When should plans be written?

We recommend that Cultural Development Plans are created and executed in synch with the regular planning cycle for the LGA, for the most effective work and greatest chance of integration with the activities of other areas of council. This will ensure that activities of Cultural Development departments are better valued, understood and prioritised equally with other areas of activity.

Council elections occur in a regular cycle (which in Victoria is every four years) after which a new Council Plan is developed. Councils’ community consultation usually happens at the time of council elections, with councils charged to understand the desired future of their communities and represent this in their plans. Cultural development planners therefore should pay attention to the findings of council’s consultations as represented in Council Plans, and respond to those in their Cultural Development Plans.

This Framework enables a relatively efficient and speedy process, to enable new Cultural Development Plans to be developed and in action within months of the publication of the Council Plan.

The following schema is recommended as an ideal timeline for integrated planning, with Cultural Development Plans being timed to match overall council planning cycles. Figure 1 below shows an example from Victoria of the timing of council elections, production of Council Plans, and other plans including Municipal Public Heath and Wellbeing Plans, and the Cultural Development Plan.

Figure 1: Sample integrated planning schedule for Victorian councils