together. Creating opportunities to develop new connections where people feel welcome and are able to share their experiences, is important to local people and enables communities to thrive as vibrant places. Building on our track record of working with communities, we will continue to harness the skills and strengths that exist, so that people can contribute and play an active role in making things happen. This will be at the heart of how we work strategically as an organisation, enabling communities to influence our understanding of what matters, and providing a focus on how we can achieve the greatest impact through the resources we have available.
A greener borough for our communities.
The natural environment is for everyone to enjoy. This, and tackling climate change, really matters to the people of Test Valley.
We recognise that we have an important community leadership role to play, in supporting our communities to adapt to the challenges presented by climate change. We will take positive action to become a carbon neutral organisation as soon as possible through delivery of our Climate Emergency Action Plan. This will include creating opportunities to innovate in how we deliver our services – which will support more environmentally-friendly working practices, increase energy efficiency within our buildings and make the council’s vehicle fleet more eco-friendly. We will also enable residents to recycle a greater range of materials from the kerbside, including food waste.
We will work with communities and businesses to help Test Valley become a greener borough, to improve the quality of life for all our residents. We will open up opportunities for communities to play their part in this, by offering access to community funding, advice and support, for projects that will help them to decarbonise.
We will take opportunities to further invest in and nurture the natural environment and biodiversity across Test Valley, to enhance and protect our fantastic local environment. This will include delivering a new local nature strategy and continuing to invest in a network of accessible green spaces and facilities that everyone can enjoy – be it for nature, recreation and sport, and events – to improve the quality of life for residents both now and in the future.
Working together to create opportunities for our communities.
Working with communities in an inclusive way, that makes a real difference to people’s lives, is at the heart of supporting them to thrive. This means making sure that different perspectives, experiences and ideas can be heard and understood. Our approach is not about treating everyone the same, it is about making sure that access to opportunity celebrates the diversity within Test Valley. Inequalities can often be hidden. Enabling the lived experience of people to be shared, where their voices would otherwise go unheard, is a powerful force for good. This approach is central to our strategic decision-making in order to meet the needs of all our communities, both now and in the future. We will champion the needs of communities with a clear aim to deliver impactful outcomes for all. Access to future services will mean different things to different people, so we will bring an inclusive approach to service design and delivery as we continue to innovate. This will also play an important part in the renewal of our Equality Objectives. When working with our most vulnerable residents and dealing with complex issues such as tackling homelessness, isolation, and poor health, we will do this by working collaboratively with partners to tackle wider underlying inequalities that exist within communities.
Economic growth that impacts positively on our communities
In a borough where a range of economic opportunities and challenges exist, we will take an approach that is aligned to the current and future needs of the population, to make sure that the benefits of growth impact positively on all of our communities. Our focus will be to support economic growth and prosperity through securing the right land and infrastructure, at the right scale, to deliver homes, employment and connectivity, and enable communities to fulfil their aspirations.