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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 29 June, 2014

Report of the Leader

End of Year Performance Report 2014/15

Purpose of the Report

1.    To present end of year performance results for the period 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015.

Recommendations

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

 

2.    That Cabinet notes the progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, Improvement Plan Part 1 2014/15 and the Outcome Agreement with Welsh Government (2013-16).

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 (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

2.    To enable the Council to demonstrate achievement of its objectives and identify service areas for improvement work.

Background

2.    Service Plans for 2014/15 focus on the achievement of key objectives within each directorate which in turn contribute towards the achievement of Corporate Plan and Improvement Plan outcomes.

 

3.    Quarterly performance reports reflect 2014/15 Service Plans and are designed to ensure the Council reports performance in the context of progress against its objectives.   

 

4.    End of year (quarter 4) service performance reports are cumulative and comprise performance information covering the period 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015. The 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, Improvement Plan Part 1 2014/15 and the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 for which the Directorate has lead responsibility. Examples of exceptional service performance during the year are highlighted as are key areas of slippage and the planned remedial action.
  • 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 due actions. Progress is provided for all performance indicators by allocating a performance status,  relates to performance that has met or exceeded target,  relates to performance within 10% of target and  relates to performance that has missed target by more than 10%. A direction of travel arrow is also provided against each measure indicating whether current performance has improved, stayed static or declined on previous year’s performance. An upward arrow indicates that performance has improved from the previous year's performance, a static arrow indicates performance has remained the same and a downward arrow shows performance has declined compared to the previous year.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.    Overall, the priorities in the Council's five year Corporate Plan are on track to be achieved. Of the 142 Corporate Plan actions for 2014/15, 77% (109) were completed at end of year, with a further 6% (9) on track, 17% (24) slipped. Details on slippage and proposed remedial actions are provided in the relevant service areas within the report.

 

6.    The majority of our priorities as outlined in the Improvement Plan Part 1 (2014/15) have been achieved with 83% (44) of actions completed, 8% (4) on track and 9% (5) slipped.

 

7.    Slippage was reported in relation to the following Improvement Objective actions; IO1: [DS/A068, LS/A151], IO3: [SS/A021] and IO7: [LS/A056, LS/A075]. Refer to paragraphs 175, 190, 146, 188 and 189 respectively for the reasons for slippage and the proposed remedial actions.

 

8.    Of 82 Improvement Objective measures, 58% (48) have met or exceeded target, 20% (16) were within 10% of target, 10% (8) missed target by more than 10% and performance status was not applicable for 12% (10) measures. The eight that missed target relate to IO4: [DS/M021, DSM22c, DS/M22d, DSM22f], IO5: [IO5/M28], IO7: [IO7/M20], IO1:1 [LS/M010c], and IO2: [SCC044b]. Details on slippage and proposed remedial actions are provided in the relevant service areas within the report.

 

9.    Whilst for the most part, the key outcomes we set in our Improvement Objectives have been achieved for 2014/15, they continue to remain long term strategic objectives for the Council and work to date represents the start of what will be a long programme of initiatives to secure greater improvement in the future.  Progress against key action plans will continue to be monitored by Corporate Management Team, Scrutiny Committees and the Cabinet. A comprehensive review of our performance against our Improvement Objectives will be reported in the Improvement Plan Part 2 in September 2015. This will also incorporate a detailed assessment of our performance using national benchmarking data which will be published by the Local Data Unit during August 2015.

 

10.    The majority of our priorities as outlined in Year 2 of the Outcome Agreement with Welsh Government have been achieved with 100% (29) actions completed.

 

11.    Of the 50 Outcome Agreement measures, 74% (37) have met or exceeded target, 16% (8) were within 10% of target, 4% (2) missed target by more than 10% and performance status was not applicable for 6% (3) indicators.  The two that missed target relate to OA5: WMT/010i and OA3: OA3/M26. Details on slippage and proposed remedial actions are provided in the relevant service areas within the report.

 

12.    Failure to achieve the majority of agreed targets in our key selected outcome areas will result in non-achievement of the full Outcome Agreement grant award worth £1.2 million per year until 2016. Current performance suggests that we are on track to achieve this. A detailed end of year assessment of our performance against Year 2 priorities in the Outcome Agreement will be reported to Corporate Management Team, Scrutiny Committees and the Cabinet in September 2015.

 

13.    A detailed report of the Council's overall performance by Directorate for quarter 4 (end of year) 2014/15 is provided in Appendix 1 and copies are also available on the Council's website and in the Members room.  Key performance results for each Directorate are also highlighted within this report (refer to paragraphs 66 - 191).

Achievements and Notable Performance

14.    Despite a difficult economic climate and increasing service demands, we have been successful in achieving many positive outcomes for citizens of the Vale. Highlighted below are some of our main achievements and areas we excelled in during 2014/15. Additional achievements are also highlighted within the key performance results for each Directorate (refer to paragraphs 66 - 191).

 

15.    A state of the art older persons' accommodation solution in Redlands, Penarth opened during the year. Using intermediate care fund monies from Welsh Government it has converted 14 units in Redlands to modern apartments with specialised facilities. Two apartments are classed as re-ablement units with specialised kitchens, wet rooms and hoists etc. Communal facilities have been improved to create an I.T. suite, laundry facilities and a comfortable lounge area. An Accommodations Solution Officer and additional Occupational Therapist have been employed to work in Llandough Hospital to aid delayed transfers in care.

 

16.    We continued to make significant improvements in the delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) and waiting times for delivery has reduced to 198.66 days which exceeded our improvement objective target of 250 days. Our performance equates to a 30% improvement on delivery times from the previous year. Based on 2013/14 all Wales benchmarking data this performance places us within the top quartile. Overall, positive outcomes were achieved with over 98% of customers using the service stating that they were satisfied with the DFG service. Furthermore, over 96% of people who received DFGs during 2014/15 reported that they felt that the assistance had made them safer and more independent in their own homes.  The focus is now to continually improve and keep pace with the improvements made by other authorities.

 

17.    There has been a significant improvement in the proportion of young people achieving the level 2+ indicator i.e. 5 A*-C GSCE grades including English/Welsh and mathematics from 55.4% last year to 62.2% this year. Although this achievement did not meet our target of 65% it does place the Vale’s performance second in Wales and provided more than a 100 additional students with better access to opportunities for further study and training. The gap between the performance of children entitled to free school meals and that of their peers narrowed at key stages 2 and 3.

 

18.    Golau Caredig, the first Extracare scheme in the Vale, received its first tenants in October 2014 and was officially opened in April 2015. All apartments are occupied and the feedback from tenants is positive. The scheme provides an exciting new option for older people in the Vale, enabling them to remain in their communities whilst accessing support as required.

 

19.    The Council delivered another hugely successful summer events programme at Barry Island which saw significant numbers of visitors to the island for a varied programme of events throughout the summer holidays. The Barry Island weekenders alone attracted over 40,000 visitors. The Council’s summer events programme has been recognised by virtue of the Isle of Fire being shortlisted for the best local event in the Visit Wales National Tourism Awards 2014.

 

20.    School attendance figures for both primary and secondary schools show a marked improvement compared with previous years reflecting the high priority given to attendance including the roll-out of the regional Callio strategy.  Overall attendance has improved across Wales but nevertheless attendance in both primary and secondary schools in the Vale is now fourth in Wales. Attendance in the Vale's primary and secondary schools increased by an extra 30,000 days which is equivalent to 2 additional days on average per pupil.

