Agenda Item No
Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting 28 April 2014
Report of the Leader
Improvement Plan Part 1 (Improvement Objectives 2014/15)
Purpose of the Report
1. The report seeks cabinet endorsement of the Improvement Plan Part 1 outlining proposed improvement objectives for 2014/15.
1. Note the recommendations from scrutiny committees following consultation on the proposed improvement objectives 2014/15.
2. Note comments from other key stakeholders in response to consultation on the proposed improvement objectives.
3. Approve the proposals for amendments to the Improvement Plan Part 1.
4. Endorse the Improvement Plan Part 1 and refer the plan incorporating cabinet amendments to Council for approval on 7th May 2014.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. To ensure the council identifies key annual improvement priorities for 2014/15 in line with requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.
2. To ensure the council fulfils its duty to consult on its annual improvement objectives.
3. To ensure that improvement objectives focus specifically on those areas where there is a need for improvement, reflecting the work being undertaken across the council to improve the quality of life for Vale residents.
4. To enable the council to more easily demonstrate achievement of its priorities.
2. The Corporate Plan is a key means of the council complying with the Local Government Measure 2009, which requires the council to set 'improvement objectives' annually and demonstrate continuous improvement.
3. The Corporate Plan 2013-2017 was approved by Cabinet on 25th February 2013 following extensive consultation with key stakeholders and partners. The Plan sets out a four year vision for the council, structured around eight priority outcomes which reflect the priority outcomes in the Community Strategy 2011-2021. These outcomes are also reflected in service plans for 2014/15 and have informed the development of service outcomes and objectives.
4. The proposed improvement objectives and associated actions for 2014/15 reflect the eight priority outcomes in the Corporate Plan, ensuring that the council is focusing on the areas in need of the most improvement.
5. Service plans for 2014/15 have incorporated a comprehensive self assessment and these have also informed proposed improvement objectives for the same period, along with the council's risk register, current consultations and external regulatory assessments.
6. All scrutiny committees considered the proposed improvement objectives during March 2014. The views of key stakeholders including the Local Service Board, neighbouring council's, town and community councils, chambers of commerce, and voluntary sector organisations, were also sought over a period of 6 weeks (25th February to 4th April 2014). In addition, public views have been sought via an online survey, local media advertisements and social media in line with the requirement to consult on our improvement objectives.
Relevant Issues and Options
7. Eight improvement objectives are proposed for 2014/15 including four carried forward from 2013/14, which have been amended to reflect the areas of focus for further improvement work in 2014/15. These are:
· To increase sustainability and stability of looked after children and young people's placements. (Objective 2)
· To reduce the number of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs). (Objective 5)
· To reduce the time taken to deliver disabled facilities grants to children and young people and to adults. (Objective 6)
· To support and challenge schools in order to improve pupil attainment levels at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4. (Objective 7)
8. Appendix 1 contains the original Improvement Plan Part 1 which outlines the proposed objectives for 2014/15 and provides a rationale (pages 10-34). The measures to be undertaken to make a difference are indentified including a lead at chief officer level with responsibility for ensuring the achievement of key outcomes.
9. Challenging targets have been set against all measures for improvement, reflecting the council's commitment to continuously improve the services it provides to citizens of the Vale. At the same time, the council is also mindful of significant financial and service demand pressures over the coming year and key targets and milestones for proposed improvement objectives have been set within this context. This means that in some areas for example it will be an achievement to maintain existing levels of service performance whilst absorbing reductions in funding, managing increasing service demand or both. Such issues will need to be taken into account during internal challenge of proposed improvement objectives and targets.
10. Despite the extensive promotion of the consultation only one response was received during the consultation period. This response rate is not wholly unexpected as a piece of research undertaken by the council last year highlighted that there is very limited public interest in policy consultations such as this. Key findings of the consultation were as follows:
· The response from Cardiff & Vale University Health Board (UHB) was supportive of the intention to support more people towards independence (objective 3). The response notes that the objective lists a number of developments which promise to be effective in achieving this aim, including the development of additional extra care housing and telecare services and that it is pleasing to see that these, link well with proposals submitted to the Intermediate Care Fund.
