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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 24 February, 2014

 

Report of the Leader

 

Quarter 3 Performance Report 2013/14

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To present performance results for quarter 3, 1st April - 31st December, 2013.

Recommendations

1.         That cabinet note service performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address service underperformance.

2.         That cabinet note progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-17 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2013/14.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure the council is effectively assessing its performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement outlined in the Local Government Measure (Wales) 2009.

2.         To consider the quarter 3 performance results as at 31st December 2013 in order to identify service areas for improvement work.

Background

2.         Service plans for 2013/14 focus on the achievement of key objectives within each directorate which will in turn contribute towards the achievement of corporate plan and improvement plan outcomes.

3.         Quarterly performance reports reflect 2013/14 service plans and are designed to ensure the council reports performance in the context of progress against its objectives. 

4.         Service performance against key outcomes and objectives is monitored via Ffynnon.

5.         Quarter 3 performance reports are structured as follows:

·               An overview provides a snapshot of each directorate's progress towards achieving the objectives contributing towards its service outcomes. It highlights progress towards key actions in the Corporate Plan 2013-17 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2013/14 for which the directorate has lead responsibility. This section will also include Outcome Agreements once they are agreed with Welsh Government.  Examples of exceptional performance during the quarter are highlighted as are key areas of slippage and the planned remedial action to bring these back on track.

·               A brief evaluation is provided of each service outcome outlining overall progress (including actions and performance measures) towards achievement.

·               Detailed progress is reported for each service objective looking at all actions broken down into completed, on track, slipped and not started actions. Progress is provided for all performance indicators using the traffic light system (red, amber and green).  A 'red' status relates to measures that have missed target by more than 10%; 'amber' relates to performance within 10% of target and 'green' to performance that is on or has exceeded target.)  All areas of underperformance identified include a reason for the poor performance and proposed remedial actions.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         Overall, the council is well on course to achieve its priorities as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-17 with 84% (153) of actions either completed or on track to be completed, 14% have slipped (25), and 2% (3) have not been started. This performance mirrors that reported in the previous quarter because although an additional 4 actions commenced during quarter 3, they were reported as slipped.

7.         The priorities outlined in the council's Improvement Plan Part 1 (2013/14), are on track to be achieved with 23 actions (74%) reported as either completed or on track to be completed although 8 actions (26%) have slipped.  In comparison, in the previous quarter, 87% (27) actions were reported as completed or on track to be completed and 4 actions (13%) had slipped.  Slippage was reported in an additional 4 actions this quarter increasing the number from 4 to 8.

8.         A draft Outcome Agreement for 2013-16 is currently being negotiated with Welsh Government.  Progress against achievement of agreed actions and measures for 2013/14 will be reported once agreed.

9.         Generally, appropriate remedial action has been proposed by services in order to ensure identified underperformance is addressed.  A detailed report of the council's overall performance by directorate for quarter 3 of 2013/14 is provided in Appendix 1, a copy of which is provided in the Members room and on the Councils website.  Key performance results are highlighted below.

Corporate and Customer Services

10.      Overall, the department is on course to achieve the objectives contributing to its service outcomes, with 71% of actions currently either completed or on track. Performance reported in the previous quarter was 67%.  Of 15 corporate plan actions within its service plan, 80% (12) are either completed or on track to be completed, 2 have slipped and 1 has not been started.  Performance reported against corporate plan actions in the previous quarter was 74%.  60% (3) of our improvement objective actions are either complete or on track for completion and 2 have slipped. In the previous quarter, all 5 actions were reported as either completed or on track.

11.      Of 13 performance indicators, 3 have met or exceeded target, 1 is within 10% of the target set, 3 have missed target by more than 10%; 4 PIs are new so have no set target and data for 2 PIs were unavailable.  In comparison 2 indicators met or exceeded target and 4 missed target by more than 10% at quarter 2.

12.      In terms of notable performance during the quarter, funding of £1.2m was achieved from the Outcome Agreement 2010-13 with Welsh Government.  The new website has been launched with access software called 'Browsealoud', which enables users with sight or literacy issues to highlight text which the computer reads aloud. The website has been ranked by Sitemorse as number 2 in Wales and 11th in the UK for accessibility.  A new charter with Town and Community Councils has been agreed which has led to improved working relationships between the Vale and town and community councils. 