 

21.    Our Annual Improvement Report from the Auditor General Wales gives a generally positive picture of how well we are planning for improvements in delivering services.  The report concludes that, ‘the Council achieved most of its objectives and was focused on addressing areas of weakness but should make greater use of benchmarking in relation to internal targets and reporting performance.’

 

22.    Circa 9000 customers accessing services via Contact OneVale completed after call surveys. 98% rated the service they received between Satisfactory and Extremely Satisfactory indicating that the service is closely matching customer expectations.

 

23.    Two major capital projects were successfully completed and opened during the year including, the Penarth Learning Community providing high quality new accommodation for St. Cyres Comprehensive School and for the new Ysgol Y Deri (replacing Ashgrove, Ysgol Erwir Delyn and Ysgol Maes Dyfan special schools) and the new build 210 place building for the Welsh-medium primary school for Ysgol Nant Talwg, Barry. Both projects were delivered on-time and on-budget.

 

24.    As an example of effective cross boundary working, two rogue traders have been sentenced to eighteen month prison terms following a successful prosecution led by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Trading Standards team. A third man received a twelve month suspended sentence and 120 hours of community service for his role in a tarmacking scam that had at least sixteen victims across South Wales. The Vale of Glamorgan Council led the prosecution on behalf of a number of other local authorities in Wales including Newport, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr and Rhondda Cynon Taff.

 

25.    The percentage of customer complaints investigated by the Ombudsman has fallen from 0.27% to 0%. This is due to the new Corporate Complaints Policy having improved the way the Council deals with complaints so there are fewer referrals being investigated by the Ombudsman.

 

26.    The Youth Engagement and Progression Implementation Plan and the actions taken by the Vale have been evaluated by Welsh Government and aspects of our work have been identified as examples of good practice. As a result of actions in the Plan the number of young people (year 11) identified as NEET following the WG destination survey has reduced from 3.8% to 2.76% over the last 12 months.

 

27.    We successfully developed, designed and delivered a number of schemes to improve highway and pedestrian safety throughout the Vale, using a £445k Safe Routes in Communities grant. This includes an extension of the cycle/footway from Barry Island Comprehensive to Weycock Cross roundabout; works to 20mph zone outside Ysgol Sant Curig in Barry; and upgrading a zebra crossing to puffin on Barry Road.

 

28.    Our work to encourage youth involvement in the democratic process has been identified as good practice by Welsh Government. Youth Cabinet elections were held and completed on 31st March 2014. Each Cabinet member has a portfolio and has access to council leadership as part of their development. A Youth Mayor election was successfully held in October 2014.

 

29.    In relation to learner outcomes achieved by the recently established Cardiff and Vale Community Learning Partnership preliminary estimates show learner success rates to be at 84% which matches the national comparator figure. The progress of the partnership since the inspection in 2013 was recently monitored by Estyn and we received positive feedback from inspectors about the progress that has been made.

 

30.    No pupils were permanently excluded from schools in the academic year 2013/14.

 

31.    No looked after children, aged 15 left compulsory education, training or work based learning without an approved external qualification.

 

32.    We maintained the best possible performance of 100% of final statements of Special Educational Need being issued within the national target period of 26 weeks, including and excluding exceptions.

 

33.    In May 2014, the Council was shortlisted for a number of awards by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. The Council was highly commended in categories of ‘excellence in improving customer experiences’ and ‘professional of the year’. The Council was runner-up in the ‘travel demand management’ category for the Greenlinks community transport operation and was runner-up in both the ‘partnership’ category and ‘excellence in passenger transport’ for the work with New Adventure Travel in delivering Bus service 303/304. The Council was the overall winner in the ‘Travel Demand’ category for the work with New Adventure Travel in delivering the subsidised 303/304 bus service.

 

34.    In April 2014, construction projects relating to the new housing scheme at Golwg y Coed and various domestic schemes were winners at the South Wales Local Authority Building Control ‘Built in Quality Awards’. Both submissions were judged against all Wales entries in June and a Vale of Glamorgan contractor was judged the winner for various schemes undertaken in partnership with our Building Control Group within the Vale of Glamorgan, demonstrating excellence in housing construction within the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

35.    Children and Young People Services have worked in partnership with Learning and Skills to raise the percentage of Personal Education Plans (PEPs) being completed from 40% in 2013/14 to 97% in 2014/15.  Performance has increased during the year and both Directorates are committed to ensuring the timely preparation of PEPs for looked after children.  

 

36.    The performance for Delayed Transfers of Care improved significantly compared with last year. Improved and integrated access arrangements, discharge services and reablement have all helped support improvement in this area despite significant winter pressures.

 

37.    We successfully secured additional resources through the Welsh Government’s Local Government Borrowing Initiative (LGBI) to help improve the Vale’s local road network infrastructure. This helped to resurface or surface treat over 22km of roads last year as well as enabling a considerable LED street lighting renewal project, reducing street lighting energy costs and the Council’s carbon footprint. Additionally, the resources have enabled us to undertake essential footway improvement works on some 6km of footway thereby improving the quality and safety of the Council's footway network.

 

38.    Through the Castleland Renewal Area scheme we have improved the standard of housing and the local environment for residents.  Works completed during 2014/15 include a face-lifting programme for 316 homes to improve external appearance, upgraded/ new central heating systems, installation of voltage optimisers, solar thermal hot water systems.  In addition, we implemented an HMO licensing scheme in the area. Improvements made to community facilities and the environment, include the external refurbishment of the Sea Scout Hall, Holton Road. Green Deal assessments have been undertaken for homes suitable for ECO funding and the Renewable Heat Premium Payment Scheme bids. If successful this will help improve the energy efficiency of the housing stock and reduce fuel poverty.

 

39.    Introduced the ‘Power Writing’ scheme to address lower performance in English at Key Stage 3 for pupils in receipt of free school meals. 4 schools have been identified and the training has taken place. Initial indications are that some improvements have been made in the schools targeted as evidenced by end of year assessments. Increased percentage overall in English from 53.88% in 2011/12 to 74.4% in 2013/14.

 

40.    We spent an additional £200k and repaired over 4,500 extra potholes last year through the Council’s BIG Fill project visiting all 23 wards and encouraging the public to get involved with the reporting of highway defects which were then repaired over one weekend in each ward.

 

41.    We continued to work with residents and communities on joint initiatives resulting in the introduction of new and improving the quality of existing recreation spaces:

  • Provided a public garden at Cemetery Road, Barry through a joint initiative with Barry Town Council.
  • A 10 year extension to the Management Agreement at the Old Hall garden, Cowbridge will enable the Cowbridge Charter Trust to further develop aspirations for the gardens.
  • Fully refurbished Meggitt Road and Dryden Terrace Play areas, increasing opportunities for play.
  • Installed new equipment and refurbished existing play areas at Alexandra Gardens, Amherst Crescent, Bedford Rise, Belvedere Crescent, Central Park, Chickenwooed and Romilly Park play areas.
  • In conjunction with Penarth Marina and Haven Residents' Association, we constructed a new woodland footway from Paget Road to Portway.
  • Installed a viewing platform and refurbished Penarth Head Park.
  • Installed a new football changing pavilion at Muslin Park.
  • Working with residents at Anuerin Road, we refurbished the large communal area in the street.
  • Refurbished the period walls at Alexandra gardens, Knap gardens and Royal gardens.
  • Worked with Gibbonsdown Residents Board, local young people and the Arts Development Officer to deliver a public art project in Pencoedtre Park. Similarly worked with local young people and the Arts Development Officer to deliver a public art project at St. Athan Skateboard Park.
  • Worked with Friends of Belle Vue Park to deliver improvements to the park, particularly the first new public drinking fountain in Wales.
  • Delivered improvements to parks land at Barry Island.

