Corporate Strategy 2023-2028
Appendix: Demonstrating Sustainable Development Through Setting Well-being Objectives
The following section explains why the well-being objectives that we have set fit within the legislative framework of the Well-being of Future Generations Act. Welsh Government guidance (opens in a new tab) for public bodies for setting well-being objectives reiterates that we should publish a statement that addresses the headings listed in this appendix.
The Act sets both national well-being goals as well as defining ways of working which public bodies are expected to follow to ensure that they are fulfil requirements to carry out sustainable development. If you want further information about the WoFGA, then a good starting point is Welsh Government’s Essentials Guide (opens in a new tab).
The Council’s well-being objectives are the backbone for the Corporate Strategy and they summarise the priorities for the organisation for the next five years. These are derived from the Programme for Administration, agreed by Cabinet at its January 2023 meeting.
The Council is required to set well-being objectives under the Well-being of Future Generations Act as a ‘public body’ (a separate requirement from that as one of the partners in the Public Services Board). We are required to consult on draft well-being objectives. The Corporate Strategy is part of the Policy Framework and needs to be approved by Council.
Our last set of well-being objectives were last revised in September 2020 in the light of our initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the May 2022 Council elections, a new Programme for Administration, and the development of a new Pembrokeshire Public Services Board plan, it is time to develop new well-being objectives that reflect these.
We have considered a wide range of evidence when developing our new well-being objectives. We have also considered how the process of setting well-being objectives supports the integration of medium term service plans with financial planning.
- Corporate self-assessment of performance 2021-22 and its recommendations.
- Corp Governance Action Plan. See the rationale for setting our governance WBO.
- Medium Term Financial Plan.
- Key messages from performance against well-being objectives (see Measures).
Prior to consultation, the draft well-being objectives were shared with Cabinet as part of the discussions on finalising the 2023-2027 Programme for Administration. This consultation started just before Christmas via Have Your Say and closed on 27 January 2023 (see consultation results for more details). The draft WBOs were considered by Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its 19 January 2023 meeting. The Committee Chair noted that whilst he felt that the draft WBOs were appropriate and could deliver great benefit to the population their impact would depend on whether they could be delivered in the context of demand pressures and declining budgets. The Committee also noted that the consultation on PCC WBOs complemented rather than duplicated the WBOs developed by the Pembrokeshire Public Services Board.
The seven national goals
The Act states that the Council must undertake sustainable development, and as part of this must set and publish well-being objectives. Our well-being objectives must be designed to maximise our contribution to each of the seven national well-being goals. The diagram below shows these and how Welsh Government describes them. Welsh Government state that:
“Together they provide a shared vision for the public bodies listed in the act to work towards. They are a set of goals; the Act makes it clear the listed public bodies must work to achieve all of the goals, not just one or two”
Description of the national well-being goals:
- A prosperous Wales- An innovative, productive and low carbon society which recognises the limits of the global environment and therefore uses resources efficiently and proportionately (including acting on climate change); and which develops a skilled and well-educated population in an economy which generates wealth and provides employment opportunities, allowing people to take advantage of the wealth generated through securing decent work.
- A resilient Wales- A nation which maintains and enhances a biodiverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems that support social, economic and ecological resilience and the capacity to adapt to change (for example climate change).
- A healthier Wales- A society in which people’s physical and mental well-being is maximised and in which choices and behaviours that benefit future health are understood.
- A more equal Wales- A society that enables people to fulfil their potential no matter what their background or circumstances (including their socio economic background and circumstances).
- A Wales of cohesive communities- Attractive, viable, safe and well-connected communities.
- A Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language- A society that promotes and protects culture, heritage and the Welsh language, and which encourages people to participate in the arts, and sports and recreation.
- A globally responsible Wales- A nation which, when doing anything to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales, takes account of whether doing such a thing may make a positive contribution to global well-being.
Demonstrating our contribution to the seven national well-being goals
The Act states that we must publish a statement about our well-being objectives when they are published that explains why we consider that our well-being objectives will contribute to the achievement of the seven national well-being goals. As stated in the introduction to our well-being objectives the final three have an internal focus. These relate back to our self-assessment and its themes of: Strategy and Performance; Resource planning and management; Leadership, governance and culture; and Working with partners and customers.
To see which national well-being goals are related to each of our well-being objectives, please refer to the relevant well-being objective page.
The following gives greater detail and specific examples of how the seven national well-being goals contribute to our well-being objectives:
A1 - We will improve the provision of education and learning, equipping our learners with lifelong skills and knowledge they will need for the future.
