About the Corporate Plan

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Foreword and Introduction

The increasingly difficult and unprecedented financial environment that the council is operating in means that it is now necessary to revise our Corporate Plan for 2022 to 2027. This is a pragmatic step to reduce the administrative burden on already stretched council services across the board. It will help release capacity to support our new transformational agenda that will enable us to innovatively respond to the challenges ahead, improving performance and efficiency, whilst still ensuring that we can continue to deliver essential services to our residents and communities.

We remain committed to delivering our activity in a sustainable way for the long-term benefit of our communities and their future generations. This Plan meets both our aspirations and obligations under the Well-being of Future Generations Act and the Equality Act. It also captures our key performance functions for the purposes of The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021.

Although we are having to rationalise our ambitions, we remain aspirational, and the Plan is underpinned by our desire to work as ‘One Council’, where our diverse services are working together towards shared goals more effectively. We will continue to provide a focus on preventative actions that protect people from harm and address the challenges that our communities face, such as the cost-of-living crisis and the Climate Emergency, ensuring sustainable economic growth, promoting well-being, and quality of life. We still want to work collaboratively with our residents, communities, businesses, and partners to help shape the services we provide and the way in which we provide them in challenging times.

If you have any questions, or want to learn more about our Corporate Plan, please feel free to contact us or visit our website.

Councillor Jason McLellan, Leader of the Council

Jason McLellan

Graham H Boase, Chief Executive

Graham H Boase
Chief Executive

Developing this Plan

During the summer of 2021, residents in the county were asked about their long-term aspirations for their communities. We did this through our 'County Conversation' approach, a series of workshop discussions held with residents across the six areas of Denbighshire (Rhyl, Prestatyn, Elwy, Denbigh, Ruthin, and the Dee Valley), and an online survey (with hard copies available in all libraries and One Stop Shops). We also met with each of our secondary school councils. All the feedback that we received informed a larger Assessment of Local Well-being (external website), produced with our partners on the Public Services Board (external website). This has helped us to understand the current state of Well-being in our county and to identify necessary interventions to benefit future generations.

Having drafted a long-list of pledges for our Corporate Plan, we initiated a second phase of our County Conversation between January and March 2022, inviting feedback on the themes identified from the initial engagement and the Well-being Assessment. Feedback was also sought from colleagues from other organisations, including Health, North Wales Fire and Rescue, Natural Resources Wales and the third sector. During the spring, further workshops were held for Denbighshire County Council staff on an individual theme basis to start to plan the actions that we would deliver.

Following the election of the Council in May and further planning sessions with the new Cabinet and the Senior Leadership Team, a final phase of public engagement and meetings with political groups was held at the end of the Summer, 2022, to ‘sense-check’ our nine themes and pledges, which were subsequently adopted by Council in October of that year.

However, in light of the worsening financial context and budgetary position that became clear during 2023, discussions were again held with senior managers and councillors between January and February 2024 to rationalise the content of the Corporate Plan, focussing on those ambitions that remain important areas of improvement for our communities, and de-escalating the reporting of already embedded, operational activity. This has seen us move from nine themes to six.

Well-being Statement and Our Objectives

As described above, the Conwy and Denbighshire Well-being Assessment (external website), which examines data and the views of local people through the lens of the Well-being Goals for Wales, has supported the setting of our well-being objectives for Denbighshire. Our objectives, therefore, directly contribute to the achievement of the national goals. This gives us confidence that we are focusing our resources on delivering the right outcomes that will be of the greatest benefit to our communities.

The following are the council’s revised Well-being and Equality Objectives that will help to deliver sustained performance improvement across the council’s work from 2024 to 2027.

  1. A Denbighshire of quality housing that meets people’s needs
  2. A prosperous Denbighshire
  3. A healthier and happier, caring Denbighshire
  4. A learning and growing Denbighshire
  5. A greener Denbighshire
  6. A well-run, high performing council

Sustainable development, and applying the five ways of working to improve the economic, social, environmental, and cultural well-being of Wales, has been central to the work that we have done to identify our objectives and develop the actions that we will take forward in support of each theme in this plan.

⁃ Long-term: Having analysed past, current, and predicted future data trends, and also discussed long-term aspirations with our residents, we are confident that this plan will deliver long-term benefits for our communities.

⁃ Prevention: Looking at future trends, including risks and opportunities, has also enabled us to identify preventative steps that we can take now to prevent problems from getting worse in the future.

⁃ Involvement: Developing our Plan through Involvement has been a key driving principle. In addition to online consultation, we have invested significant time to holding focus groups discussions across the county, including with all secondary schools, and with staff. We endeavoured to make these groups representative (reflecting age, gender, social status, occupations, hard to reach groups, etc.).

⁃ Collaboration: Delivery of the objectives cannot be isolated to one service alone and will therefore require collaboration (within and outside of the council). We will form a collaborative working group for each of our objectives (nominating one senior officer and Cabinet Member as a lead for each themed area).

⁃ Integration: We have aligned our Plan with national programmes of work, such as the Programme for Government, as well as the work of our partners regionally and locally. As we take our activities forward, we will continue to evaluate the impact of our work on the goals of our partners and other organisations, and always look for opportunities where we can integrate and deliver greater benefits.