42.    Through a comprehensive inspection process and provision of ongoing advice and training to businesses in the Vale, we have increased the number achieving a food hygiene score of 3 or more. Currently 90.73% of food hygiene establishments are broadly compliant with food hygiene standards, up from just over 85% last year.

 

43.    Significant work has been undertaken with schools during the year to promote road safety including: 35 schools took part in Junior Road Safety Officer (JRSO); short courses were delivered to 27 schools; kerbcraft was delivered to 300 pupils; 33 schools took part in Levels 1 and 2 cycle training which was delivered to 968 and 710 pupils respectively; Ran bikesafe courses and delivered Pass Cymru to 100 pupils.

 

44.    A Communities First Cluster has been established in Barry to help to deliver improved health and wellbeing to residents living within the Community First area. Most targets set by Welsh Government have been met or exceeded. In the autumn of 2014, we placed our 500th long term unemployed individual in a job. Local employment is increasing and unemployment is below the Wales and UK average.

 

45.    The Council has been recognised for its work in disability sport through achievement of the bronze award 'In Sport Ribbon'. The Council's play team were also recognised in a national award on play schemes further emphasising the good work being undertaken. The service was ranked 1st in Wales for partnership in play activities by Sport Wales in 2014.

 

46.    With a focus on sustainable development, 1033 new developments were considered by the Council during the year and 927 (89.7%) were approved.

 

47.    We continued to support approximately 30 Foundation Modern Apprentices and Craft Apprentices over the last year as well as all other types of work experience placement opportunities. We also have in place new options for recruiting and developing apprentices and work experience placement students through working in partnership with other local authorities.

 

48.    Our street lighting LED replacement programme has not only made savings, it has also reduced the Council's carbon footprint (over 650 tonnes reduction in CO2 emissions) through more energy efficient street lighting. In addition our part night street lighting strategy will save in excess of 300K per annum and over 1000 tonnes of CO2.

 

49.    Five parks in the Vale have now won the coveted Green Flag award that is Central Park, Romilly Park, Victoria Park, Belle Vue Park, Alexandra Park and Windsor Gardens. This has been achieved working in close partnership with communities. Green Flag status is a mark of excellence demonstrating good amenities and community involvement in parks.

 

50.    We successfully completed a Podiatry pilot to implement shared telephony services with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. As a result of this work, missed appointments has halved from 25% to 12%. It has delivered savings for the Podiatry department and the pilot generated an income of £10K for C1V that consequently has helped to lower our operating costs. The Vale’s Community Resource referral service has been launched where now both Council and Health Board staff have been trained to handle enquiries using both Council and Health Board ICT applications.

 

51.    The percentage reduction in Carbon Dioxide emissions in the non-domestic building stock has improved from 1.21% in 2013/14 to 7.07% in 2014/15. This is due to a variety of projects that have been on-going throughout the year. This includes making more Council buildings energy efficient, work on the Vale’s schools roofs to reduce their conductivity, LED lighting in schools which have reduced energy usage by 30%, and monthly energy usage reports using high-quality data.

 

52.    During 2014, web casting was successfully piloted for the Planning Committee. The new webcasting service enables members of the public the opportunity to see how the Committee makes decisions and watch the debates in which their views are represented. We have also introduced a new protocol that enables members of the public to register their interest to speak at the Planning Committees. This new protocol was agreed by Council in December 2014 and was implemented for Planning Committees from 1st February 2015.

 

53.    The Contact1Vale mobile application has been launched during the year allowing customers to access information and log service requests via their IOS and Android smartphones and tablet devices. The 'app' allows customers to send photographs and precise location information helping those delivering the service to do so more effectively and efficiently.

 

54.    The average weekly total reach of the Council’s Facebook page has increased from 6926 in 2013/14 to 16446 in 2014/15. This is due to social media now being placed under the responsibilities of the web editor meaning that accounts are managed in a more effective way by producing media that drives up public engagement. There is now an increased awareness of the Council’s work due to social media engagement. The Vale has the third highest number of Social Media users in Wales and has the 24th highest in the UK. The Vale’s Clout Score (a score between 1-100 that represents our Social Media influence) is currently 62, which is the 2nd highest for local authorities in Wales.  

 

55.    Vale Connect increased subscribers to circa 26,000 during the period and increased the number of subject specific bulletins being published. The system has been developed to cater for non-public facing distribution lists such as the adoption service and has been used during emergencies to proactively provide information and advice customers. Customers who have registered for the service are better informed.

 

56.    The Viridor plant is approximately 18 months ahead of schedule resulting in predicted savings of £1.6 million from the pre Prosiect Gwyrdd contract stage.  The new arrangements will virtually eliminate the need to landfill waste, thus making significant savings to the Council. Commencement of the waste treatment facility is also anticipated to deliver an additional 5-8% increase in the Vale's overall recycling rate.

 

57.    The amount of waste prepared for reuse or recycled (WMT/011) has increased compared with the previous year’s performance due in part to new penalty arrangements introduced as part of our Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) management contract from 63.32% to 63.87%.

 

58.    The Homelessness team continue to work innovatively in finding temporary accommodation solutions so that families and individuals in the Vale will not be placed in bed and breakfast accommodation. Significant savings continue to be made by the Council as a result.

 

59.    The time taken for the Council to let empty properties has significantly reduced to 33 days and at the end of 2014/15 the number of empty properties in the housing stock was 63. As part of service improvements, welcome packs have been created to give to new tenants when they move into their new home.

 

60.    Customer Relations has supported the development of an integrated Health and Social care team at Contact OneVale. Staff resources have been utilised to improve access to others such as the Vale Community Resource Service. This service has reduced the number of Adult Services enquiries that are referred to other social work teams, increased the number of hospital discharge referrals that can be resolved with Contact OneVale and reduced turnaround times.

 

61.    The Eastern promenade regeneration scheme on Barry Island which was opened for public access during November 2014 has delivered significant improvements to the public realm, helping to attract more visitors and businesses to the Island.

 

62.    We worked with key partners to complete the refurbishment of Penarth Pier which won, 'Pier of the Year award - Wales' and the Wales Special Places' voted by the National Trust.

 

63.    We have also introduced a series of mechanisms to improve the responsive repairs and housing maintenance service and to increase tenant satisfaction. A performance management framework has been put in place for the accurate monitoring of responsive repairs/housing maintenance and their costs. Tenant satisfaction surveys have now been embedded as part of the service for post repairs. A minimum of 35% of all jobs and 100% of contractor jobs are now post inspected.

 

64.    All recycling bring sites have been removed reducing recycling contamination and localised fly-tipping in these areas.  Charges for a range of waste management services were successfully introduced on 1 April 2015 and the income obtained from these charges will be used to offset reductions in budgets going forward.