- Prosperous- Improved education and learning will equip future generations with the skills they need to develop a low carbon economy in Pembrokeshire.
- Health- We have included a range of actions around developing whole school approaches to mental health and embedding out-door learning and play.
- Equal- Reducing the attainment gap for socio-economic disadvantage is the key objective for tackling poverty in the long term.
- Vibrant culture- We are investing in Welsh medium education and this is key to making our contribution to 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050.
- Globally responsible- Through our sustainable Communities for Learning Programme we are reducing the carbon footprint of schools – new build schools are not carbon zero.
A2- We will ensure the appropriate provision of care and support, focusing on prevention and ensuring vulnerable people are safe.
- Health- The pandemic (and on-going Operation Nightingale) has shown that social care plays a critical part in health and we have developed actions around their integration.
- Equal- Many social care customers share protected characteristics (age, disability) and social care plays a key part in making Pembrokeshire a more equal place and delivering on our strategic equality objectives.
- Cohesive- The Community Hub, originally set up in response to the pandemic underpins our work on prevention and social care. Housing adaptions enable people to remain within their communities as they become more frail.
A3- We will enable the delivery of affordable, available, adaptable and energy efficient homes.
- Prosperous- Our approach to housing will benefit the regeneration of town centres. The construction industry is an important sector in Pembrokeshire.
- Resilient- Our approach to housing will reduce its carbon footprint, not only through reduced energy use, but also by minimising water run-off. Some housing schemes are currently stalled due to under-investment in sewerage treatment works.
- Health- Good housing has makes a significant impact on people’s well-being.
- Equal- Actions on homelessness (socio-economic disadvantage) and supporting people to live independently (disabled people) will help achieve this goal.
- Cohesive- Increasing the supply of good quality affordable housing will make it easier for people to remain in the communities in which they live.
- Globally responsible- Domestic heating/lighting uses about a third of all electricity in the UK. Making all housing stock – public and private – is required in order to meet our climate change ambitions.
A4- We will deliver our economic ambition through supporting growth, jobs and prosperity and enable the transition to a more sustainable and greener economy.
- Prosperous- This WBO is focused on the prosperous well-being goal, and in particular, the transition to green energy.
- Resilient- This WBO includes actions around promoting the sustainability of Pembrokeshire’s tourism offer as well as links to agriculture.
- Equal- This WBO includes an action on supporting people to improve their resilience and life chances through gaining the critical vocational skills and qualifications. This is key to equality of opportunity.
- Cohesive- Our work on town centres will make these spaces attractive connecting communities from estates around them.
- Globally responsible- Our ambition is that Pembrokeshire should be the UK capital of green energy and contribute the development of clean technologies that reduce carbon.
A5- We will promote and support initiatives to deliver decarbonisation, manage climate adaptation and tackle the nature emergency.
- Resilient- We are one of the best, if not the best authority for recycling in Wales. We want to maintain this performance and invest in these services as well as meeting our duties under the Environment Act.
- Globally responsible- This WBOs is focused on reducing our impact on climate change. As Pembrokeshire has habitats that are of international importance, tackling the nature emergency on a local basis will have benefits over a much larger area.
A6- We will support our communities, maintaining positive relationships with them to help to build active, resourceful, connected, sustainable and creative communities.
- Cohesive- This Well-being Objective is focused on the cohesive communities national goal.
- Vibrant culture- Community groups are often interested in promoting cultural events, including Welsh language.
- Globally responsible- We have helped Ukrainian families settle in Pembrokeshire. Building good relationships between communities and people, regardless of the country they were born in is a key part of community cohesion.
A7- We will support the Welsh language within communities and through schools.
- Prosperous- The ability to speak Welsh will widen young people’s job prospects.
- Equal- Supporting the Welsh language through our communities and schools will address the geographic barrier (the Landsker line) that might otherwise limit Pembrokeshire people’s ability to learn Welsh.
- Cohesive- There is a policy on Welsh language in our Local Development Plan which impacts on how housing is developed. Welsh language and communities are inextricably linked.
- Vibrant culture- There is a very strong fit with this national goal– Welsh language is part of this national goal.
A8- We will focus resources on delivering core services such as highways, waste and recycling, public protection and leisure and culture that contribute to all communities’ quality of life, ensuring residents live in neighbourhoods that are clean, green, safe and active.
- Prosperous- Core services underpin the tourism economy as evidenced by the ‘brilliant basics’ identified in Pembrokeshire’s Destination Management Plan. Public protection maintains a level playing field for businesses.
- Resilient- The WBO will lead to a cleaner environment thus reducing stresses on bio-diversity.