13.      In relation to slippage reported, the development of self service facilities on the website [CC01/A006 (CP/CL3)] will resume following final implementation of the CMS and cabinet approval of the, 'Connecting with our Customers Strategy' and it is anticipated that all work planned for 2013/14 will be completed by the end of the financial year.  A new hate crime protocol has been agreed [CC04/A036 (CP/CL9)]. We are awaiting confirmation from the police that reports can be input directly onto the system by Safer Vale staff.  Promotion of the help line will then commence.

14.      In relation to engagement and consultation with groups with protected characteristics and the disengaged [CC04/A039 (CP/CL9)], the effectiveness of guidance will be evaluated once in place. A new Public Engagement Framework has been approved by CMT and is due to be endorsed by cabinet before the end of the financial year. A comprehensive consultation calendar showing all consultation projects and events across the Vale is being developed, but is unlikely to be completed before the end of the financial year. Work will continue into the next financial year [CC07/A050 (IO/06)].

15.      Work to refine the Public Opinion Survey is in progress. However, it is unlikely that the survey will be agreed and run until the new financial year [CC07/A052 (IO/06)].

Resources

16.      Overall the department is well on track to achieve the objectives contributing to its service outcomes, with 86% of actions either completed or on track.  Performance reported at Q2 was 83%.  Of corporate plan actions, 88% (7) are either completed or on track for completion and 1 has slipped.  Similar performance was reported at quarter 2. The 1 action contributing to the improvement objectives was completed in quarter 2.

17.      Of 15 performance indicators, 11 have met or exceeded target, 1 was within 10% of target, and 1 missed target by more than 10%. 1 indicator did not have a target set and data was not available for 1 indicator.  Apart from data being unavailable for 1 indicator, this performance mirrors that reported by the service in the previous quarter.

18.      In terms of notable performance during the quarter, the service has achieved Public Services Network (PSN) accreditation in compliance with information security standards.  

19.      Remedial action has been identified by the service to address all areas of slippage reported. A report will be considered by CMT during January 2014 detailing breakdown of energy usage by directorates contributing towards meeting our corporate energy management commitments with respect to carbon reduction [RS01/A007 (CP/E3)].  The review of the early retirement/redundancy scheme and approach to voluntary severance [RS02/A017] will be completed in quarter 4 following discussions with Trade Unions.

20.      In relation to meeting WG requirements for procurement [RS04/A014], the council has participated in a WG fitness check and is currently awaiting the outcome. Work relating to the proposed Single Fraud Investigation Service [RS07/A062] is being managed by the DWP in accordance with their timeframes which have been extended in order to finalise their business case. Progress was reported to Audit Committee on 26th November 2013.

Visible Services

21.      Visible Services is on track to achieve the objectives contributing to its service outcomes, with 54% of actions currently either completed or on track. The service reported an overall performance of 56% in the previous quarter. Of the 12 corporate plan actions 67% (8) have either been completed or are on track to be completed, 3 have slipped and 1 has not been started. Performance reported at quarter 2 in relation to the corporate plan was 75%. Of the 7 improvement objective actions in its plan, 57% (4) are either completed or on track for completion and 3 have slipped. This performance remains the same as that reported at quarter's 1 and 2.

22.      Of 14 performance indicators, 6 have either met or exceeded target, 2 are within  10% of target and 3 have missed target by more than 10%.  Data was unavailable for 2 indicators. 1 PI did not have a target set as it was new for this financial year. Performance reported in quarter 2 showed 11 PIs having either met or exceeded target and 1 within 10% of target.

23.      No exceptional performance was reported by the service for quarter 3.

24.      Progress in procuring a regional interim contract with Viridor prior to commencement of Prosiect Gwyrdd (PG) in 2016 [VS01/A013 (IO/01)], is dependant on completion of the main procurement which has now reached 'financial close'. It will therefore be possible to progress this action in quarter 4.  We are currently awaiting the Welsh Government (WG) waste preventer guidance which will help us work towards the non-statutory 1.2% target for reduction on annual waste generation [VS01/A014 (IO/01)]. An update was provided to Committee in December in relation to the reduction of fly tipping, litter, dog fouling and graffiti [VS03/A024 (CP/E2)], however this work is ongoing.

25.      A Principal Engineer (Coastal and Flood Risk Management) has been appointed and a review of organisational structures in underway. An additional 2 Engineering Assistants are being recruited which will help ensure a council wide coordinated approach to flooding and drainage matters [VS03/A026 (IO/07)].

26.      Implementation of the Allotments Strategy action plan will now begin in the new financial year. A report will be presented to cabinet before April detailing an action plan up to the 2016/17 period [VS06/A046 (CP/E12)].

