Delivering the Business Plan

Everything we do must support delivery of the activities, priorities and strategic outcomes in the Business Plan. If not, we must ask ourselves whether what we are doing is necessary.

Service Planning

The Business Plan has a key role in Service Planning. It creates a ‘golden thread’ from the Vision to individual Service Plans and performance management. High-level measures for each priority will show how success will be seen at a strategic outcome and priority level. Service Plans identify specific metrics for each activity or intention. The diagram below shows the relationship between the Business Plan, performance management and service planning.

Using the tools available to us

There are a wide range of strategies, tools and approaches that support and guide all that we do. This diagram shows the strategic context that we work in, and the key capacity and capability tools that should be used to design and deliver the most appropriate services – including finding ways for a service to be provided in the community.

Capacity and capability

County Vision

Our County Vision was launched on 16 May 2018. It is all about “improving lives” in Somerset.

Business Plan

Our Business Plan says what Somerset County Council will do to deliver the County Vision.

Service Plans

Each year our services create Service Plans. These show what each team will do to deliver the Business Plan and how they will manage their performance and budgets.

Work plans/appraisal objectives

Each member of staff has an annual appraisal to they agree with their manager what they will do in the coming year to deliver their team’s Service Plan.



Strategic context

Somerset Improving Lives Strategy

Originally known as the Health and Wellbeing Strategy, the Improving Lives Strategy will run until 2028 and has four strategic priorities:

  • A county infrastructure that drives productivity, supports economic prosperity and sustainable public services.
  • Safe, vibrant and well-balanced communities able to enjoy and benefit from the natural environment.
  • Fairer life chances and opportunity for all.
  • Improved health and wellbeing and more people living healthy and independent lives for longer.

After consultation the new Strategy will be approved by the Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board in late 2018.

This Strategy is being jointly developed by the County Council, Clinical Commissioning Group, health and care providers and local people. Due to be launched in autumn 2019, it will:

  • Improve the health and wellbeing of Somerset’s population and address health equalities.
  • Change the way services are commissioned and delivered, to provide higher quality care and ensure its long-term sustainability and affordability.
  • Address the financial challenges facing the health and social care system.

The Growth Plan sets out Somerset’s plans to promote growth and economic prosperity between now and 2030. It’s aims are:

  • A productive and innovative business community and economy.
  • A labour force with the skills that businesses need.
  • Infrastructure to support productivity and innovation.

This Strategy is designed to support people to be as independent as possible. This is better for them, their families and communities. For 2018-19 we are concentrating on improving outcomes for people, which means:

  • Maximising independence to support people to remain in their homes and communities, without formal social care support wherever possible.
  • Managing expectations and being realistic about what we can do and what we expect from individuals, families and communities.
  • Working differently with partners to support people to get the right level and type of support at the right time.
  • Asking staff to think and act in new and different ways.
  • Ensuring we have the right things in place to achieve our ambitions.

Children and Young People’s Plan

Our vision is for all Somerset children and young people to be safe, healthy, happy, ambitious and successful. We want them to:

  • Be treated fairly and have a voice in what matters to them.
  • Achieve economic independence and contribute to their community.
  • Learn well and develop skills for life.
  • Make healthy choices and develop resilience.
  • Be confident, ambitious and achieve success.

This Plan set out how we will deliver these aims.

Heart of the South West Productivity Strategy

With our partners in the Heart of the South West we have developed this Strategy to deliver stronger productivity growth. Our aims are:

  • Strong businesses that are amongst the most innovative and productive in their sector.
  • Businesses that have the right physical environment to thrive, are connected to markets and have space to grow.
  • A skilled workforce where talent is nurtured and developed.
  • To deliver our devolution ambitions and support the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

Statutory Requirements

LGInform maintain a searchable list of powers and duties of local authorities. County Council staff can access this information.

Registration may be required. Please note that the list is for guidance only and should not be considered exhaustive: for example it does not include Statutory Instruments.

