I spent some time this afternoon at a “strategy workshop” at WDC. The object of the exercise was to help identify the key priorities that the council should be focussing on over the next few years.

You might ask “why have a strategy?” Shouldn’t the council just get on with its job? Up to a point, that’s true, and there are certain aspects of the council’s role that it has a statutory obligation to do and there’s no choice about it. But there are also many areas where the council has discretion over what to prioritise. Is it more important to spend money on parks and open spaces, or should we focus more on community involvement? There isn’t a simple answer to this that everyone will agree on.

Many of the council’s priorities are set by the government, while others reflect the demographics of the local area. And the opinions of local residents also have to be taken into account. Balancing all of these isn’t easy. Helping to make those decisions is what the strategy workshop was all about.

This is still in the early stages, so you won’t see any immediate changes from it. But, in the long term, it’s all part of making sure that the council does a good job of meeting the needs and desires of the people who live and work in the area.