27.      Funding is currently unavailable to enable the service to achieve Green Flag status for any parks consequently this action will be reviewed as part of the 2014/15 service planning process [V06/A051 (CP/E10)].  Implementation of the Tree Management Strategy action [VS06/A049 (CP/E9)] has not started due to lack of resources and increased demand on the service. This action will be reviewed as part of the 2014/15 service planning process.

Social Services

28.      The Social Services directorate is on track to achieve the objectives contributing to its service outcomes, with 94% of actions currently either completed or on track. Performance reported at Q2 was 92%.  Of 19 corporate plan actions, 100% are on track for completion. There are 3 actions relating to improvement objectives, 2 of which are completed with the other on track. This performance mirrors progress reported in quarter 2.

29.      Of 54 performance indicators, 32 have met or exceeded target, 9 are with 10% of target, 4 have missed target by more than 10%, 5 are new indicators so do not have a target set. 1 does not have a RAG status as it is an Education related indicator which is academic and this data was unavailable for one PI. Data was not provided for a further 3 PIs. In comparison, in the previous quarter, data was provided for all PIs with the service reporting 38 of PIs having met or exceeded target, 6 within 10% of target and 3 missing respective targets by more than 10%.

30.      In terms of notable performance, the full co-location of reablement home carers with health care rehabilitation workers is planned for the middle of February. This is a significant step in delivering community based health and social care services [SS02/A006, SS03/A008 & SS03/A009].  There has been significant improvement at quarter 3 in the rate of delayed transfers of care for social reasons (over 75’s) when compared with quarters 1 and 2 [SCA001].  Quarter 3 has seen performance indicators for carers assessment [SCA018a, b and c] all reach 100%.

31.      In relation to slippage, work to finalise a S33 agreement and governance arrangements for the service [SS05/A016b] has not progressed and the action will need to be reviewed as the Social Services Bill is likely to provide further assistance to facilitate formal agreements between partners. The pursuance of an S33 agreement remains on hold. Governance arrangements for the service have already been clarified.

32.      The review of existing internal and block purchased services continues to evidence existing demand and the need to reconsider existing arrangements in respect of spot purchase agreements [SS09/A039]. Talks continue to be held with a number of providers regarding movements to block rather than spot arrangements. It is not currently cost beneficial for the authority to do so and as previously reported will need to be investigated further. The work to implement a brokerage hub for care home placements with Cardiff and Vale UHB and Cardiff Council is due to be progressed in the final quarter of this financial year [SS10/A043].

Housing Services

33.      Housing Services is generally on track to achieve the objectives contributing to its service outcomes, with  65% of actions currently either completed or on track. The service reported an overall performance of 62% in quarter 2. Of the 32 corporate plan actions in the service plan, 69% (22) are either completed or on track, 9 have slipped and 1 has not been started.  Progress reported against corporate plan actions in the previous quarter was 63%. The service has no improvement objective actions for 2013/14.

34.      Of 12 performance indicators, 4 have met or exceeded target, 2 are within 10% of target, 2 missed target by more than 10% and 4 are new so have no target set. This mirrors performance reported in quarter 2.

35.      In terms of exceptional performance, the use of bed and breakfast has once again been limited to one individual. This commitment to using other forms of temporary accommodation has had a significant financial benefit for the Council in terms of the general fund but more importantly, more appropriate forms of accommodation have been used for those in housing need.  As of the 16 January 2014 the individual that had been using bed and breakfast was found suitable alternative accommodation so currently the Vale’s Homeless team has no one in bed and breakfast accommodation.

36.      The lean principle adopted in managing empty properties from the ‘keys in’ stage to the ‘keys out’ stage continues to improve. The number of lettable empty properties (excluding those empties that are classed as ‘hard to treat’ or suspended lets) has halved since April 2013. The time associated with letting the ‘lettable’ empties from keys in to keys out has also halved. Feasibility work is currently being undertaken on a number of the ‘hard to treat’ empties to see if it is feasible to bring these back into use.

37.      In relation to welfare benefit changes, the Income Team continues to keep rent arrears down to a very low rate.  A robust process coupled with good money management advice is ensuring tenants affected by the bedroom tax are supported at an early stage. Money advisors are on hand to aid tenants that get into difficulties with support and advice.

38.      Our Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) programme is being delivered to time and to budget. To date 43% of the internal work has been completed in tenants’ homes. The external programme will commence in 2014/15. Tenant satisfaction in relation to WHQS work continues to improve across the entire contractor framework with Building Services receiving the highest level of satisfaction in terms of the process and completed work.

