Agenda item

One Exeter - Annual Review

To consider the report of the Deputy Chief Executive.





RECOMMENDED that Council note the progress with the programme.


Reason for Decision: As set out in the report.





The Executive received the report on the annual review of the One Exeter work programme and the plans for the next 12 months. The One Exeter work programme was initially agreed by Executive in February 2021 and aimed to deliver a fit for purpose organisation and meet the requirements of the Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP).  This report focusses on those elements of the work programme that aim to deliver a fit for purpose organisation. 


Members noted that significant work had been undertaken by the Strategic Management Board (SMB) and Operational Management Board (OMB) and the One Exeter team and also noted the involvement of the Trade Unions.  A Staff Sounding Board has also been established to give employees from every service a voice on the programme. The work had also included discussion and oversight from the Leader and Deputy Leader.


Particular reference was made to the work undertaken over the previous 12 months, which included:-


·        The formation of an employee wellbeing framework which was developed with staff, and informed by a recent staff survey. The frame work would be reported to SMB in February 2023.


·        A draft values and behaviours framework had been developed to reflect what staff feel is important for the organisation in the future. It is intended that the new framework will help to advance joined up and cross service working. The draft values and behaviours will be shared with Members.


·        Performance and development reviews were being introduced and will enable employees to reflect on their performance and how they have demonstrated the values and behaviours. 


·        Service reviews were undertaken to identify opportunities to deliver a fit for purpose organisation and identify a 15% budget reduction over the life of the Medium Term Financial Plan. Proposals identified for 2023/24 were included as part of the budget setting process.  The reviews have also identified potential proposals for subsequent financial years. 


Going forward, over the next four months there will be a focus on developing the customer access strategy to establish a vision for how the Council will interact with and support customers in the future.  The strategy will be presented to Members in due course.  Work was also being undertaken for an organisational re-structure, which was scheduled for April 2024


Councillor D. Moore, as an opposition group leader, spoke on this item. She welcomed the report and noted the large amount of work involved, welcoming staff involvement. She enquired about the customer access strategy and addressing the widening inequality in Exeter and how it would affect customer needs. The Leisure service review showed leisure services as being cost neutral, and she asked whether there was a timescale attached to this.  


The Leader advised that he would look at issues of widening inequalities but issues will be picked up as the work progressed.


During the discussion the following points were raised:-


·        Staff who have led and engaged with the programme were commended, particularly ahead of the Covid Pandemic, which allowed staff to work remotely and introduce hybrid options to continue dealing with the needs of the city; and

·        Services are being continually reviewed and change is difficult, however, staff have been positive with engaging with the process to help develop efficient systems and address implications of budget cuts.


In response to questions raised by Members, the Deputy Chief Executive advised that the Council would be working to create a new culture for how it interacts with customers but that there will be channels and support available for customers without access to online services or who have complex needs.  Work would be undertaken to improve accessibility of the Council website and customer insight would be used to test ideas and changes. 


RECOMMENDED that Council note the progress with the programme.


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