Integrated planning and reporting
All councils in NSW work within the framework specified in the Office of Local Government’s (OLG’s) Integrated Planning and Reporting (IP&R) Manual, which contains the broad timeframes for these planning processes.
The OLG has not yet communicated any changes to these timelines that might arise as a result of council mergers. However, the guidelines on Council Decision Making During Merger Proposal Period (PDF, 0.28MB) advise that “councils should continue to implement and operate in accordance with their adopted Community Strategic Plan, Delivery Program, Operational Plan and Resourcing Strategy”. With regard to annual reporting requirements, OLG guidelines specify that “annual reporting continue in accordance with the Act, and a report on the progress on implementation of the Community Strategic Plan should be presented at the final meeting of each of the outgoing councils.”
OLG will be issuing a range of guidance in relation to the IP&R impacts of elections and mergers in due course. This section of the toolkit will be updated when details are made available by OLG.
In the absence of any further details at this stage, councils working together could begin an initial analysis of the IP&R documents of each council. Early analysis of IP&R documents will help councils to document and express common values and begin to develop a cohesive vision and direction for a new council. The focus should be particularly on the Community Strategic Plan and, potentially, the Delivery Program. Councils may also begin thinking about a Community Engagement Strategy to support the development of a new Community Strategic Plan. This will be a key process for developing community ownership of a new council.
Stage 1 - Review
This section of the toolkit will be updated when details are made available by OLG.
Stage 2 - Plan
Stage 3 - Mobilise
Stage 4 - Implement