· The response from the UHB makes a suggestion that it would be helpful if the objective in its final iteration, notes that the themes originally conceived within the Wyn Campaign are now being included as part of a new Draft Framework for Older People within the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff communities. The response further suggests that it may also be useful to note the needs of people with Learning Disabilities and Mental Health problems who may also benefit from the themes suggested in the draft objective.
11. In response to findings from the consultation undertaken with the public and relevant stakeholders the following amendments to the Improvement Plan are proposed:
· Amend the rationale of objective 3 to reflect the progress made in developing an Older People's Framework within the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff communities, which will support the key themes identified in objective 3. Suggested paragraph:
'The themes originally conceived within the Wyn Campaign are now being included as part of a new Draft Framework for Older People within the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff communities. The framework is based upon the fundamental principle that services should be planned around the needs of the individual in such a way as to prolong their independence and wellbeing within their local community for as long as possible.'
· In relation to noting the needs of people with learning disabilities and mental health problems who may benefit from the themes suggested in objective 3, the objective to support more people towards independence is age neutral and applies just as well to learning disabilities and mental health.
12. In addition to the public consultation the draft improvement objectives were discussed at meetings of all five of the Vale of Glamorgan Council scrutiny committees. Appendix 2 outlines in full recommendations and comments from all scrutiny committees following these discussions. The key recommendations were as follows:
· Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) endorsed the proposed improvement objective for 2014/15 with no further recommendations to cabinet.
· Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) endorsed the improvement objectives for 2014/15 with no further recommendations to cabinet.
· Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) endorsed the proposed improvement objectives with no further recommendations to cabinet.
· Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) endorsed the proposed improvement objectives with no further recommendations to cabinet.
· Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) endorsed the proposed improvement objectives with no further recommendations to cabinet.
13. In response to the findings from the consultation undertaken with scrutiny committees the following amendments to the Improvement Plan are proposed:
· Amend the 2014/15 target for percentage of pupil attendance in secondary schools from 84% to 94% to correct a typing error.
· No change is proposed in relation to the performance reported for the delivery of disabled facilities grants as the most up to date data (quarter 3) has been used.
14. The original plan will be revised to reflect relevant cabinet amendments and will be considered by Council on 7th May 2014.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
15. In determining its priorities the council has been mindful of the economic situation locally and nationally and taken into account legislation changes and government policy. Key objectives set out in the Corporate Plan and Service Plans either have resources committed to their achievement (Medium Term Financial Plan and annual budget review) or the likely prospect of such resources being made available in the period of the plan.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
16. The proposed improvement objectives have given due consideration to sustainability and climate change implications on planned activities where appropriate.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
17. The council has a duty to identify and publish its annual improvement objectives and report progress against them.
Crime and Disorder Implications
18. The proposed improvement objectives have given due consideration to crime and disorder implications on planned activities where appropriate.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
19. The proposed improvement objectives have given due consideration to equal opportunities implications on planned activities where appropriate. A scoping for Equalities Impact has been undertaken covering all objectives and is attached at Appendix 3.
20. Improvement objectives are a priority for the council. Improving how the council evidences and reports achievement of its priority outcomes contributes towards effective community leadership.
Policy Framework and Budget
21. The Corporate Plan, improvement objectives and service plans form part of the council’s approved policy framework.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
22. All scrutiny committees
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
Improvement Plan Part 1 - Improvement Objectives 2014/15 (Appendix 1)
Scrutiny Committees recommendations and comments (Appendix 2)
Scoping for Equality Impact - Improvement Objectives 2014/15 (Appendix 3)
Julia Archampong, Performance Manager
All relevant officers have been consulted on the contents of this report including:
Corporate Management Team
Heads of Service
Head of Performance and Development
Sian Davies, Managing Director