Corporate Plan

Foreword from the Leader of the Council

Our corporate plan for 2023 to 2027 sets out the council’s focus for the next four years, what we aim to deliver for our residents, businesses and millions of visitors, and how we will look to transform as an organisation.

As a council we continue to face significant challenges to remain financially stable and resilient for the future. Demand for social care services for adults, children and the most vulnerable, continues to rise and cost pressures are increasing weekly, with UK inflation remaining at high levels. This situation isn’t unique to Southend-on-Sea. Like many councils across the country, we will be required to be brave and make difficult financial decisions, transform services and lead the council through these challenging times. Councillors and officers will work closely together to find a better, more cost-effective way forward. We will also continue to listen to residents and businesses, as we work to do things differently as a council and work alongside our stakeholders, including central Government, MPs, neighbouring councils and local partnerships.

Southend-on-Sea has much going for it, but some areas of our city face serious inequality and deprivation. Nearly four in every ten residents live in what are considered to be some of most deprived areas of the country. This needs to change. Together, we need to give people in these areas skills and confidence and ensure we create good quality local jobs for local people. We will work with our partners to deliver a vision for the city focused on aspiration, wealth creation and creating an environment for success.

We will also engage our partners to deliver genuinely integrated care and support and achieve improved health and social care outcomes for our residents. In addition, we will maintain a clean and safe environment for our residents and visitors and do our bit to enable the roll-out of digital infrastructure in the city, to ensure that growing internet demand from businesses and residents is met and we remain an attractive area to invest in.

In October 2022, we asked the Local Government Association to come in and help us address issues and challenge our progress across key areas. Feedback told us that we are very self-aware and have huge potential. There are many positives within the council and the city, including the strong community ethos and sound financial management, but our approach to leadership, governance and decision making is impacting progress. One of the actions we are exploring in response to recommendations from the Local Government Association is the opportunity to consider changing our election cycle to whole council elections every four years. There is potential to implement this with the proposed boundary review of Southend-on-Sea wards.

We are under no illusions about the scale of the challenges we face. Difficult decisions must be taken around what services to fund with the limited money we have available, balanced against a need for people to pay a bit more for services. While these decisions will be difficult, they will enable us to embrace opportunities, ensure long-term financial sustainability for the council, address the inequalities and disparities that exist across the city’s neighbourhoods and create the opportunities for our communities and residents.

Thank you to everyone who makes this work possible. We are grateful to our councillors and employees and also to our partners and stakeholders. We look forward to continuing to work together to achieve our strategic priorities.

Councillor Tony Cox, Leader of the Council

Rob Tinlin, Interim Chief Executive

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