Issue - meetings

Qualis 4-Year Business Plan

Meeting: 18/12/2023 - Cabinet (Item 81)

81 Qualis 4-Year Business Plan - 2024 to 2028 pdf icon PDF 127 KB

(Finance and Economic Development – Cllr J Philip) To note comments from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, to consider and Approve the Qualis 4-Year Business Plan (C-034-2023-24).

Additional documents:


That the Cabinet noted the comments from Overview and Scrutiny Committee and approved the 4 Year Qualis Business Plan.


Councillor J Philip, Finance and Economic Development Portfolio Holder, reported that only a 1-Year Business Plan had been provided last year as longer-term planning had been especially difficult at that time due to huge economic uncertainty caused by national and international events. The 1-Year Business Plan was framed within the 4-Year Business Plan and Qualis was seeking the Council’s permission to adopt this as its direction and focus. The six key drivers for the Plan period were detailed in the report at 3.6. It was important to drive down debt to a more sustainable level. The Qualis Group Managing Director and Interim Finance Director were also attending the meeting to answer any questions.


Councillor Jon Whitehouse asked about the importance of the future pipeline development schemes and the risk if there were less pipeline schemes and similarly if there were more opportunities expected? Also, was recruitment retention a risk over the Business Plan period or any other risks? The Finance and Economic Development Portfolio Holder replied that if business deviated from the Business Plan work had been done to identify the risks, and if there were fewer schemes in the pipeline, there would be less borrowing and less profit and therefore, was reasonably challenging over the next four years. Recruitment and retention at Qualis were in line with what the Council expected. In addition, Brian Johnson had been appointed as the new Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Qualis Group Board. S Jevans, Group Managing Director and Executive Director continued that Qualis Solutions Ltd had an attractive recruitment approach. Councillor D Wixley added that this question had been asked at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 21 November and was available to view on the webcast. In reply to a query from Councillor Jon Whitehouse if we came in under the pipeline, the Portfolio Holder replied there were always unknowns, but he firmly stood behind the Business Plan and had confidence in it. The Risk Register was regularly reviewed by the Audit and Governance Committee and Qualis had their own scrutiny committee.


The report set out the options considered, if any, and the reasons for the recommendation and the decision.




That the Cabinet noted the comments from Overview and Scrutiny Committee and approved the 4 Year Qualis Business Plan.

Meeting: 21/11/2023 - Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 44)

44 Qualis Business Plan pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To consider and comment on the Qualis Business Plan.

Additional documents:


The Strategic Director and Section 151, A Small, introduced the 4 Year Business Plan.  Qualis provided a delivery vehicle for the Council’s place shaping ambitions, and advised that this was a milestone business plan, as this would move Qualis into income generation and provide a capital return to the organisation.  It was highlighted that the Council received the region of £2m/year from Qualis.


Qualis provided an overview of the business plan.



The Committee welcomed the 4-year business plan, the key achievements and the success of Qualis to date.


Councillor Heap challenged the impact of the macro-economic shocks in section 4 of the Business Plan, this was rebutted by Councillor Philip.


The Committee:

·         Received confirmation that all affordable homes were in line with the definition of affordable homes, the requirements of the Local Plan and viability applied to all developers.

·         Were advised that the potential for modular constructions had been considered at specific sites and would be kept under review.

·         Suggested that communication with the public relating to the benefits and long-term strategy associated with Qualis could be strengthened.

·         Were advised that contributions to the Council’s budget would continue and this would impact on the whole district.

·         Received confirmation that the initial delivery was on land owned by the Council, but it in the future there would be broader schemes that would still support the objectives of EFDC



The Committee considered and commended the Business Plan for consideration by Cabinet.