THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
CABINET: 21ST SEPTEMBER, 2015
REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES): 9TH SEPTEMBER, 2015
“ IMPROVEMENT PLAN PART 2: ANNUAL REVIEW OF PERFORMANCE 2014/15 (MD) -
The Head of Performance and Development presented the draft Improvement Plan Part 2 - Annual Review of Performance 2014/15, which contained performance and improvement information for Improvement Objectives agreed in April 2014.
Members were requested to endorse the Plan and to consider any areas of underperformance.
The Part 2 Improvement Plan (attached at Appendix 1) was a document primarily looking back over 2014/15. It contained key performance information which helped demonstrate progress towards achievements of the Council’s Improvement Objectives.
Although the Plan was substantially complete, further minor amendments would be required following changes to performance information provided by the Local Government Data Unit and from proof reading.
Based on a self-assessment, it had been concluded that overall the Council had been successful in achieving the majority of the positive outcomes intended in the Council’s Improvement Objectives for 2014/15. All of the eight Improvement Objectives set for the year were judged to have been achieved, these objectives being as follows:
Objective 1 - To improve employability of local people by facilitating learning opportunities, vocational and employment skills.
Objective 2 - To increase sustainability and stability of Looked After Children and Young People Placements.
Objective 3 - To support more people towards independence.
Objective 4 - To support and enhance the town centres of the Vale of Glamorgan for the benefit of residents, visitors and businesses.
Objective 5 - To reduce the number of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET).
Objective 6 - To reduce the time taken to deliver Disabled Facilities Grants for Children and Young People and to adults.
Objective 7 - To support and challenge schools in order to improve pupil attainment levels at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4.
Objective 8 - To improve the responsive repairs service for tenants.
A summary of the conclusions of the eight Improvement Objectives for the Vale was identified in paragraphs 9 - 16 of the report.
In referring to the Appendix, the report outlined that pages 85 - 92 detailed how the Council performed against the 2014/15 National Performance Dataset in comparison with the previous year and with other local authorities in Wales. In total 46 national performance indicators in 2014/15 were reported and of these, 44 had data that could be compared with the previous year. Key highlights included:
In total 8 indicators achieved the best possible performance in 2014/15. Of these 8 best performing indicators, 7 continued to maintain their best possible performance (either 100% or 0%) when compared to last year. The indicator that achieved its best possible performance in contrast to last year was EDU/002i, Pupils in school aged 15 that leave education, training or work-based learning without an approved external qualification. During 2014/15, 0% of children left without any approved qualification whereas the previous year the 0.2% of children left without a qualification.
49% (23) indicators showed an improvement (based on their PI value) during 2014/15. These had remained relatively static compared to last year. 14 of the 23 indicators this year have continued to show an improvement during 2014/15 when compared with the previous year.
13 indicators showed a decline (based on their PI value) during 2014/15, the same number as the previous year. 5 of the 13 measures continued to show a decline during 2014/15.
For 4 indicators, performance had previously shown an improvement during 2013/14 but their performance during 2014/15 had remained static. However, 3 of the 4 indicators continued to maintain best possible performance of 100% (EDU/015a, EDU/015b, relating to final statements of SEN issued and SCA/019 relating to adult protection referrals where the risk has been managed). There were also 8 indicators that had previously shown improvement in 2013/14 (based on their PI value) that were now showing a decline in their performance for 2014/15. These related to EDU/006ii (pupils assessed receiving a teacher assessment in Welsh) had dropped from 9.2% in 2012/13 to 8.9% in 2014/15, SCA/002b (rate of older people supported in care homes), this figure had slightly increased from 14.74 per 1,000 population in 2012/13 to 15.70 per 1,000 population in 2014/15 (where an increase indicates that performance was worsening), SCA/020 (adults supported in the community) performance had only slightly dipped by 2.72% compared with the previous year, SCC/045 (reviews of looked after children (LAC) and Children in Need (CIN) carried out in statutory timetable) performance had only slightly dipped by 1.6% compared with last year, SCC/025 (percentage of statutory visits to LAC in accordance with regulations) had shown a very minor decline of 0.8%, PSR/004 (private sector vacant dwellings returned to occupation) there had been a 31.54% drop compared to last year, STS/005b (highways inspected for high or acceptable level of cleanliness) had seen a minor decline of 0.6% and THS/012b (non-principal roads in poor condition), had seen a very minor decline of 0.2%.
8 Indicators during 2014/15 had shown no change in their performance when compared to 2013/14.
A breakdown of the Council’s performance in quartiles when compared to Wales was as follows:
44% (20) indicators were in the upper quartile of performance, representing a 3% increase on the previous year where 41% (17) indicators were reported in the upper quartile for their performance.
15% (7) of indicators were in the upper middle quartile (2nd) during 2014/15 compared with 7% (3) of indicators in the previous year (2013/14).
20% (9) indicators were in the lower middle quartile for their performance during 2014/15, representing a 9% reduction on the previous year where 29% (12) indicators were reported in the lower middle quartile.
20% (9) indicators had remained in the bottom quartile for their performance during 2014/15 which was the same as the previous year (2013/14). Of these 9 indicators, 7 were previously in the lower quartile for the performance during 2013/14, indicating that there had not been any significant improvements to enable these indicators to move out of the bottom quartile for their performance.
Members were further advised that the report had been presented to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) as the lead Scrutiny Committee due to the fact that the timetable for publication of the Plan had not allowed all Scrutiny Committees to consider the report. It was noted however, that the majority of information contained within the Plan had been previously reported to all Scrutiny Committees as part of quarterly and end of year performance reporting and Service Plans.
A Committee Member commented that bearing in mind the period of austerity and pressures on resources, Managers and staff should be commended for the Council’s good performance. The Committee agreed that officers and staff should be congratulated.
Further to this point the Committee, in referring to paragraph 7 of the covering report, felt that the wording of this paragraph could more positively reflect the good performances achieved. The Head of Performance and Development was happy to amend this.
At this juncture, Councillor H.J.W. James indicated that he had a dispensation granted by the Standards Committee to speak on matters relating to the Local Government Data Unit.
In referring to page 11 of the Improvement Plan, the Chairman requested more information and detail regarding the Vale’s ‘Clout Score’ (which related to Social Media) and specifically around how this was calculated and how it could be improved. It was agreed that this would be considered at a future meeting of the Scrutiny Committee.
Having considered the report it was subsequently
(1) T H A T the Improvement Plan for 2014/15 be endorsed, and referred to Cabinet and Full Council for consideration and approval.
(2) T H A T Officers and staff be congratulated for the Council’s performance.
Reason for recommendation
(1) To meet the requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure to publish an annual review of Council performance and to ensure that action is taken to continually improve.
(2) To offer the Committee’s thanks and appreciation to staff for the good performance achieved.”
Attached as Appendix – Report to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources): 9th September, 2015