 

65.    An investment plan for the refurbishment of public conveniences was developed resulting in an improved standard of cleanliness. During 2014/15 in addition to the new Eastern Shelter public convenience built as part of the regeneration works at Barry Island, another 3 public conveniences were refurbished at Romilly Road/Park Crescent, Albert Road and Llantwit Beach with further conveniences scheduled for refurbishment at Cosmeston Lakes and Jacksons Bay.  Improvement works at Southerndown, the Old Town Hall, Barry and the Western Shelter Barry Island were also undertaken in 2014/15. Refurbishments to a further 32 public conveniences are scheduled for 2015/16.

Corporate and Customer Services

66.    Corporate and Customer Services has completed 52% of Service Plan actions at end of year, with a further 3% on track for a later completion date. Details are available under each objective. There are a total of 38 actions in the plan; 20 are complete, 1 is on track, 16 have slipped, and 1 is not due. The action that is on track is due for completion on 31/03/2016.

 

67.    The Department completed 56% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2014/15 service plan and a further 5% of actions are on track for a later completion date. Of the 18 actions within the service plan, 10 have been completed, 1 is on track, and 7 have slipped.

 

68.    There are currently no Improvement Objective or Outcome Agreement actions and measures for the service.

 

69.    Of the 28 performance indicators in the plan, 10 (32%) have met or exceeded target at end of year, 3 (11%) are within 10% of target, and 6 (25%) have missed target by more than 10%. Data was unavailable for 6 (21%) indicators, and performance status was not applicable for 3 (11%) indicators. The 6 indicators that have missed target by more than 10% relate to: CC/M002a, CC/M002b, CC/M003a, CC/M004, CC/M005, and CC/M022. The reasons for underperformance and any proposed remedial action is provided under the relevant objective.

 

70.    In terms of exceptional performance, work started in earnest in February 2015 on the corporate workstream projects and the first tranche of service specific projects as part of the Council’s Reshaping Services Programme.  The programme will also bring together existing corporate projects and programmes including the review of transportation, Social Services Collaborative Working and Budget Management Programmes and the income generation project.  Our approach to this programme has been recently reviewed by our Regulators (Wales Audit Office) who concluded that, ' the Council's Reshaping Services Strategy conforms to good practice and demonstrates that it is following the right processes to achieve transformation.

 

71.    During 2014/15 a significant piece of work was undertaken to improve and update the two-yearly public opinion survey. Previously the survey had been used to measure satisfaction levels with a range of customer facing council services. However, by adding new question sets and utilising additional analysis techniques to interpret the data the survey now gathers a suite of information that can be used to inform future policy development at a strategic level. The most recent public opinion survey, which was procured at a lower cost than its predecessor, not only provided the most robust customer satisfaction data collected by the authority, but also informed the setting of the 2015/16 budget, the development of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s voluntary merger plans, the development of the Reshaping Services programme, and prompted a realignment of the Council’s priorities for media relations work.

 

72.    We produced and published our Annual Equality Monitoring report which provides a summary of the Council’s achievements in the past year (2013/14) and our progress overall towards fulfilling each of our equality objectives from our Strategic Equality Plan. Through working closely with all service areas, further improvements continue to be made in the quality of equality monitoring data collected and used by the Council.

 

73.    Customer Relations has been working closely with the ICT Oracle Development Team to provide integration between online forms completed by the customer and Oracle CRM. This allows requests for service to be delivered to those providing the service directly from the customer. This integration will deliver operational efficiencies in Contact OneVale.

 

74.    Funding of £1.2m was secured for the Council from successful achievement of Year 1 of the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 with Welsh Government.  

 

75.    The year has seen the establishment of a Digital Inclusion Working Group and the creation of an action plan of work so that those groups most likely to face exclusion can be supported. The service continued to work with the 'Get the Vale Online' project to support the delivery of training to over 50 front line staff members so that they could help customers with digital enquiries. The project also saw the creation of digital champions. Those who are more likely to be digitally excluded have increased levels of support to enable then to access digital services.

 

76.    The average speed of answer for calls made on the Welsh Language Line has reduced from 64 seconds to 44 seconds. This is due to additional Welsh speaking resources being made available throughout Contact One Vale.

 

77.    New structures were approved by the LSB during 2014/15. The revision and update of the Unified Needs Assessment and restructuring of the partnership has enabled the development of a new Delivery Plan that now has a greater focus on tackling poverty. Membership and scope of the Improving Opportunities Board has been agreed. Cardiff and Vale LSB has agreed its terms of reference and calendar of meetings and has developed a joint draft work programme of priorities. The establishment of a joint LSB has enabled a more regional focus on issues.

 

78.    In terms of slippage, the work to identify channel related costs for implementation of the new Welsh Language Standards is ongoing [CC/A002 (CP/CL9)].

 

79.    Work to improve equalities data monitoring and reporting council-wide is ongoing and we continue to encourage services to make further improvements year on year. Improved data has been included in each of the annual equality monitoring reports [CC/A017 (CP/CL9)].

 

80.    Progress continues to be made in implementing shared telephony based services with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) Communications Hub. A business case to expand the pilot has been approved by the Clinical Diagnostics and Therapeutics Clinical Board (responsible for podiatry service). A recent meeting between Contact One Vale (C1V) and the Communications Hub finalised reports to be presented for approval by the Vale and Primary Community and Intermediate Care (PCIC) respectively [CC/A053 (CP/CL2)].

 

81.    We continue to make progress in implementing the Strategic Equality Plan (SEP).  We continue to raise awareness of equality issues through internal training and public awareness campaigns.  We are in the process of gathering feedback on our plain language guidance and are liaising with other departments on progress with the gender pay gap and domestic violence equality objectives. [CC/A057 (CP/CL9)].

 

82.    In relation to developing the language skills of elected members, we are awaiting a Compliance Notice for further action [CC/A058 (CP/CL9)].

 

83.    The work to evaluate the effectiveness of equalities training is ongoing. We are gathering information on training that has taken place during 2014/15 and will continue to arrange training sessions to raise awareness of equality issues.  The feedback received to date on training provided has been positive [CC/A059 (CP/CL9)].

 

84.    Progress continues to be made in the implementation of the Council’s Public Engagement Framework. The Graduate Intern - Engagement has now taken responsibility for implementation of the majority of actions in the Public Engagement Framework Action Plan and these have been incorporated into the postholder's PDR. In light of the slippage of this work the priorities and timescales of the action plan have been reviewed to ensure the most critical are fast-tracked [CC/A070 (CP/CL1)].

 

85.    Work to identify channel related costs is ongoing in order to address the WAO’s improvement proposals relating to the use of this performance information to inform our Customer Strategy and reduce transaction costs [CC/A081 (WAO/IP5/ICT/2011)].

 

86.    Work is progressing in extending the Arts Connect work to involve the third sector and improve marketing. Arts Connect’s previous projects continue to develop particularly for the ‘Being Creatively Active’ work with older people and looked after children and the 'It's My Shout Film' project that link the community, the Council and third sector venues. Following the development of the dedicated website and Facebook page ‘Arts Connect Cymru’, the organisation  has been able to raise its profile with the third sector and vice versa, promoting and sharing activities [CC/A027].

 

87.    Development of the Staffroom e-newsletter, the use of e-petitions and a revised staff survey have not progressed due to staffing changes within the service which have resulted in new priorities presenting themselves consequently these actions are no longer being progressed [CC/A043, CC/A077 and CC/A065].

 

88.    In relation to publishing guidance on producing accessible Council documents written in plain English, we are in the process of gathering feedback on the plain language guidance [CC/A064].