Although public bodies are not required to undertake response analysis, we will undertake this exercise as it will lead to better delivery. This will take the form of:

  1. Consideration of what is already being done in support of each objective.
  2. Consideration of good practice.
  3. Consideration of ‘gaps’ in service provision to be addressed.
  4. Consideration of overlaps with other organisational objectives, and opportunities to integrate.
  5. Consideration of opportunities to innovate (through new technologies or otherwise).
  6. Prioritisation of options for action according to a cost and benefit analysis.

Steps will be reviewed by our senior management, Cabinet, and Scrutiny. Our evaluation will assess the extent to which identified actions are being delivered; whether they are delivering their predicted benefits; and what (if any) corrective steps are required. These governance arrangements will be delivered within existing resources.

Details of our actions as they are developed, including timescales and progress, will be available on our Corporate Plan and performance web pages.

Financial Strategy

Our Corporate Plan for 2022 to 2027 did warn that the council was entering a very uncertain financial environment due to inflationary and demand pressures far exceeding the projected level of funding. Our fears that this may impact the availability of funding have been realised. The reach of our Corporate Plan has therefore had to be pared back to reflect the difficult financial circumstances facing the council. A robust budget process has been established in response to worsening budgetary pressures, and the council remains committed to delivering essential services. Much of what is contained in the Corporate Plan has already started, and will therefore have resources already identified to support delivery. Large commitments include flooding schemes and school buildings, for example.

What else we deliver

Our Corporate Plan captures a wide breadth of activities from across the council’s many varied services; however, it does not detail everything that we do. Many other statutory obligations and important activities, which may or may not contribute to our objectives, take place within the council, and are captured and monitored through the business plans of our individual service areas. These service business plans are the backbone of the council’s performance management arrangements. They are reviewed annually ahead of each financial year, and are signed off by the Head of Service and Lead Cabinet Member(s), with input from Scrutiny Link Members.

Performance against these plans are monitored on a quarterly basis by services. The council also carries out what it calls ‘Service Performance Challenges’, which is when senior managers, councillors, and our regulators (Audit Wales, Estyn, Care Inspectorate Wales), perform a deep-dive annually into the achievements and pressures faced by our services.

What's different in this version of the Plan?

Broadly we have reduced the number of Corporate Plan Themes from nine to six. This has been achieved by merging themes as follows:

  • A better Connected Denbighshire: Our pledges from this theme have largely been moved within the Prosperous Denbighshire Theme, mainly around supporting access to goods and services through a good road network and improved digital networks. Aspects to do with supporting social infrastructure and community networks are a natural fit within our Healthier and Happier, Caring Denbighshire Theme; and aspects around sustainable transport solutions and electric vehicles work well within our Greener Denbighshire Theme.
  • A fairer, safe, and more equal Denbighshire: Aspects of this theme are closely aligned within our social care agenda, which is well covered by our Healthier and Happier, Caring Denbighshire Theme, particularly around alleviating the impact of poverty, and the support we provide for refugees. There are also a number of pledges dedicated to tackling poverty and inequality within education that sit naturally with our Learning and Growing Denbighshire Theme. Ensuring the voices of those from seldom heard groups inform our decision-making sits best within the Well-run, High Performing Council Theme. Although dispersing this theme may feel like a step-back, in reality, having it as an overarching principle within the Corporate Plan should elevate this agenda to have greater influence on our work, and allow the Lead Member to be more prevalent in discussions shaping the other themes.
  • A Denbighshire of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language: Elements of this theme relating to promoting our cultural offer have been moved within our Prosperous Denbighshire Themes, as there are good synergies to be made there with our Economic Strategy. Our work to support the realisation of one million Welsh Speakers in Wales by 2050 would also be better integrated within our Healthier and Happier, Caring Denbighshire Theme, our Learning and Growing Denbighshire Theme, but also within the Well-run, High Performing Council Theme. As above, although dispersing this theme may feel like a step-back, in reality, having it as an overarching principle within the Corporate Plan should elevate this agenda to have greater influence on our work, and allow the Lead Member to be more prevalent in discussions shaping the other themes.

These changes alone, however, do not address the resource pressures that the council is facing. It has also been necessary for us to apply a more scrutinising eye to some of the pledges that we had agreed to take forward, to take stock of our progress so far, and to assess our ambition in light of reducing resources. This is not to say that we are cutting services as a result of these changes, but rather that we cannot take things as far as our ambition would have originally liked. Any reductions to service delivery will be considered in greater detail by managers and councillors as we take our budget planning forward in the months and years ahead.

The six themes that are outlined in the following pages should present less of an administrative burden for the council going forward, whilst still holding the authority to account as to things that it will deliver to improve the well-being of our residents.

Contact us

For more information, or to let us know what you think about anything in this plan, contact us:

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau ffôn yn Gymraeg / We welcome telephone calls in Welsh.

By post:

Strategic Planning and Performance Team,
Denbighshire County Council,
PO Box 62,
LL15 9AZ

We welcome correspondence in Welsh. There will be no delay in responding to correspondence received in Welsh.

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