- Health- Core services support people to incorporate physically activity into their everyday routine, promoting healthy lifestyles.
- Equal- Core services are often no/low cost so poverty is not a barrier to access. Evidence shows that as a result of the cost of living crisis people and families on low incomes rely on these services more.
- Cohesive- This WBO will result in safer environments; safer communities is one of the descriptors for the Cohesive national goal.
- Vibrant culture- This WBO includes support for cultural services such as libraries that increase people’s sense of well-being.
- Globally responsible- Waste and recycling services will reduce both the carbon footprint of Pembrokeshire as well as the demand on the Earth’s resources.
A9- We will develop a strategy to reduce poverty and inequality.
- Prosperous. This well-being objective aims to improve work prospects for all of Pembrokeshire’s communities. This in turn, will increase the availability of skilled labour for the local economy
- Health. Reducing inequalities tends to improve well-being. There is a sharp divide in healthy life expectancy and reducing poverty will, in the long term, reduce demand on health services
- Equal. This well-being objective has a clear fit to the Equal national goal.
- Cohesive- Inequalities can drive social tension and this well-being goal can help address the root cause. Affordable housing is part of reducing poverty and failing to address this risks people on low incomes being excluded from the communities in which they grew up.
B1- We will build a culture of good governance in the Council to enhance trust and confidence in our decision-making processes.
- Strategy and performance- Some improvement actions have been completed including the production of this plan, others require more work such as performance management which links to the Measures section of this Strategy.
- Leadership and governance- Improvement actions that still in progress and include developing a new working with Town and Community Councils and using the intelligence gleaned from Compliments, Concerns and Complaints.
- Working with partners and customers- Whilst the Corporate Governance Action Plan has been refreshed and re-focused, some actions are on-going.
B2- We will be a financially sustainable and resilient Council managing our resources and assets effectively and efficiently, for instance by reviewing and optimizing our corporate estate.
- Resource planning and management- Many improvement actions have been completed however longer term projects such as introducing rolling multi-year financial planning arrangements that link to corporate planning arrangements are referenced in this Strategy.
B3- We will enhance the development of our workforce, improving skills and opportunities as well as tackling issues of recruitment and retention.
- Resource planning and management- Examples of improvement actions that are still on-going include developing a workforce plan.
- Working with partners and customers- Examples of improvement actions include regional work on social care workforce planning.
Sustainable development principle and the five ways of working
The Act states that there are five things that public bodies need to think about to show that they have applied the sustainable development principle. Following these ways of working will help us work together better, avoid repeating past mistakes and tackle some of the long-term challenges we are facing.
The five ways of working and their descriptions are listed below. The guidance for well-being objectives puts particular stress on involvement, and more specifically how we have involved people with an interest in achieving the well-being goals. When we involve people we must reflect the diversity of Pembrokeshire’s population.
- Long term: the importance of balancing short-term needs with the need to safeguard the ability to also meet long-term needs.
- Prevention: how acting to prevent problems occurring or getting worse may help public bodies meet their objectives.
- Integration: considering how the public body’s well-being objectives may impact upon each of the well-being goals, on their other objectives, or on the objectives of other public bodies.
- Collaboration: acting in collaboration with any other person (or different parts of the body itself) that could help the body to meet its well-being objectives.
- Involvement: the importance of involving people with an interest in achieving the well-being goals, and ensuring that those people reflect the diversity of the area which the body serves.
Involvement is a key component of achieving sustainable development. Unless plans reflect the views and lived experiences of citizens, the Corporate Strategy is much less likely to achieve the outcomes we want.
The Corporate Strategy was developed towards the end of a period of extensive engagement and consultation by the Council and its partners on what the priorities for Pembrokeshire should be as well as the sorts of choices that public bodies should be making in response to budget pressures. The results and evidence of this work, such as the well-being assessment, the development of Pembrokeshire’s new well-being plan and budget priorities helped inform our well-being objectives.
Consultation on draft well-being objectives
We consulted on the draft well-being objectives in this plan via an on-line consultation (a self-completion response form and background information) via Have Your Say on the Council’s website in online and hard copy format from Thursday 15th December to Friday 27th January 2023. Information about the consultation was emailed directly to the 3,000 Have Your Say subscribers on Monday 9th January with a final reminder being sent on Thursday 26th January. A total of 21 responses were received.
