Agenda item

TVBC Corporate Plan - local priorities

Charlotte Starkie, Policy Manager, TVBC, to present details of the outcomes of deliberative engagement work from the corporate plan development process and reflect on what this might mean for communities in Test Valley.



Charlotte Starkie, Policy Manager, Test Valley Borough Council presented details of the outcomes of the deliberative engagement work from the Corporate Plan development process and reflected on what this might mean for communities in Test Valley.


Deliberative engagement is the process of delving deeper into issues, by posing several questions around why something has been highlighted from the lived experience of the residents of the Borough. It provides a greater understanding of people’s aspirations and needs and enabled the council to involve the residents of the Borough in helping to shape future policy.


The selection and recruitment process was carried out using various channels and social media and the selection was based on availability, gender, age, location, work status and other demographics that match the Borough residents. 


Four deliberative engagement workshops were held in November 2022 led by Involve who are international leaders in public participation.  There were 120 participants and 25 facilitators.  The outcome of those workshops resulted in 5 key principles that should be included in the decision making process and 12 themes based on adding value to support a thriving community. 


The five key principles were;


·  Sustainability (long lasting benefits)

·  Connection (between communities, people and places)

·  Inclusion (communities, partners, people)

·  Prosperity (positive economic growth)

·  Environment – natural and climate responsibilities)


The 12 themes that would add the most value to communities were;


·  Protect local wildlife and nature for the future

·  Support access to local green spaces and parks

·  Ensure local community facilities and affordable and accessible

·  Support central locations that bring community together and where people can meet

·  Build thriving communities so people want to stay living in the area

·  Create strong communities with a sense of belonging

·  Make the most of existing facilities, venues and spaces

·  Invite participation and involvement

·  Celebrate diversity and inclusivity

·  Support a cultural identity for people to take part in and appreciate as a community

·  Support volunteering

·  Support communication and connectedness


The five principles will be the golden thread that run through the strategic priorities of the council.

The strategic priorities will be place-based, where we recognize the different identities and needs within communities within the Borough and tailor our offer accordingly.

Specific actions are being considered and a draft Corporate Plan is being prepared ready for publication in April 2023.

In response to a number of questions Charlotte explained that Climate Emergency is at the top of the Council’s agenda and the Climate Emergency Action Plan sits alongside the Corporate Plan.  The next stage in the process will be to present the final Corporate Plan to Council in April where it will be adopted however the plan will not be launched until after the Elections in May.

During Covid the Council worked extremely closely with Unity and had an amazing success with volunteers however this has fallen off.  Charlotte reported that the Council and Unity are aware of the crisis in the voluntary sector and will look at ways to fill the gaps.

There is an issue with listed building and older buildings in villages when trying to make them more efficient.  Legislation encourages people to make their homes more efficient however the listed building legislation makes it difficult to make the changes. 

Charlotte explained that Councillor Matthews who was the Council’s Armed Forces Champion had resigned as a Borough Councillor and that the partnership group had agreed to carry on without a Chairman until after the Elections.

The Council are working with developers to ensure a mix of properties which includes social and affordable housing in rural areas.  Each area is different and the mix will depend on the needs of the community.  It was mentioned that at Southern Area Planning Committee it appears that a lot of villagers are against social and affordable housing in their community.