Agenda Item No. 7


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 3rd December, 2013


Joint Report of the Director of Development Services and Director of Visible Services and Housing


End of Year Performance Report 2012/13: National Strategic Indicators and Public Accountability Measures


Purpose of the Report

1.         To present the Council's performance results against statutory national performance indicators (National Strategic Indicators and Public Accountability Measures) relevant to the Scrutiny Committee for the year ended 31 March 2013.


That the Committee note performance results and identify areas for improvement work.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To report on service performance in line with statutory requirements and the Council's Performance Management Framework and monitoring arrangements.

2.         To consider the end of year performance results as at 31 March 2013 to identify service areas for improvement work.

3.         To ensure the continuous improvement of Council services.


2.         Under the Local Government Act 1999, the Wales Programme for Improvement and the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 the Council is required to secure continuous improvement across the full range of local services for which it is responsible and to collect a range of performance data which is submitted to the Welsh Government and the Local Government Data Unit. Collecting national performance indicators is an essential requirement in achieving improvements.

3.         There are two types of national performance indicator included in this report. National Strategic Indicators (NSIs) are statutory and are collected and published annually by Welsh Government. Public Accountability Measures (PAMs) are a small set of "outcome focussed" indicators that are also statutory and are collected and published annually by the Local Government Data Unit. There is some overlap between the two datasets.

4.         This report only includes the indicators related to the Scrutiny Committee. Each year, the Local Government Data Unit publishes outturns for the entire national performance indicator set, along with a headline assessment of Welsh local authority performance.  This report is available online:

5.         A report including all National Statutory Indicators and Public Accountability Measures was considered by CMT on 28 August 2013.  As a result, staff in the Improvement and Development team are now working with services to develop an action plan to address areas of underperformance.

6.         Data is sub-divided into:

·         Top quartile  (quartile 1) –the top 25% of performance

·         Mid quartiles (quartiles 2 and 3) – the middle 50% of performance

·         Bottom quartile (quartile 4) – the bottom 25% of performance.

Relevant Issues and Options

7.         A detailed summary of the performance against indicators relevant to the Scrutiny Committee for the year ended 2012/13 is provided in Appendix 1 (pp. 1-2). 

8.         Key notes on performance:

A total of 8 indicators were relevant to the Scrutiny Committee in the following areas: Planning (1), Leisure, Culture and Sport (1), Street Scene (2), Transport and Highways (2) and Waste Management (8).

·         No indicators were in the top quartile.

·         4 indicators were in the middle quartiles

·         3 indicators were in the bottom quartile.

·         No comparison was possible for 1 indicator, because we did not submit data.

·         2 indicators have improved in real terms on last year’s performance.

·         2 indicators have deteriorated in real terms on last year’s performance.

·         No comparison to last year’s performance was possible for 4 indicators (3 because the definitions were amended nationally for 2012/13; 1 because we did not submit data).

·         3 indicators performed better than the Welsh average.

·         4 indicators performed worse than the Welsh average.

·         1 indicator was qualified by the Wales Audit Office due to issues with the data collection methods.

9.         Page 3 of Appendix 1 provides details of the indicators which have changed quartile position from the previous year.

10.      Page 4 of Appendix 1 compares performance in the Vale with the other nine authorities in the South East Wales region.

11.      CMT received a report on 20 November 2013 providing information about each performance indicator not in the top quartile and any improvement work being undertaken. The following bullet points give the background to each indicator not in the top quartile and encompass: whether indicators are seen as a useful representation of performance, whether we can be confident that indicators are being reported in line with the definitions across Wales, where improvements have already been made and where further improvements could be made.

·         PLA006A The number of additional affordable housing units provided during the year as a percentage of all additional housing units provided during the year.

·         The Wales Audit Office has reservations about the robustness of data sourced nationally by Welsh Government for this indicator and has, therefore, decided to universally qualify it for 2012-13. This is because Welsh Government changed the definition of this PI at the very end of the financial year 2012-13. As a result of the changes, data from one year in arrears had to be submitted, meaning our 2012-13 figure is actually the figure for 2011-12.  Additionally, there were problems with the data accuracy of the figures Welsh Government pre-populated across Wales. Whilst the data we submitted would have put us in the second quartile for this indicator in comparison for the rest of Wales, due to reasons outside of our control, it is not possible to trust these figures. The definition of the indicator has been clarified for 2013-14 and we hope to be able to compare our figures on a national level at the end of this financial year.

