Agenda Item No 7


Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 16 April 2013


Report of the Director of Development Services


Service Planning 2013/2017


Purpose of the Report

1.             To outline new service planning arrangements for 2013/2017.


That Scrutiny Committees:


1.             Note the changes to service planning arrangements.

2.             Agree the attached service plan(s) subject to any changes required.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To inform Scrutiny Committees of the revised service plan format.

2.             To improve the effectiveness of scrutiny of the Council's performance.

3.             To meet the Auditor General for Wales' recommendation as outlined in the 2011-12    Annual Improvement Assessment Report.


2.             The Council's 2011 Improvement Assessment makes one improvement proposal: Continuing the development of outcome focused measures by moving from reporting arrangements that focus primarily on performance indicators and on completion, or otherwise, of an action and ensuring that:

  • intentions are expressed in a way in which allows progress to be measured; and
  • reporting arrangements consistently provide members with an evaluation of performance in the context of the objective that the Council is aiming to achieve.

3.             The development of outcome focused measures has been identified as an area for improvement in most Welsh Councils. During the autumn of 2011, the Council commissioned the Local Government Data Unit to work with three service areas (Visible Services, Public Protection and Customer Relations) to develop more outcome focused service plans as a pilot.  This work has been used to inform the revised format for 2013/2017 service plans.  

4.             The Wales Audit Office was consulted during the process in order to ensure that the revised service plan format address the issues outlined in the improvement proposal.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             Service planning arrangements have been reviewed to reflect the new senior management restructure and there are fewer plans (eight in total) for 2013-14, providing a strategic overview of each directorate. Below this level, officers will need to develop team plans.

6.             The new service planning template was approved by the Council's Corporate Management Team on 29 August 2012. The new plans address a number of key questions aimed at enabling services to improve how they measure and provide evidence of their contribution to the priority outcomes identified in the Corporate Plan.

7.             Workshops have been undertaken reflecting the new service planning areas and these involved Directors, relevant Cabinet Members, Heads of Service, Operational Managers and other key service officers.

8.             The Council has agreed with the Wales Audit Office to use the revised plans as supporting evidence in meeting its obligations for self assessment under the Local Government Measure.

9.             Members have been informed of the revised service plan format via a report to all Scrutiny Committees during February 2012.  In addition, pilot plans were considered by relevant scrutiny committees during 2012/13 and circulated to all elected members.

10.        Following a review of existing service performance measures, proposed measures for 2013/14 will be presented to all scrutiny committees during July 2013 along with end of year performance reporting.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.        None as a direct consequence of this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12.        None as a direct consequence of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.        The Auditor General has a duty under sections 17, 18 and 19 of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 to report outputs from corporate and improvement assessments of all improvement authorities in Wales.

14.        The Council has a duty to improve under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 and the Local Government Act 1999.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.        None as a direct consequence of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.        None as a direct consequence of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.        The Corporate Plan outlines community leadership as a priority for the Council. Improving how the Council evidences and reports achievement of its priority outcomes contributes towards effective community leadership. Service plans are a key building block in the Council's performance management framework and identify how each service will contribute towards achieving key aims and objectives as set out in the Corporate Plan.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.        This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.        Plans have been written collaboratively by relevant members within Directorates. Directors are responsible for assuring that their service plan is approved by the Managing Director and the relevant Cabinet Member.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.        All scrutiny committees

Background Papers

Auditor General for Wales, Annual Improvement Assessment Report 2011

CMT report - 29 August 2012

Scrutiny reports - February 2012


Contact Officer

Bev Noon, Operational Manager - Corporate Policy and Communications


Officers Consulted

Performance Manager

Improvement Manager


Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Service