When we published our last Corporate Plan we had promised that it would make a significant and lasting difference to the people and communities of Denbighshire. Over the lifetime of that Corporate Plan we delivered over £200m of investment in improving our schools, leisure and library facilities, roads and flood defences. We achieved this while maintaining our position as one of the highest performing councils in Wales and protecting front-line services from the cuts to local authority budgets. We are now ready to turn that track record of delivery to our new Corporate Plan: ‘Working together for the future of Denbighshire’.
The overall ambition of this Plan is to ensure that Denbighshire is a place where residents and businesses are well connected and resilient; where young people have opportunities for affordable housing and acquire skills and jobs to lead successful and fulfilling lives and where we all enjoy an attractive and protected environment. Like the last plan, this Corporate Plan contains specific actions that will be delivered over five years but, perhaps even more importantly, these actions are designed to have an impact beyond the next five years with future generations in mind.
Fully implementing this plan would require an additional £135 million of investment. At a time of continuing reductions in budgets this is an ambitious amount, but we believe ambition is important. Our ability to attract funding, pool resources with partners and harness the capacity within our communities will give us a good chance of success.
We recognise that the council must work closely with our partners and wider community and that is why the priorities in this Corporate Plan have been directly derived from our County Conversation exercise and consultation with partners. Denbighshire strongly believes in developing a single public service culture, informed by strongly active communities. We will, therefore, actively look at regional and sub-regional solutions and establish a permanent ‘Citizens Panel’ which will play a key role in both monitoring and helping to steer the implementation of the plan.
Denbighshire, like all local authorities, will continue to face challenges, most notably reducing budgets. We will almost certainly have to take some difficult decisions, including possibly having to cut things that we would rather continue. But that will not stifle our vision of being an excellent council, working with our partners and communities to make a lasting difference for generations to come. This Corporate Plan aims to help achieve that ambition.
Hugh H Evans, OBE
Leader of the Council