39.      The service has identified remedial actions to address reported slippage during the quarter. In relation to development of a Housing Solutions service [HS01/A003 (CP/H9)], officers have met with WG to discuss delivery of a Solutions service and a decision is awaited on whether funding will be provided to undertake a feasibility study around the development of an advice HUB.  Work continues on the feasibility study for the provision of an older people’s village [HS02/A016 (CP/H2)]. Progress is being made in the production of an Older Persons Accommodation Strategy working with Care and Housing representatives as part of a sub group to oversee and provide data evidence to inform the strategy.

40.      As reported in the previous quarter, the review of the current OHMS housing management system remains on hold [HS05/A027 (CP/H13)]. The group is currently concentrating on maintenance and building services projects; although a plan for keystone training has now been agreed.

41.      The role of Tenant Engagement Associates (TEAs) is being reviewed in order to improve links with community groups, other council services and partners [HS06/A055 (CP/H12)]. To date, discussions have taken place at tenant forum and working group meetings to inform the review.  The establishment of a formal rural tenants group has now slipped into 2014/15 [HS06/A049 (CP/H12)].  Work is still ongoing to identify a suitable location for the Resource Centre [HS06/A046 (CP/H12)]. This will now be considered as part of the Tenant Engagement Strategy.

42.      Our tenants have also shown interest in visiting other Registered Social Landlords and are keen to identify best practice [HS06/A054 (CP/H12). Tenants are currently awaiting a date for their visit. All young people are due to be contacted asking them how they would like to be involved in making Tenant Choices [HS06/A050 (CP/H12)]. A number of opportunities and incentives are planned.  A report identifying under-represented groups has been delayed, but is due to go to Committee in February [HS06/A053 (CP/H12)].

43.      Welsh Government guidance is still awaited in order to establish an Accreditation Procedure for all Supporting People services where funding transfers to the authority [HS07/A061 (CP/H10)]. In April, a WG consultation was launched on such a procedure however due to adverse comments received regarding its complexity, WG is now devising a new process. The council has no control over this action and to date no estimated date of completion has been provided by WG.

Development Services

44.      The service is on track to achieve the objectives contributing to its service outcomes, with 78 % of actions currently either completed or on track. Performance reported in the previous quarter was 91%. Of 44 corporate plan actions in the service plan, 93% (41) are either completed or on track for completion and 3 have slipped. This mirrors performance reported in the previous quarter. There are 3 actions relating to the improvement objectives and 2 are on track for completion and 1 has slipped. The same performance was reported in quarter 2.

45.      Of 43 performance indicators, 18 have met or exceeded target, 3 were within 10% of target and 4 have missed target by more than 10%.  12 indicators are new and have no targets set. Data was unavailable for 5 indicators and one PI is no longer relevant due to changes in WG guidance.  In quarter 2 the service reported that of its 43 measures, 20 met or exceeded target and 4 missed target by more than 10%.  No targets were set for 11 indicators as they were new and data was unavailable for a further 6 indicators.

46.      In terms of notable performance, the Directorate undertook a series of pre-consultation informal drop-in sessions (5 in all) during October in advance of the statutory consultation period of 6 weeks during November and December.  In total, 500 individuals signed the attendance book during these sessions.  The sessions allowed individuals to familiarise themselves with the Local Development Plan and the plan making process in advance of the formal consultation.  We also consulted on the Framework for the Future of the Town Centres of the Vale of Glamorgan by holding interactive events in Barry, Penarth, Llantwit Major and Cowbridge.  This feedback will allow the council to formally adopt the Framework during 2014.

47.      The directorate's web pages were continually updated to reflect ongoing work and projects which increased the number of hits.  Between April and December the web pages recorded 41,429 views.  During the first week in October 2200 views were recorded, compared to the average weekly views of 140 during September.

48.      Work has commenced and continues at pace on planning for the major regeneration scheme on Barry Island, representing £3.3million of Welsh Government funding

49.      In relation to slipped actions, tenders are being invited during quarter 4 for a framework contract for the delivery of adaptation works following a successful meeting with Swansea Council to review their framework [DS01/A011 (IO/02)].

50.      No significant progress has been made in working with schools, governing bodies and parents on a procedure for the provision of a School Crossing Patrol service [DS02/A024 (CP/CPS3)]  as the focus has been on maintaining an adequate service at a time of challenging resources. This work is required and is likely to be carried forward into the next financial year.