 

89.    The Council's Arts Strategy has been revised for 2014-17 and consulted upon with the public. A Cabinet report is currently on hold following management instruction [CC/A074].

 

90.    In relation to revising the External Communications Plan, a new Serious Incident Communications Plan has been drafted. It will be finalised following input from the Operational Manager for Customer Relations and the Communications Officer [CC/A073 and CC/A078].  

Resources

91.    Overall, the Directorate has completed 73% of Service Plan actions at end of year, with a further 4% on track for a later completion date. There are a total of 48 actions in the plan; 35 are completed, 2 are on track, and 11 have slipped. The two actions that are on track are due to be completed during September 2015 and March 2019.

 

92.    The Directorate has completed 75% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2014/15 Service Pan. Of the 8 actions within the service plan, 3 are completed and 1 has slipped.

 

93.    There are currently no actions relating to either the Improvement Objectives or the Outcome Agreement. There are 4 measures relating to the Outcome Agreement, 1 of which is also an Improvement Objective measure. Data was not received for 1 (25%) measure, 2 (50%) measures have met or exceeded target at end of year, and 1 (25%) measure was within 10% of target.

 

94.    Of the 23 performance indicators in the plan, performance status was not applicable for 1 (4%) indicator. 17 (74%) met or exceeded target at end of year, 5 (22%) were within 10% of target and none have missed target.

 

95.    In relation to exceptional performance during the 2014/15 reporting period, the delivery of voice and data services to the Penarth Learning Community (PLC) project was a culmination of two year planning and development of an ICT strategy that will ultimately deliver cutting edge technology via a resilient core infrastructure to support pupil learning, content delivery, telephony and guest services through the latest wireless and wired technologies.

 

96.    Service desk response targets have improved by 20% on last year’s figures largely due to the introduction of two full time trainees into the team.

 

97.    We have improved engagement and support for staff through developing a HR Strategy that includes a Training and Development Strategy. Our work with managers via Change Management Training has helped them to better support their staff. We successfully held a 2nd Annual Workforce Planning Conference that enabled us to identify key workforce planning issues for the Council in the short to medium term. This has helped to define the HR/Workforce implications of the Reshaping Services agenda.

 

98.    We successfully completed a desktop refresh that has meant staff have access to IT equipment that is fit for purpose and meets their IT needs. The replacement of the ICT server room has built both resilience and capacity into our IT infrastructure. The new data centre is state of the art with air conditioning, fire suppression and uses less energy and is more cost-effective. We are Public Service Network (PSN) accredited which provides a level of assurance in terms of IT security. We have successfully piloted the use of web casting for the Planning Committee. This has enabled our customers to have remote/digital access to our Planning Committee business.

 

99.    We successfully achieved our targeted savings of £1.18 million as a Directorate. We have established an effective mechanism for monitoring budgets and savings via the Scrutiny process. We are now entering the third year of a successful partnership arrangement with Bridgend for the provision of shared internal audit services. We have developed a Business Improvement Toolkit for managers to use to support the identification and delivery of financial savings targets. The toolkit enables us to develop Business Improvement skills across the workforce and supports our Business Improvement Partners to focus on high value projects.

 

100.    Lexcel Accreditation has been maintained, which is an industry standard accreditation scheme and provides the Council with assurance that the legal services being offered are of a high quality across various areas of legal practice including client satisfaction, risk management and case management.

 

101.    In terms of slippage, the annual Asset Management Plan has been updated.  The Capital Investment strategy which will form an Appendix to the plan is currently being finalised and thereafter will be reported to Cabinet [RS/A033 (CP/CL11)].

 

102.    In relation to reviewing and developing options for the delivery of procurement services across the Council, the focus has been on the Procurement Code of Practice (PCOP) which is being drafted to accompany the Council's new constitution. Work is also underway to review the range of guidance available for procurement, including to schools and corporate departments and supplying data to Value Wales for the spend analytics project [RS/A035 (NA3)].

 

103.    The review of all staffing and management structures has been subsumed within the Reshaping Services Programme. All Services have been reviewed as part of the baseline assessment exercise [RS/A016 (NA9)].

 

104.    In relation to implementation of the Staff Engagement Strategy, a report on the Employee Engagement Strategy was agreed by Corporate Management Team (CMT) on 8 April 2015 as part of the Reshaping Services Programme and actions are being delivered during June and July to all staff [RS/A070 (NA11)].

 

105.    The implementation of Welfare Reform and transfer of housing benefit to Universal Credit is in line with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) timetable and work is currently on hold pending the roll out of Universal Credit [RS/A056 (NA30)].

 

106.    Similarly, the management of the staffing transitional implications of the Welfare Reform Programme is also on hold pending roll out of Universal Credit [RS/A083 (WP3)].

 

107.    Work is progressing on a draft revised Council Constitution and the Working Party has completed its consideration. A report will be submitted to Council early in 2015/16.  This action has been carried forward into 2015/16 [RS/A089 (NA22)].

 

108.    In relation to the implementation of key recommendations arising out of the Wales Audit Office Scrutiny Improvement study, a draft Action Plan has been considered by the Scrutiny Committee Chairman and Vice-Chairman Group and discussed informally, with Cabinet Members.  This action has been carried forward into 2015/16 [RS/A041 (NA20)].

 

109.    Interviews with Senior Responsibility Allowance holders have commenced to inform a Member Development Programme. A Training Needs Analysis will also be undertaken to facilitate the preparation/ delivery of the programme. This action has been carried forward into 2015/16 [RS/A090 (NA23)].

 

110.    The review of staffing implications for the Directorate arising out of the Williams Review has been subsumed within the Reshaping Services Programme. All Services have been reviewed as part of the baseline assessment exercise [RS/A084 (WP4)].

 

111.    Work has largely been completed in relation to revising the ICT strategy to reflect how plans to use technology will support the delivery of the Council’s improvement objectives and the expected outcomes. We are still awaiting Welsh Government's proposals from the Williams Review, in order to inform the strategy which will then be subject to consultation [RS/A092 (WAO/IP1/ICT/2011)].

Visible Services

112.    Overall, Visible Services has completed 60% of Service Plan actions at end of year. Details are available under each objective. There are a total of 40 actions in the plan; 24 are completed and 16 have slipped.

 

113.    The Service completed 54% of its actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2014/15 service plan. Of the 13 actions within the service plan, 7 are completed and 6 have slipped.

 

114.    There are currently no actions relating to the Improvement Objectives.

 

115.    There are 17 actions relating to the Outcome Agreement, all 17 (100%) have been completed. There are 6 measures relating to the Outcome Agreement. Of these, 2 (33%) have met or exceeded target, 2 (33%) are within 10% of target, 1 (17%) has missed target by more than 10%, and performance status was not applicable for 1 (17%) indicator. The one indicator that has missed target by more than 10% is WMT/010i. See relevant objective for reason for underperformance and proposed remedial action where appropriate.  

 

116.    Of the 34 performance indicators in the plan, performance status was not applicable for 6 (17.6%) measures. 12 (35%) measures have met or exceeded target at end of year, 8 (24%) are within 10% of target, and 8 (24%) have missed target by more than 10%. Details can be found under each objective. The eight indicators which have missed target by more than 10% relate to WMT/010i, THS009, THS011b, STS007, VS/M009a, VS/M009b, VS/M010a, and VS/M010b. See relevant objective for reason for underperformance and proposed remedial action where appropriate.  

