Agenda Item No


Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources): 10 September 2013


Report of the Managing Director


Improvement Plan 2013/14


Purpose of the Report

1.             To present the draft Improvement Plan 2013/14 which contains performance and improvement information for improvement objectives agreed in April 2012.


That the Committee endorses the Improvement Plan for 2013/14.

Reason for the Recommendation

To ensure that actions are taken to improve the performance of the Council.


2.             The Council's Part 1 Improvement Plan for 2012/13 was agreed by Cabinet on 18 April 2012; this is required by the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009. The Part 1 Plan is forward looking, and set improvement objectives for 2012/13.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.             The Part 2 Improvement Plan (attached at appendix A) is a document primarily looking back over 2012/13. It contains key performance measures along with and targets and actions for 2012/13. Where available, it contains Welsh average performance for benchmarking purposes.

4.             The performance information will be used by the Wales Audit Office to assess the Council’s capacity to improve, and therefore is of critical importance to the reputation of the Council.

5.             The Plan is substantially complete, although further minor amendments will be required following additional information being provided by chief officers, changes to performance information provided by the Local Government Data Unit and from proofreading. This information will need to be included prior to the final draft being presented to Cabinet.

6.             The Corporate Resources Committee will primarily be interested in objectives 3, 7 and 8, although it will want to take an overview of all of the improvement objectives.

7.             Objective 3: To increase energy efficiency by promoting sustainable practices in our business in order to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint.

8.             This objective has been fully achieved, although work will continue to take place to reduce energy use even further.

9.             There was a considerable amount of activity across the Council during 2012/13 to reduce energy use and carbon emissions. As a result there has been a reduction of 11.05% in building related carbon emissions for 2012/13 compared to the 2011/12 performance. 

10.        For more details on objective 3, turn to page 16 in the Plan.

11.        Objective 7: To maximise use of our property resources.

12.        This objective has been fully achieved, although work is continuing to maximise property resources.

13.        The Corporate Asset Management Plan (CAMP) has been updated, and clearly demonstrates how assets will support the delivery of corporate objectives. 

14.        The capital investment programme has been put in place to ensure that our older buildings are accessible, more energy efficient using sustainable energy sources such as solar panels and ground source heat pumps, with improved lighting and general facilities.

15.        We are developing the 'Space Project’ which is a review of our accommodation requirements in light of staffing reductions and changes in service delivery patterns in order to reduce revenue costs. This involves developing new office accommodation and adapting existing accommodation to provide predominantly open plan, efficiently used space with more shared space areas, reducing the numbers of dedicated workstations and higher levels of hot-desking.

16.        The Council has reduced its property portfolio and has developed a shared strategic approach to asset management with our partners (Local Service Board and other Councils). This involves working collaboratively between councils and proactively pursuing co-location opportunities.

17.        For more details on objective 7, turn to page 31 of the Plan.

18.        Objective 8: To develop effective and sustainable workforce planning arrangements for the Council.

19.        This objective has been partially met, and work will continue to ensure that workforce planning is embedded in the culture of the organisation.

20.        A Workforce Plan has been agreed by the Council, and is in the process of being implemented.

21.        A revised senior management structure has been implemented across the Council and service directorates have been rationalised. The new single status pay structure for over 4,500 employees has been implemented.

22.        More emphasis is being placed on self service of Human Resources (HR) services which has enabled better targeted HR support to managers. This has supported an increased use of flexible working and contract flexibility, enabling the Council to deliver services to better suit the needs of customers. There has been an increased number of local apprenticeships in the council.

23.        Key skills for the future have been identified by staff and managers through annual performance and development reviews. A programme of skills development has commenced.

24.        For more details of objective 8, turn to page 36 of the Plan.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

25.        The production of the Improvement Plan is a major annual project that involves a considerable amount of time from officers. The cost of producing the Plan and publishing a bilingual summary in October is met through existing budgets.  

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

26.        Sustainability issues have been taken into account as part of the process for selecting the improvement objectives.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

27.        The Improvement Plan is a statutory duty under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009, along with a duty to continually improve.

Crime and Disorder Implications

28.        None as a result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

29.        The summary document provides members of the public with an opportunity to become aware of the Council’s performance and will be produced bilingually.

Corporate/Service Objectives

30.        The Plan provides information on the improvement objectives agreed by the Council.

Policy Framework and Budget

31.        The Improvement Plan forms a part of the Policy Framework and is required to be agreed by Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

32.        Elected Members and Corporate Management Team were involved in the selection of improvement objectives for 2012/13.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

33.        Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Reforming the Wales Programme for Improvement - Guidance to Local Authorities 2010

Corporate Plan 2010/2014

Vale of Glamorgan Community Strategy 2011 - 2021

Contact Officer

Beverly Noon 01446 709746

Officers Consulted

All relevant officers have been consulted on the contents of this report:

Corporate Management Team

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies, Managing Director