·         LCS/002b  The number of visits to local authority sport and leisure centres during the year where the visitor will be participating in physical activity, per 1,000 population.

·         Performance for 2012/13 was in the bottom quartile. Performance for this PI was qualified by the WAO as data was not being calculated in accordance with usage rates guidance provided in the National Strategic Indicator definition.  The indication is that more people are using the facilities than are currently being recorded.  More information is available in the action plan below.  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. This section will also include Outcome Agreements once they are agreed with Welsh Government.  Examples of exceptional performance during the quarter are highlighted as are key areas of slippage and the planned remedial action to bring these back on track.

·         THS/007 The percentage of adults aged 60+ who hold a concessionary bus pass.

·         Performance for 2012/13 was in the bottom quartile. Whilst eligible residents can apply for concessionary bus passes, the uptake is not great particularly as bus coverage in rural areas is generally limited. As a result residents prefer to drive.  In addition, the Council does not wish to raise expectations by advertising concessionary passes when bus services are limited.

·         WMT009b The percentage of municipal waste collected by local authorities and prepared for reuse and/or recycled, including source segregated biowastes that are composted or treated biologically another way.

·         Performance for 2012/13 was in the second quartile. This needs to be considered alongside WMT004b as the less waste is landfilled, the more is recycled and vice versa. Again, some analysis of the national figures is required to establish how some authorities are performing well in one of these indicators and not in the other.

·         WMT004b The percentage of municipal waste collected by local authorities sent to landfill.

·         Performance for 2012/13 was in the third quartile. The Authority is investing collaboratively in Prosiect Gwyrdd which will vastly improve this figure. We expect to be in the top quartile of performance by 2016/17 and we expect the landfill figure to decrease drastically to around 5%. Whilst improving our performance against this indicator is a more long-term process, an analysis of the current data has opened up some possible avenues of exploration to lead to more immediate improvement. It is unclear why some authorities who are reporting lower recycling figures than us are also reporting lower landfill figures.

·         THS012 The percentage of principal (A) roads, non-principal (B) roads and non-principal (C) roads that are in overall poor condition.

·         This indicator was in the third quartile of performance and is continually improving. It is possible to split the figures down into A, B and C roads as follows: A roads = 6.8% (18th in Wales), B roads = 5.9% (5th in Wales), C roads = 16.2% (16th in Wales). This shows that improvement work should be focussed on A and C roads. In respect of C roads, there is not going to be very much investment here due to the limited resources at our disposal. As our performance is linked to funding, there was some discussion about whether it is beneficial to remain in the lower quartiles.

·         STS005b The percentage of highways and relevant land inspected of a high or acceptable standard of cleanliness.

·         Performance for 2012/13 was in the bottom quartile. It was noted that whilst we are currently in 19th position in Wales, an improvement of only 3 percentage points would see us achieve the Welsh average. It was felt that our figure would improve if we carried out more inspections, however resources are not currently available to progress this.  There is already some improvement in this PI; at quarter 2, performance was 96.5%.

·         STS006 The percentage of reported fly tipping incidents cleared within 5 working days.

We were unable to submit a figure for this PI for 2012/13 as we were unable to accurately evidence our performance. The issues that caused this have now been investigated and mid-year review of our current figures is due to take place to ensure that there is no cause for concern this year.


12.      Appendix 2 details the improvement actions that are currently being undertaken with the aim of improving our performance by the end of the current financial year.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

13.      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 some funding opportunities at risk.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14.      There are no national equalities performance measures.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15.      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

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

17.      There are no national equalities performance measures.

Corporate/Service Objectives

18.      Monitoring of performance demonstrates a clear contribution to the corporate priorities outlined below and also underpins the improvement work and outcomes of all seven corporate priorities:

·         To manage the Council’s workforce, money, information and assets efficiently, effectively and securely.

·         To work with partners to promote and ensure a coordinated approach to delivering the shared vision for the future of the Vale.

Policy Framework and Budget

19.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20.      The data contained within the report is based on internally audited returns provided by Heads of Service and verified by the Wales Audit Office/Grant Thornton and the Local Government Data Unit.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

21.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Local Government Data Unit Wales, Local Government Performance 2012-13,


Contact Officer

Chloe Clarke, Corporate Performance Co-ordinator


Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager

Beverly Noon, Operational Manager – Corporate Policy and Communications

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development.


Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

Miles Punter, Director of Visible Services and Housing