 

117.    In terms of notable service achievements, Vehicle tracking has been introduced to 98% of the Council’s fleet, including facial/fingerprint recognition technology for monitoring the timekeeping of all staff and a new home to work transport policy which saw 63 vehicles returned back to the depots for overnight parking saving the Council over £100k per annum. Completion of the independent review of all the Council’s transport operations (EDGE Review) identified possible savings of £1.59m over three years and the work to achieve these savings has already started.

 

118.    A comprehensive pools car scheme was introduced across the Council on 1 April 2015 as part of a transport savings programme. This will result in significant savings for the Council and contribute towards reducing the carbon footprint of our fleet.

 

119.    All recycling bring sites have been removed reducing recycling contamination and localised fly-tipping in these areas.  Charges for a range of waste management services were successfully introduced on 1 April 2015 and the income obtained from these charges will be used to offset reductions in budgets going forward.

 

120.    All Council owned, leased or hired vehicles are run on 5% bio-fuel, helping to lower exhaust emissions. All new vehicles are purchased to the Euro 6 standard, the latest EU emissions standard. Implementation of vehicle tracking will enable detailed statistics on amount of carbon produced by each vehicle.

 

121.    In relation to slippage, the findings of the review of Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) arrangements have been incorporated within the car park charging Cabinet report due to be reported in June / July 2015 [VS/A073 (CP/E4)].

 

122.    The Boverton flood risk management scheme design has been identified and we are awaiting confirmation of funding approval from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) prior to inviting design and build tenders.  Related land issues cannot be progressed until funding is in place [VS/A070 (CP/E5)]. NRW approval has also been gained for the preferred option for the flood risk management scheme for Llanmaes however, Welsh Government funding approval is now required for the redesign and it is anticipated that the redesign will be completed in 6 to 9 months [VS/A071 (CP/E5)]. In relation to the Coldbrook scheme, we are awaiting Welsh Government determination of the Equality Impact Assessment prior to confirmation of grant funding approval for the scheme and anticipate delivery of the scheme by end of the 2015/16 financial Year [VS/A069 (CP/E5)].

 

123.    Work has commenced on finalising the Allotment Strategy now that the Welsh Government's "Consultation on improving the availability of Allotments" has been published. This action has been carried forward into 2015/16 [VS/A046 (CP/E12)].

 

124.    The introduction of a set of service standards for control of littering, dog fouling and graffiti will be completed during June 2015 as part of achieving proposed service efficiencies and savings within the Directorate [VS/A084 (CP/E2].

 

125.    The review of all collection and recycling rounds is ongoing and the need for revision of specific rounds has been identified and is being progressed [VS/A059]. At the same time, a review of collection arrangements for commercial residual waste and recycling is also progressing and this work is being carried forward into 2015/16 [VS/A063].

 

126.    Implementation of the all Wales Collective Collaboration Programme for waste will commence once Welsh Government guidance has been issued [VS/A062].

 

127.    Negotiations are ongoing with recognised trade unions to review working arrangements for staff in relation to the collection of residual waste [VS/A065].

 

128.    A report on a new policy for missed refuse and recycling collections from domestic properties is now proposed for May 2015 [VS/A066a].

 

129.    New collection arrangements for green waste utilising the existing recycling and residual waste collection vehicle fleet will commence in May 2015. The new arrangements will result in a reduction in operational costs of the green waste service [VS/A066b].

 

130.    In relation to the introduction of car parking in specific town centres, consultants Capita have been appointed to carry out sensitivity testing of car park charges prior to the completion of a Cabinet Report in June /July of 2015 [VS/A031].

 

131.    We are currently considering the use of Arboricultural consultants to complete the audit of the Vale of Glamorgan’s parks and street trees which will inform the management plans for inspection and maintenance [VS/A076].

 

132.    Work continues with Welsh Government and key providers to improve street cleaning and environmental management through various initiatives. It is anticipated that this action will be completed in April/ June 2015 [VS/A083].

 

133.    As part of the Directorate's planned savings for 2014/15, part night street lighting is being implemented across the Vale. The street lighting risk assessment is awaiting sign-off from the project board prior to implementation in May 2015 [VS/A068].

Social Services

 134.    Overall Social Services has completed 70% of Service Plan actions at end of year, with a further 10% on track for a later completion date. Details are available under each objective. There are a total of 30 actions in the plan; 21 are completed, 3 are on track and 6 have slipped. The three actions that are on track are due to be completed in March 2016.

 

135.    The Directorate has completed 86% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2014/15 service plan. Of the 14 actions within the service plan, 12 are completed and 2 have slipped.

 

136.     8 (89%) of our 9 actions relating to the Improvement Objectives have been completed and 11% (1) has slipped. There are 15 measures relating to the Improvement Objectives. Of these 8 (53%) have met or exceeded target, 5 (33%) are within 10% of target, 1 (7%) has missed target by more than 10% and, performance status was not available for the 1 (7%) measure. The indicator that has missed target by more than 10% relates to SCC044b. See relevant objective for reason for underperformance and proposed remedial action where appropriate.  

 

137.    There are currently no actions relating to the Outcome Agreement. There are 10 measures relating to the Outcome Agreement. Of these, 8 (80%) have met or exceeded target, 1 (10%) is within 10% of target, and 1 (10%) has missed target by more than 10%. The indicator that has missed target by more than 10% relates to OA3/M26. See relevant objective for reason for underperformance and proposed remedial action where appropriate.  

 

138.    Of the 78 performance indicators in the plan, 45 (58%) met or exceeded target at end of year, 17 (22%) were within 10% of target and 6 (8%) missed target by more than 10%. Performance status was not available for the remaining 10 (12%) indicators. The six indicators that missed target related to SS/M007, SCA/007, SCA/002a, SCC/044b, SS/M008a and OA3/M27. The reasons for underperformance and any proposed remedial action is provided under the relevant objective

 

139.    In terms of notable service achievements during the year, Children and Young People Services have demonstrated improvement in the time taken to complete initial and core assessments.  Some of this achievement has been made as a result of a temporary allocation of additional resources in the Intake Team.  Consideration is currently being given to how we best manage demand at the front door and appropriate structures to support this.

 

140.    The performance for Delayed Transfers of Care improved significantly compared with last year. Improved and integrated access arrangements, discharge services and reablement have all helped support improvement in this area despite significant winter pressures.

 

141.    Children and Young People Services have worked in partnership with Learning and Skills to raise the percentage of Personal Education Plans (PEPs) being completed from 40% in 2013/14 to 97% in 2014/15.  Performance has increased during the year and both Directorates are committed to ensuring the timely preparation of PEPs for looked after children.  Together these factors provide a positive indication of our ability to maintain this performance.

 

142.    We worked effectively with the third sector and other organisations to deliver information about services for children in need via the Family Information Service, the Council’s Contact Centre and other communication channels, and collaboration on a joint resource directory has already started. The Family Information Service is meeting standards as set out in ‘Delivering Quality Information for Families Together’ issued by Welsh Government in 2014. The Vale of Glamorgan Care Directory that provides signposting to local services for older people has been reviewed and updated and published in early 2015. Work continues in order to develop an on-line directory of services in collaboration with North Wales Single Point of Access (SPOA) and SSIA, including an audit of existing directory services.

