Values are defined as what residents collectively care about their desired future. These are not necessarily operational values such as efficiency and responsibility. These form the basis of how the Council works, but not what it works for. There is also a stark difference between goals and values. For example, a culturally rich and vibrant community may be a goal, but the value that underpins this goal is cultural richness and vibrancy.
There are some shared values among all councils, but collective values can vary differently dependent on history, existing practices, assets, resources and challenges. It is important to consider the context of the council area when defining values. Some values are impelled my legislation. For example, the Victorian Local Government Act 1989 impels councils ‘to improve the overall quality of life of people in the local community’. It can be assumed, therefore, that all councils in Victoria share a value around the (good) quality of life of their residents.
Action Step 1: Identify and reflect on values that underpin your Council Plan
The first Action Step is identification of values that are usually implicit, but sometimes stated, in your Council Plan. For examples, see the values that underpin the five policy domains listed here.
Question for Cultural Development Planner: What values about a desired future for your community underpin your Council Plan?
List these values as the first step in your plan.
If values in your Council Plan are not clear: Values may not be clear in a Council Plan, and will often be implicit; not specifically stated. Where this is the case, cultural development planners will need to interpret the Council Plan to articulate the values that will inform their work. On an earlier page about policy domains, we have articulated values from goals such as culturally rich and vibrant communities. The values that underpin the desire for a culturally rich and vibrant community are of cultural richness and vibrancy. Documentation from values-determining exercises such as community consultation will be useful to help identify your Council’s values where they are not clear.