How we plan our policies and priorities

To work effectively, East Sussex County Council needs a clear understanding of its future priorities and finances. We constantly analyse our business to make sure that we are focused on our key priorities and objectives with the resources we have.

How we plan for the future

Reconciling Policy, Performance and Resources (RPPR)

We use a process called RPPR to develop our plans and budgets together. It is our main tool to help the Council identify key policy priorities. The Council Plan summarises the agreed budget.

Identifying key priorities

All priorities are set in line with our four Priority Outcomes, and our operating principles.

Priority Outcomes

  • Driving sustainable economic growth
  • Keeping vulnerable people safe
  • Helping people help themselves
  • Making best use of resources

Operating principles

  • Strategic commissioning: using an evidence-based approach to assess and meet the needs of local people in the most effective way. We will specify and deliver appropriate services to secure the best outcomes and value for money for residents.
  • One Council: working as a single organisation both through the processes we use, and how we work. We will work in a well-connected way across Council teams so we harness all our energy and resources towards achieving our priorities and remove duplication. We will judge our success against outcomes for the whole population and the organisation (and whole local public sector) not against the interests of a particular group, team or department.
  • Strong partnerships: recognising we are one part of a wider system, we will work effectively with partners across East Sussex and the region as well as with the wider public sector to ensure we learn from others, secure best value for money and maximise impact for our residents.

The Council Plan

The Council Plan is our most important business planning tool. It sets out our priorities for the next three years with clear targets for achievement. We publish it by 1 April each year and it’s monitored quarterly:

How our priorities are reflected in the budget

As part of the RPPR process, we develop a medium-term financial plan which runs until 2022. We must make sure we have the money to meet our key priorities and objectives. To work out what money we need and what we have, we take the following information into account:

  • the amount of money we would need to provide services in the future in exactly the same way as now;
  • the cost of any new services that we must provide during the next financial year;
  • other financial risks and pressures (as a result of increased demand for services or an increased cost in delivering services); and
  • anticipated levels of money available to us to provide services.

We then prepare our budget and allocate money to individual services, so that the plan and budget can be agreed before the financial year starts on 1 April.