 

143.    We worked with the LSCB, the Council’s Safeguarding Steering Group and schools to deliver our safeguarding responsibilities, obtain the views of children and implement protocols in respect of neglect and child sexual exploitation by concluding the merger of the Cardiff and Vale LSCBs, ensuring that our statutory responsibilities in respect of the joint LSCB are delivered. An annual survey to obtain the views of children involved in the child protection process has been reported back via the LSCB and a dedicated Education Safeguarding Officer is ensuring that schools deliver their safeguarding responsibilities. The Corporate Safeguarding Group monitors safeguarding compliance across the Council and areas of focus have included safer recruitment and safeguarding training. We have also reviewed the Neglect Protocol that has been ratified by the Cardiff and Vale LSCB.

 

144.    We embarked on tackling child poverty by working with families in need to raise their awareness of entitlements to welfare benefits and allowances as well as facilitated access to support services that help people get into employment and training. We have achieved this by taking the lead on the development of a Council-wide Poverty Strategy that has been embedded within the Community Strategy. There are a range of support services for families in need such as referrals to the CAB service and a range of Families First projects that are targeted at early intervention and prevention services for children, young people and families. The FACT service (Families Achieving Change Together) is a key element of the Families First programme that has a strong focus on tackling issues associated with poverty. This service takes a ‘Team around the Family’ approach to providing tailored family support that meets their needs.

 

145.    In relation to slippage, work is progressing to improve multi-disciplinary transition support for young people moving into adulthood. A Project Officer will be hosted by Cardiff and the advertisement for this post will go live in April.  Appointment to this post will provide capacity to take this work forward [SS/A004 (CP/CYP5)]

 

146.    Work continues to progress with the third sector and business organisations to deliver a preventative, community approach to supporting older people to live as independently as possible. A number of Intermediate Care Fund (ICF)/ Regional Care Fund (RCF) third sector projects have been maintained in 2015/16. This action is due to be completed on 31/06/2016 [SS/A021 (IO) (CP/HSCW7)].

 

147.    We are continuing to work in partnership with Cardiff Council and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) to develop a Health led commissioning strategy for Mental Health services. A local delivery plan is in place however the UHB have not yet developed a commissioning strategy. Cardiff and Vale UHB have agreed to convene a group to prepare a commissioning strategy [SS/A055a (CSSIW/AREF/IP2/2011)].

 

148.    We continue to consider options for the delivery of long term care, to address any shortfall in independent sector provision, particularly in relation to people with dementia related illnesses. Work has started on a review of accommodation with care options for older people [SS/A055b (CSSIW/AREF/IP2/2011)].

 

149.    In relation to implementing a brokerage hub for care home placements with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) and Cardiff Council, an external review has been undertaken to look at joint working to include care home placements. A report will be considered in April [SS/A043].

 

150.    Limited progress has been made in developing formally agreed governance arrangements for the Mental Health service, which clarify accountability, management, financial and HR issues. Whilst arrangements are in place a more formal agreement has yet to be reached. A community review has since commenced. [SS/A054].

Housing and Building Services

151.    Housing and Building Services completed 72% of Service Plan actions at end of year, with a further 5% on track for a later completion date. Details are available under each objective. There are a total of 43 actions in the plan; 31 are completed, 1 is on track, 11 have slipped and 3 have not been started. The action on track is due to be completed in 2017.

 

152.    The Department has completed 84% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2014/15 Service Plan. Of the 13 actions within the plan, 11 have been completed, 1 is on track and 1 has slipped.

 

153.    All 8 actions relating to the Improvement Objective have been completed. Of the 2 Improvement Objective related measures, both have exceeded target.

 

154.    There are no actions related to the Outcome Agreement. Of the 3 measures, 2 have met target and 1 is within 10% of target.

 

155.    Of the 41 performance indicators in the plan, performance status was not applicable for 27 (66%). 9 (22%) met or exceeded target, 3 (7%) were with 10% of target and 2 (5%) missed target by more than 10%.  The two indicators that missed target related to HS/M005 and HHA/002. The reasons for underperformance and any proposed remedial action is provided under the relevant objective.

 

156.    In terms of notable service achievements, the percentage of gas services carried out within 365 days (HSM/007) has increased to 99.97%, which equates to only 1 property overdue out of 3746. This is a significant improvement in the percentage of compliance given that we are now achieving access to properties that have been historically difficult to gain admission to. This is testament to excellent joint working and improved communication between the Building Services Housing Compliance Team Heating Officer, our gas Servicing Provider, Heatforce and the Housing Officers and their Assistants. The one property overdue an annual service is currently with Legal Services in order to gain access to the property.

 

157.    Rent arrears remain very low due to effective income management and recovery action and support. The impact of the bedroom tax/ spare room subsidy has been largely mitigated due to the prioritisation of downsizing within the Homes4 U procedures, the effective use of discretionary housing payments and the addition of budgeting and income and expenditure advice and support given by the Money Advice Team.

 

158.    Our Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) programme is being delivered to time and to budget. To date 95% of the internal work has been completed in tenants’ homes. In addition, tenant satisfaction in relation to WHQS work continues to improve across the entire contractor framework.

 

159.    With respect to slippage, a Tenant and Leaseholder Engagement Strategy is currently out to consultation with the Tenancy Working group, the findings of which will inform a Cabinet report seeking approval of the strategy [HS/A048 (CP/H12)]. A draft Asset Management Strategy is also in place, although this needs to be reviewed following the HRA subsidy buy out [HS/A076].

 

160.    Significant work has been undertaken in relation to the Customer Care Strategy [HS/A074] including; completion of the Senior Management Leadership course; a team of 20 Customer Care Champions have been established to drive Customer Excellence throughout the department; a small sub group of the Customer Care Champions are currently developing proposals around a Staff Code of Conduct, Staff Surveys and Team Building Activities (Give and Gain Days);  customer satisfaction surveys are in place for Responsive Repairs and WHQS works; customer satisfaction performance indicators are now collected and analysed on a monthly basis through the departmental KPI meetings.

 

161.    Work to develop a Community Investment Strategy [HS/A088] and a Digital Inclusion Strategy [HS/A089] has been delayed pending the appointment of dedicated Community Investment resource through the Housing and Building Services restructure.  All appointments will be completed by July 2015.

 

162.    Staff are still awaiting guidance from Welsh Government in relation to the governance arrangements of the SP Regional Collaborative Committee in order to make the necessary progress [HS/A091].

 

163.    The review of internal stores has been completed and options have been identified.  The service is working with the National Procurement Services (NPS) to take these forward.   The Council has an Agreement with the NPS in terms of Wales wide procurement opportunities [HS/A105].

Development Services

164.    Overall, the Directorate has completed 86% of Service Plan actions at end of year, with a further 6% on track for a later completion date. There are a total of 76 actions in the 2014/15 service plan; 65 are completed, 5 are on track, and 6 have slipped. The actions that are on track are due for completion in 2016/17.

 

165.    Development Services completed 83% of actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2014/15 Service Plan and a further 7% of actions are on track for a later completion date. Of the 40 actions within the plan, 33 are completed, 3 are on track and 4 have slipped.

 

166.    93% of our Improvement Objective actions are completed. Of the 15 actions within the Service Plan, 14 have been completed. There are a total of 19 Improvement Objective measures; of these 14 (74%) have met or exceeded target, 4 (21%) have missed target by more than 10%, and performance status was not applicable for 1 (5%) indicator. The 4 indicators that have missed target by more than 10% relate to DS/M021, DS/M022c, DS/M022d, and DS/M022f. See relevant objective for reason for underperformance and proposed remedial action where appropriate.  