The low response rate reflects the number of other consultations that needed to be undertaken at this time including the PSB Well-being Plan and a consultation on the Council’s budget. Analysis of the responses shows that two thirds were aged over 64 (about 25% of Pembrokeshire’s population are 65 or over) and two thirds were male. Although based on a very small sample, 14% respondents identified as being from an ethnic minority, much higher than the Pembs % of 2.4%.
|Agree (including strongly agree)
|Disagree (including strongly disagree)
|A2- Social care
|A5- Carbon zero
The results above show support for all the draft well-being objectives with the possible exception of Welsh language:
- Strong support for social care and education are core well-being objectives as well as all the internally focussed ones. Support was particularly strong for the WBO focusing on core services. This was reflected in the responses we received for our recent budget consultation.
- Support, albeit weaker for well-being Objectives, around poverty, communities, housing, economy and carbon neutral agenda.
- Limited support for inclusion of a well-being objective around the Welsh language with most people ambivalent about its inclusion.
A copy of the full consultation report on draft well-being objectives is included with the May 2023 Council papers. These results are consistent with other consultation exercises undertaken in late 2022 early 2023. Group discussions held as part of the PSB well-being objective consultations highlighted that public sector bodies need to help ensure that communities have the right skills to help themselves and to support communities to learn from one another (relates to A6 – Communities). Similarly, young people said there needed to be much greater awareness of climate change and what was already being done to tackle it, as well as a host of suggestions for further actions which could be taken. Many of the comments made in relation to the formal consultation or as part of group discussions agreed with the inclusion of a well-being objective around poverty with this being seen as a particularly pressing priority in light of the cost of living crisis.
Results from the consultation on the Council’s 2023-24 budget, which attracted 581 responses highlighted that people found cuts to core services such as, public transport, libraries, leisure, public toilets, and youth clubs least acceptable compared with other ways of finding savings.
Collaborative working is a strong feature of how this Strategy will be delivered and all of our well-being objectives will rely on working with other organisations in order to deliver outcomes. The regional and collaborative working section explains the architecture which is growing up to support formal collaboration. The following well-being objectives have a greater degree of collaborative working. For example:
- Economy well-being objective relies on collaborative working with major employers, Welsh and UK Government, training organisations as well as close cooperation between different Council departments eg social care.
- Education outcomes rely on working with and supporting governing bodies who run schools and are responsible for most education spending as well as Partneriaeth, the education improvement consortium.
- Social Care. Examples include Hywel Dda University Health Board, independent care sector providers, third sector organisation (especially through the Community Hub), and West Wales Care Partnership.
- Housing. Examples include Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Registered Social Landlords, Community Land Trusts, and private landlords.
Additional well-being objectives such as Welsh language, good governance, poverty and climate change reflect changes to the issues that the Council is facing (see long term trends). The inclusion of these new well-being objectives means that the Council’s direction is better aligned to these challenges.
The new well-being objectives also provide a good fit with the Pembrokeshire Public Service Board’s new well-being objectives (listed in our vision statement).
Preventative action is cost effective as it reduces the need for (usually far more expensive) action to address the symptoms of problems. Prevention is a key part of our approach to delivering social care and without effective preventative action social care costs are likely to rise to unsustainable levels. Educational attainment is often cited as the most effective preventative action to tackle the risk of poverty with services such as youth clubs providing additional support for more vulnerable young people.
Our well-being objectives are designed to respond to long term trends. Climate change is an obvious example. The impact of other changes is more subtle such as demographic change.
Our aging population will increase demand for social care and will also reduce the number of working people within our economy; tackling housing affordability is key to encourage more young people to remain or relocated to Pembrokeshire.
How each public body will govern itself to meet its well-being objectives
The well-being objectives are derived from the Programme for Administration thus ensuring a strong alignment with the political priorities of the organisation. The Council’s governance processes; Cabinet with decisions scrutinised and policy effectiveness overviewed by politically balanced committees is well-placed to maintain focus on the delivery of well-being objectives.
We have already commented on monitoring processes and how actions are embedded, through medium term service plans, into individuals’ performance plans in our performance management framework section.
How each public body will keep the steps it takes to meet its well-being objectives under review
The actions (or steps in the language of the Well-being of Future Generations Act) are listed under each well-being objectives. In this, higher level actions are underpinned by (often shorter term) subsidiary actions. Higher level actions are often commitments within the Programme for Administration and we anticipate these are less likely to change. By contrast subsidiary actions are likely to be reviewed more frequently, either because we expect them to be completed or because in order to maintain focus on outcomes, different sorts of actions are needed due to changes in the external environment.
Self-assessment and (panel assessment) process will be focussed on the actions to deliver our well-being objectives and our progress against them. As stated, the Corporate Strategy will maintain a five year focus, but will be reviewed annually with the evidence from the self-assessment being. The evidence base for the self-assessment will include customer and citizen perspectives which is helpful for judging progress against outcomes.
