Agenda Item No. 9


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources): 17 July 2014


Report of the Managing Director


Corporate and Customer Services End of Year Performance Report 2013/14 and Target Setting 2014/15


Purpose of the Report

1.         To present end of year performance results for the period 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2014 and proposed service targets for 2014/15.


1.         That Committee note service performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address service underperformance. (Paragraphs 5-13 with full details in Appendix 1.)

2.         That Committee note progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013/17 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2013/14. (Paragraphs 6-7 with full details in Appendix 1.)

3.         That Committee consider proposed service targets for 2014/15. (Paragraphs 14-16 with full details in Appendix 2.)

4.         That Committee refer any recommendations to Cabinet for approval.

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.

3.         To ensure challenging targets are set against the Council's measures for improvement, reflecting our commitment to continuously improve services whilst mindful of significant financial and service demand pressures over the coming year.

4.         Cabinet have final decision making powers.


2.         Service Plans for 2013/14 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 2013/14 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 2013 to 31st March 2014 (Appendix 1). The report is structured as follows:

  • An overview provides a snapshot of the directorate's progress towards achieving the objectives contributing towards its service outcomes. It highlights progress towards key actions in the Corporate Plan 2013-17 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2013/14 for which the directorate has lead responsibility. Examples of exceptional 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 started actions. Progress is provided for all performance indicators using the traffic light system (red, amber and green).  A 'red' status relates to measures that have missed target by more than 10%, 'amber' relates to performance within 10% of target and 'green' to performance that has met or exceeded target.  All areas of underperformance identified include a reason for the poor performance and proposed remedial actions.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         The department has completed 54% of service plan actions at end of year, with a further 8% on track for a later completion date. Details are available under each objective. There are a total of 52 actions in the plan; 28 are completed, 4 are on track, 19 have slipped and 1 has not been started.

6.         The department has completed 47% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2013/14 service plan and a further 20% of actions are on track for a later completion date. Of the 15 actions within the service plan, 7 are completed, 3 are on track and 5 have slipped.

7.         60% of our Improvement Objective actions are completed. Of the 5 actions within the service plan, 3 have been completed and 2 have slipped.

8.         There are no Outcome Agreement actions in the 2013/14 plan, as the Outcome Agreement was not agreed until 1 April 2014.

9.         Of the 27 performance indicators in the plan, 8 (29%) did not have targets set for 2013/14. 11 (41%) met or exceeded target at end of year, 1 (4%) was within 10% of target and 5 (19%) missed target by more than 10%. Data was unavailable for 2 (7%) indicators.

10.      In terms of notable performance, funding of £1.2m was secured from successful achievement of the Outcome Agreement 2010-13 with Welsh Government.  Our new website has been ranked by Sitemorse as number 2 in Wales.  A new charter with Town and Community Councils has been agreed which has led to improved working relationships between the Vale and Town and Community Councils.  Customer feedback software implemented during quarter 1 is being more effectively used by services to inform future improvements.  We continued to develop social media as a channel for handling customer enquiries and the number of followers on Twitter and Facebook continues to increase (Facebook: 4210 and Twitter: 8543). There is a high take up of our Vale Connect subscription service which enables customers to receive email updates on subject matter of choice and currently has over 10,000 individual subscribers and 18,000 topics of subscription. In September 2014, post call customer feedback surveys were introduced for Contact OneVale. During the period to the end of March 2014, over 5000 surveys were completed with an average satisfaction rating for services delivered at 95%.

11.      In terms of slippage, the development of self-service options to be made available through the council’s website [CC01/A006 (CP/CL3)] has been paused while waiting for the final implementation of the new Content Management System and approval of new Customer Service and Channel Strategies. The Connecting with our Customers Strategy has now been approved and the associated action plan has begun to be implemented.

12.      A new process for the use of the hate crime helpline and complaints system is being finalised [CC04/A036 (CP/CL9)]. This has been delayed due to a change in personnel. A programme of training is continuing to help raise awareness council wide of the public sector equality duties and issues affecting people with protected characteristics [CC04/A038 (CP/CL9). An e-learning module is available. Training on British Sign Language and deaf awareness took place in January and February. Attendance and participation is monitored and will be reported back to managers.

13.      The Corporate Consultation Officer is currently filling another post, which has caused a number of consultation actions to slip into 2014/15.  An LSB Information and Engagement Strategy has been agreed and an action plan is being implemented in order to coordinate consultation across partners [CC07/A047 (CPCL1)]. Communication and consultation methods are currently being reviewed with LSB partners to ensure all available engagement tools are being utilised [CC07/A048 (CP/CL1).  A consultation calendar is being developed and an informal network of officers involved in consultation across partner organisations is being formed to share good practice [CC07/A050 (IO/06)]. The Vale Public Opinion Survey will take place in the summer of 2014 [CC07/A052 (IO/06)].

Proposed Service Performance Indicators and Targets 2014/15

14.      A review of performance indicators has taken place to ensure that the Council collects indicators which effectively monitor service plan objectives and outcomes. New indicators and deletions have been proposed to enable services to better demonstrate achievement of service objectives and outcomes.  Appendix 2 outlines proposed service targets for 2014/15 by service plan area.

15.      Some targets are set in accordance with previously agreed targets in statutory council documents such as the Improvement Plan and the Outcome Agreement. Where relevant, this is indicated in the comment box. Please note that these targets have already been agreed in consultation with members and Welsh Government and cannot now be amended.

16.      The target setting report also includes end of year performance data. In a small number of instances, this may differ from the end of year data in Appendix 1. This is because reports for Appendix 1 are produced through the Ffynnon system, and therefore had to be finalised before the end of the contract at the end of May. Therefore, where data has been updated or verified since this date, this has been updated in Appendix 2, but not in Appendix 1.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

17.      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

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

19.      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

20.      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)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

22.      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

23.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

25.      Corporate Resources

Background Paper

End of Year Performance Report, Cabinet, 30 June 2014


Contact Officer

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager


Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development


Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies, Managing Director