 

167.    There are currently no Outcome Agreement actions in place for the service. Of the 11 Outcome Agreement measures, all 11 (100%) have met or exceeded target at end of year.

 

168.    Of the 69 performance indicators in the plan, performance status was not applicable for 7 (10%) measures. 49 (71%) have met or exceeded target at end of year, 4 (6%) were within 10% of target, and 9 (13%) missed target by more than 10%. The 9 indicators that have missed target by more than 10% relate to DS/M006a, DS/M013, PSR004, DS/M021, DS/M022c, DS/M022d, DS/M022f, DS/M028, and DS/M029b. The reasons for underperformance and any proposed remedial action is provided under the relevant objective.  

 

169.    In terms of notable service achievements, the Vale of Glamorgan Council was the first authority to complete a Welsh Government ‘tackling poverty’ funded project with the conclusion of the café and community space at the Hub before Christmas.

 

170.    The performance of the Department when dealing with a range of planning applications and appeals continues to improve during a time when submissions have increased considerably.

 

171.    Approximately £1.2m was secured through planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy and we have committed/ spent approximately £1m to deliver infrastructure benefits to communities within the Vale this year. A further £14.78 million from signed s106 agreements is due to the Council, and this excludes ongoing major applications that have yet to sign s106 agreements.

 

172.    The Council facilitated a valuable discussion on its Draft Destination Action Plan at the Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural show in August with the feedback informing on-going consultation on the Plan.

 

173.    In relation to slippage, a procedure has been agreed by Cabinet for the provision of the School Crossing Patrol service and is currently subject to consultation. A Cabinet report is due in May which will incorporate the consultation findings, with the intention of adopting the new Policy in time for September 2015 [DS/A024 (CP/CPS3)]:

 

174.    Marketing of key sites at Nells Point and the Innovation Quarter (IQ) will allow the market to be tested for a cinema development in Barry.  The Council has supported the development of the Memo cinema during 2014/15, with grant money via the Regeneration fund [DS/A079 (CP/R7)].

 

175.    In relation to the completion of the existing Rural Development Programme and promoting a new Rural Development Plan, final Partnership claims will be submitted in June. Evaluation of the programme is being re-commissioned in May for completion in June 2015 [DS/A068 (CP/R13) (IO)].

 

176.    The work to develop a Master Plan for Barry Island is to be carried forward into the 2015/16 Service Plan.  Nells Point is to be re-marketed, and work continues in relation to enhancements [DS/A088 (CP/R5)].

 

177.    The delivery of a 20mph zone for Llandough village has now been presented to Cabinet and implementation is imminent [DS/A181].

 

178.    Options for improvements to Five Mile Lane continue to be assessed. Key issues around the terms of any grant offer, has resulted in the action slipping [DS/A182].  Cabinet will consider options during spring 2015.

Learning and Skills

179.    The Learning and Skills Directorate has completed 85% of Service Plan actions at end of year, with a further 11% on track for a later completion date. Details are available under each objective. There are a total of 99 actions in the plan; 84 are completed, 11 are on track, 4 have slipped. The actions that are on track are due for completion from July 2015.

 

180.    The Directorate completed 83% of actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2014/15 Service Plan and a further 10% of actions are on track for a later completion date. Of the 40 actions within the plan, 33 are completed, 4 are on track and 3 have slipped.

 

181.    67% of our Improvement Objective actions are complete, 19% are on track and 14% have slipped. Of the 21 Improvement Objective actions within the Service Plan, 14 have been completed, 4 are on track, and 3 have slipped. Of 46 Improvement Objective measures, performance status was not applicable for 8 (17%) measures. 24 (52%) met or exceeded target at end of year, 11 (24%) were within 10% of target and 3 (7%) missed target by more than 10%. The 3 indicators that have missed target by more than 10% relate to LS/M010c, IO5/M28, and IO7/M20. See relevant objective for reason for underperformance and proposed remedial action where appropriate.  

 

182.    100% (12) of our Outcome Agreement actions have been completed. Of 16 Outcome Agreement measures, performance status was not applicable for 1 (6%) measures. 12 (75%) met or exceeded target at end of year, and 3 (19%) were within 10% of target.

 

183.    Of the 73 performance indicators in the plan, 10 (14%) did not have targets set for 2014/15. 41 (56%) met or exceeded target at end of year, 17 (23%) were within 10% of target and 5 (7%) missed target by more than 10%. The 5 indicators that have missed target by more than 10% relate to LS/M010c, LS/M026b, LS/M029, EDU010b, and LS/M015b. See relevant objective for reason for underperformance and proposed remedial action where appropriate.  

 

184.    In terms of notable service achievements, we ran a successful Libraries annual programme of activities to promote enjoyment in reading for all ages. Over 600 people attended an author visit, 2,700 children attended their local library on a class visit, 364 attended children's book group (Chatterbox), 2,300 attended children's weekly story time, 2,700 attended babies and toddlers sign and rhyme activity and over 1300 at clap and tap activity. 1200 children enrolled for the Summer Reading Challenge and there were numerous other literacy related activities in libraries across the Vale.

 

185.    The Learning and Skills Directorate has worked in partnership with Children and Young People Services to raise the percentage of Personal Education Plans (PEPs) being completed from 40% in 2013/14 to 97% in 2014/15 and both Directorates are committed to ensuring the timely preparation of PEPs for looked after children.  

 

186.    The mobile library service was officially launched in August 2014, following a successful trail run in June, which visited 6 residential homes in the Vale.

 

187.    Conducted a consultation exercise to obtain the views of children and young people in relation to safeguarding issues and the findings will inform future policy on safeguarding.  

 

188.    In relation to slippage, our work with Sussex University to improve the attainment of pupils on free schools meals has made limited progress as staffing issues have prevented piloting of the assessment system. We continue to work with schools and the Central South Consortium Joint Education Service (CSC JES) to maximise learning and improvement attainment levels of pupils in receipt of free school meals. Piloting should begin in autumn 2015 [LS/A056 (CP/LS5 (IO7)].

 

189.    The Consortium decided not to implement a standard pupil tracking system into all secondary schools but to work with the schools on an individual basis to ensure the effective tracking of pupils’ progress using a system of each schools choice. Schools continue to operate a range of tracking systems [LS/A075 (CP/LS5) (IO7)].

 

190.    Welsh Government have delayed the launch of the diagnostic tool to track, monitor and record the outcomes of learners. Cardiff and Vale College are developing a training programme which is yet to be announced [LS/A151 (IO1) (CP/LS9)].

 

191.    The National Outcome Framework for Youth Services (NOF) for Wales has yet to be launched by Welsh Government. The Council have become involved in the development of the NOF and will be hopefully part of a trial in late 2015 [LS/A144].

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

192.    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

193.    Underperformance issues relating to sustainability will be given due consideration both corporately and within the relevant service areas.  A number of actions and priorities directly relate to the sustainability of communities as well as sustainable construction and transport.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

194.    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

195.    Underperformance issues relating to crime and disorder will be given due consideration both corporately and within the relevant service areas.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

196.    Underperformance issues relating to equalities will be given due consideration both corporately and within the relevant service areas.

Corporate/Service Objectives

197.    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

198.    This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

200.    All

Background Papers

Contact Officer

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager.

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Managing Director