How each public body will ensure that resources, including financial, are allocated annually for the purpose of taking steps to meet its objectives
The main mechanisms we will ensure that well-being objectives are sufficiently resourced are through the medium term service planning process which links into the annual budget planning exercise for the forthcoming financial year and the creation of a live Medium Term Financial Plan.
Like all Councils, much of Pembrokeshire County Council’s revenue spending comes from external funding. In 2023-24, the Council plans to spend £262.0m original estimate net expenditure (£481.2m gross) whereas Council Tax, including the agreed 7.5% only raised £74.2m. Changes to external funding levels will have a significant impact on our ability to deliver well-being objectives. The impact on raising council tax levels was discussed in the impact assessment that accompanied the 2023-24 budget; Council Tax is a regressive tax and this is particularly significant in the context of a cost of living crisis.
We will be ambitious and we will identify new sources of funding for Pembrokeshire’s people. We also need to manage expectations; over the next five years we have to expect a continued real terms reduction in funding and this is likely to impact on our ability to deliver in some cases, or may necessitate rescheduling timescales.
When each public body expects to meet its well-being objectives
We have specified in the actions section within each well-being objective whether we consider actions are likely to be completed within the medium term or short term. The more ambitious and outcome focused the objective, the less certain we can be on timescales. The self-assessment will take these timescales into account when reporting on progress.
Comparison with previous well-being objectives
The following compares the Council’s current Well-being Objectives with the new well-being objectives in this plan. This demonstrates that there is continuity with the objectives set in the previous administration, but also that the objectives have broadened in ambition and scope in response to recovering from the pandemic and the increased focus on climate change.
- Our new Well-being Objective: “A1 - We will improve the provision of education and learning, equipping our learners with lifelong skills and knowledge they will need for the future” is equivalent to our previous well -being objective of “Pembrokeshire a great place to learn, live and grow”.
- Our new Well-being Objective: “A2- We will ensure the appropriate provision of care and support, focusing on prevention and ensuring vulnerable people are safe” is equivalent to our previous well-being objective of “We will do whatever we can to support people in leading the best life they can whilst focusing on prevention and ensuring vulnerable people are safe”.
- Our new Well-being Objective: “A3- We will enable the delivery of affordable, available, adaptable and energy efficient homes” is equivalent to our previous well-being objective of “Enable affordable, decent, and adaptable homes for all in sustainable locations”.
- Our new Well-being Objective: “A4- We will deliver our economic ambition through supporting growth, jobs and prosperity and enable the transition to a more sustainable and greener economy” is equivalent to our previous well-being objective of “We will work with partners to promote Pembrokeshire as a great place to visit, live and work”.
- Our new Well-being Objective: “A5- We will promote and support initiatives to deliver decarbonisation, manage climate adaptation and tackle the nature emergency” is equivalent to our previous well-being objective of “We will promote pride in Pembrokeshire seeking to enhance its reputation as a place for exceptional environmental quality”.
- Our new Well-being Objective: “A6- We will support our communities, maintaining positive relationships with them to help to build active, resourceful, connected, sustainable and creative communities” is equivalent to our previous well-being objective of “Relationship Transformation – creating, in consultation with our staff and external stakeholders, a new partnership”.
- Our new Well-being Objective: “A7- We will support the Welsh language within communities and through schools” has no equivalent previous well-being objective.
- Our new Well-being Objective: “A8- We will focus resources on delivering core services such as highways, waste and recycling, public protection and leisure and culture that contribute to all communities’ quality of life, ensuring residents live in neighbourhoods that are clean, green, safe and active” is equivalent to our previous well-being objective of “We will promote pride in Pembrokeshire seeking to enhance its reputation as a place for exceptional environmental quality”.
- Our new Well-being Objective: “A9- We will develop a strategy to reduce poverty and inequality” has no equivalent previous well-being objective.
- Our new Well-being Objective: “B1- We will build a culture of good governance in the Council to enhance trust and confidence in our decision-making processes” has no equivalent previous well-being objective.
- Our new well-being Objective: “B2- We will be a financially sustainable and resilient Council managing our resources and assets effectively and efficiently, for instance by reviewing and optimizing our corporate estate” is equivalent to our previous well-being objective of “Technological transformation – maximising our use of technology to enable business change, creating efficiencies, and enabling a more agile workforce”.
- Our new well-being Objective: “B3- We will enhance the development of our workforce, improving skills and opportunities as well as tackling issues of recruitment and retention” is equivalent to our previous well-being objective of “Cultural transformation - developing a culture that is aligned to a value based, not rules based, way of working”.