51.      The Domestic Abuse Coordinator has been involved in data gathering for identifying service needs for the domestic abuse action plan [DS02/A029 (CP/CS10)]. 14 referrals have been made to the Sanctuary Project which has enabled victims to remain n their own homes.

52.      The Enterprise master planning work is being undertaken in partnership with Welsh Government. The review of future substantial land holdings at Cardiff Airport Business Park will continue to progress as part of this [DS06/A107 (CP/R8)].

Learning and Skills

53.      Overall, Learning and Skills is on track to achieve the objectives contributing to its service outcomes, with 87% of actions currently either completed or on track.  A performance of 88% was reported in the previous quarter. Of 51 corporate plan actions within the service plan, 86% (44) are either completed or on track for completion and 7 have slipped.  Of 12 actions relating to improvement objectives, 83% are on track to be completed (7 completed, 3 on track and 2 have slipped.) In comparison, the service reported 2 actions completed and 10 actions on track to be completed at quarter 2.

54.      Of 51 performance indicators, 15 have met or exceeded target, 5 are within 10% of target, 3 have missed target by more than 10%.  21 indicators do not have a target set. 7 indicators were not updated.  For quarter 3, the service reported against an additional 24 indicators based on the school academic year.

55.      In terms of exceptional performance, the service reported that 100% of final statements of Special Educational Need are now being issued within the national target period of 26 weeks. This has been a major area of improvement for the directorate and will see our end of year performance improving from 20th in Wales (47.8% in 2012/13) to joint top in Wales.

56.      Our quarter three report also includes details of exam results for the academic year 2012/13. Improvements have been made across all key stages:

·               The percentage of pupils achieving the Core Subject Indicator in Key Stage 2 has improved from 86.00% to 87.97%.

·               The percentage of pupils achieving the Core Subject Indicator in Key Stage 3 has improved from 72.39% to 82.54%.

·               The average point score for pupils aged 15 has improved from 515 to 557.

·               The percentage of pupils achieving the level 2 threshold including a GCSE grade A*-C in English or Welsh and Mathematics has improved from 55.31% to 55.42%.’

57.      In relation to slippage, the service reported that it was still awaiting confirmation of the funding for 2014/15 in order to continue the project to raise awareness of the National Standards for Children and Young People [LS01/A004 (CP/CYP11)].

58.      Work continues in improving the coordination of support from LINKS and JES and programmes of support are now in place in identified schools [LS02/A009 (CP/LS8)].  Monitoring of this support is being undertaken half-termly and this work will be progressed through the academic year and through the new Literacy and Numeracy Unit of the JES and will continue after the projected end date of March 2014. The pupil tracker programme is currently at a standstill as reported by the Lead Ester Thomas [LS07/A065 (CP/LS10] [LS08/A075 (CP/LS50)].

59.      Work in relation to challenging and supporting the school target setting process is ongoing and is being progressed through the Estyn Post Inspection Action Plan [LS02/A011 (CP/LS8) (IO/04)]. An SSL meeting will be taking place during quarter 4 to discuss and introduce a new local target for reading, writing and mathematics in combination [LS02/A012 (CP/LS8)]. Work to establish the level of use of the Rapid Writing programme and provide support where necessary, will be undertaken during the second half of the spring term [LS08/A077 (CP/LS15)].

60.      Establishment of a leadership development programme for middle leaders, deputies and head teachers, requires further development [LS02/A014 (CP/LS8)].

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

61.      There are no additional budgetary implications arising from this report although underperformance in some areas may have a negative impact on external assessments of the council and could put certain funding opportunities at risk.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

62.      A number of PIs and actions relate to sustainability issues within the report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

63.      The Local Government Act 1999, the Wales Programme for Improvement and the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 require that the council secure continuous improvement across the full range of local services for which it is responsible.

Crime and Disorder Implications

64.      A number of PIs and actions relate to crime and disorder issues within the report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

65.      A number of PIs and actions relate to equality issues within the report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

66.      The Corporate Plan 2013-17 outlines community leadership as a priority for the council. Improving how the council evidences and reports achievement of its outcomes and objectives contributes towards effective community leadership.

Policy Framework and Budget

67.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

68.      The information contained within the report is based on quarterly returns provided by service directorates on Ffynnon.  Quarterly performance reports are reported to Cabinet and all Scrutiny Committees.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

69.      All

Background Papers

 

Contact Officer

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager.

 

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

Beverly Noon, Operational Manager – Corporate Policy and Communications

 

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies, Managing Director

 

 

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