People Strategy

Our People Strategy says how County Council staff will work together, and with our partners, to improve lives across Somerset. At the heart of the People Strategy are our desire to be ambitious, confident, and improving. We will achieve this by focusing on:

  • Leadership.
  • Communities and Partnerships.
  • Innovation and challenge.
  • Talent.
  • Health and happiness.
  • Culture.

Social Value

The Public Services (Social Value) Act came into force on 31 January 2013. It requires the public sector to think about how to secure wider social, economic and environmental benefits as well as financial value from our contracts.

Social value means asking the question: “If £1 is spent on the delivery of services, how can that same £1 also produce a wider benefit to the community?"



Capacity and Capability

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)

The JSNA describes the current and future health, care and wellbeing needs of Somerset’s population. This evidence is used by the County Council, Clinical Commissioning Group and partners to make decisions on the health, care and wellbeing needs of Somerset’s population.

The latest JSNA Annual Summary for 2017-18  has been used to develop the new Improving Lives Strategy .

Somerset County Council is committed to finding more efficient, effective and ambitious ways of working. We are therefore modernising our technology so we can be more agile, resilient and productive in all that we do.

Digital Strategy

The County Council will soon begin work on a new Digital Strategy so Council can understand the opportunities of digital technology to improve outcomes for Somerset.

Co-production toolkit

At Somerset County Council, we define co-production as: “A way of working where decision makers, customers, families, carers and services providers collaborate to create solutions which work for them all.” This means:

  • Doing things with people, not to them or for
  • Understanding that everybody has something equally valuable to offer.
  • Working together and using our combined skills, knowledge and experience.

Commissioning Gateway

The Commissioning Gateway is a new self-assessment tool designed to help the Council:

  • Improve the quality of commissioning and deliver better outcomes for our residents.
  • Help the Council manage its finances and avoid unnecessary spend.

It has been created to support our work and decision-making, and is aligned to the four stages of the commissioning cycle.

Asset Management Plan

The County Council’s Asset Management Plan sets out our strategy for managing all Council assets - not just property - in the best way possible to deliver services that are accessible, responsive and sustainable.

We are revising our Asset Management Plan now.

Medium Term Financial Strategy

The Medium Term Financial Plan describes the Council’s budget. It focuses on:

  • Revenue expenditure (day-to-day running costs of providing services).
  • Capital expenditure (long-term investment in infrastructure, like schools and roads).
  • Treasury management.
  • Setting out the Council's overall financial strategy.

Value for Money

Value for money is about delivering the strongest outcomes possible using the resources available. This means achieving the right balance between ‘cost, ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ by:

  • Spending less.
  • Spending well.
  • Spending wisely.

We are revising our Value for Money Strategy now.

Our Operating Model

Somerset County Council’s Operating Model explains what we mean when we say that the Council is a ‘commissioning-driven’ authority, why it is important, and how we will do it.

Read more about commissioning.

  • There are three pillars of commissioning:
    • Outcomes: focussing on achieving positive impacts for individuals and communities.
    • Co-production: working with people, partners and providers to find the best solutions.
    • System leadership: Working with other organisations, partners, individuals and communities to use all available resources, and never working in isolation.
  • It is a cyclical process where we continually analyse, plan, do and review.

Performance management is about:

  • Achieving the best outcomes for individuals and communities.
  • Taking action where something is not working as well as it could.
  • Being accountable and transparent.

The County Council operates a ‘Plan-Do-Review-Revise’ cycle for performance management. This means that at every level of the Council we are continuously working towards delivering our Vision and Business Plan within available budgets.

A new Performance Management Framework will be launched soon. The latest performance information is available on the Council website.

Market Position Statement

Somerset County Council’s draft Market Position Statement explains how we will create more informed and ‘joined-up’ relationships with markets so we can work better together.

By markets we mean voluntary, third sector or commercial providers who are deliver or provide services for or to the Council.

The draft Market Position Statement is being revised and will be available soon.

Business Intelligence

The Business Intelligence Team provides management information, intelligence and insight for commissioning and monitoring performance:

By understanding our area well, we are able to develop plans that respond to the challenges we face, and prioritise our work to deliver the strongest impacts.