Corporate Peer Challenge 2017

Our Position Statement: Key points

Our key messages:

  • We have strong political and officer leadership that gives clear direction and focus – this has contributed to our achievements
  • We have defined our vision, priorities and ambitions for both the town and council
  • We understand the challenges and opportunities facing Watford. This includes: how the profile of our residents (diverse, young, often new to the town) impacts on what we are trying to achieve and how our role as the county’s major town and our location close to London means we face some specific challenges around housing, congestion and parking and community safety as well as opportunities around areas like the use of digital technology
  • We have some very effective partnerships with both the private and public sector and recognise that working in partnership is critical to achieving our ambitions. These include:
    •  the provision of services such as waste, recycling and street cleaning (Veolia), running our leisure centres (SLM)
    • delivery of our major projects (Kier Property and Watford Riverwell)
    • priority areas for the town (community safety partnership, cultural leaders for events, Watford Community Housing Trust for new housing initiatives)
    • lead authority service delivery model with Three Rivers for IT, HR, Finance and Revenues and Benefits
  • We manage our finances effectively and have made considerable savings (around £5million since 2010) and have plans in place to make the next phase of savings we need to achieve by 2020 including through our Watford 2020 transformation programme
  • We invest in our staff and celebrate success with them (Investors In People Gold employer, Star of the Month awards, We Make Watford awards).  We encourage our staff to be innovative and involved in changes that affect them (currently engaging through the Watford 2020 programme on how the council will transform over the next few years)

Areas of focus:

  • Place Shaping – how we are meeting the challenges and opportunities of planning for the future in terms of our major projects, plans for new homes, the infrastructure needed to support growth and around ensuring our communities remain strong, cohesive and can make a positive contribution to the life of the borough
  • Engagement – as our population grows and changes, how can we ensure they have the opportunities they need to get involved with the decisions that affect the borough and have their views heard – what could we do differently to engage more of our communities in local conversations. This will also involve working with our residents if services change and the way we interact with them  to understand their expectations.

For more information, please download and read our Position Statement in full.

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