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Agenda Item No 5

 

Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 11 March 2014

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Improvement Plan Part 1 (Improvement Objectives 2014/15)

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         The report seeks Member endorsement of proposed improvement objectives for 2014/15.

Recommendation

1.         That Members endorse the proposed improvement objectives for 2014/15.

Reasons for the Recommendation

1.         To ensure the Council identifies key annual improvement priorities for 2014/15 in line with requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

2.         To ensure that improvement objectives focus specifically on those areas where there is a need for improvement, reflecting the work being undertaken across the Council to improve the quality of life for Vale residents.

3.         To enable the Council to more easily demonstrate achievement of its priorities.

Background

2.         The Corporate Plan is a key means of the Council complying with the Local Government Measure 2009, which requires the Council to set 'improvement objectives' annually and demonstrate continuous improvement.

3.         The Corporate Plan 2013-2017 was approved by Cabinet on 25th February 2013 following extensive consultation with key stakeholders and partners.  The Plan sets out a four year vision for the Council, structured around eight priority outcomes which reflect the priority outcomes in the Community Strategy 2011-2021. These outcomes are also reflected in service plans for 2014/15 and have informed the development of service outcomes and objectives.

4.         The proposed improvement objectives and associated actions for 2014/15 reflect the eight priority outcomes in the Corporate Plan, ensuring that the Council is focusing on the areas in need of the most improvement.

5.         Service plans for 2014/15 have incorporated a comprehensive self assessment and these have also informed proposed improvement objectives for the same period, along with the Council's risk register, current consultations and internal and regulatory assessments.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         Eight improvement objectives are proposed for 2014/15 including four carried forward from 2013/14, which have been amended to reflect the areas of focus for further improvement work in 2014/15. These are:

  • To increase sustainability and stability of looked after children and young people's placements.
  • To reduce the time taken to deliver disabled facilities grants to children and young people and to adults.
  • To reduce the number of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs).
  • To support and challenge schools in order to improve pupil attainment levels at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4.

7.         Two objectives apply specifically to this Committee which are:

  • To improve employability of local people by facilitating learning opportunities, vocational and employment skills. (objective 1)
  • To support and enhance the town centres of the Vale of Glamorgan for the benefit of residents, visitors and businesses. (objective 4)

8.         Appendix 1 outlines the proposed objectives for 2014/15 and provides a rationale for each objective. The measures to be undertaken to make a difference are indentified including a lead officer at chief officer level with responsibility for ensuring the achievement of key outcomes.

9.         Challenging targets have been set against all measures for improvement, reflecting the Council's commitment to continuously improve the services it provides to citizens of the Vale.  At the same time, the Council is also mindful of significant financial and service demand pressures over the coming year and key targets and milestones for proposed improvement objectives have been set within this context. This means that in some areas for example it will be an achievement to maintain existing levels of service performance whilst absorbing reductions in funding, managing increasing service demand or both. Such issues will need to be taken into account during internal challenge of proposed improvement objectives and targets.

10.      We are required to consult on our improvement objectives and the proposed objectives will be published on the Council’s website during March 2014 inviting comments from the public. At the same time other key stakeholders including the Local Service Board, town and community councils, voluntary sector organisations and the local chambers of commerce will be asked for their views. Proposals will be made to Cabinet based on the findings of the consultation.

11.      Improvement objectives will be revised to reflect relevant Cabinet amendments and will be considered by Council in June 2014.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.      In determining its priorities the Council has been mindful of the economic situation locally and nationally and taken into account legislation changes and government policy. Key objectives set out in the Corporate Plan and service plans either have resources committed to their achievement (Medium Term Financial Plan and annual budget review) or the likely prospect of such resources being made available in the period of the plan.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

13.      The proposed improvement objectives have given due consideration to sustainability and climate change implications on planned activities where appropriate.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.      The Council has a duty to identify and publish its annual improvement objectives and report progress against them.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.      The proposed improvement objectives have given due consideration to crime and disorder implications on planned activities where appropriate.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.      The proposed improvement objectives have given due consideration to equal opportunities implications on planned activities where appropriate. An Equalities Impact Assessment will be undertaken on the proposed improvement objectives.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.      Improvement objectives are a priority for the council. Improving how the Council evidences and reports achievement of its priority outcomes contributes towards effective community leadership.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.      The Corporate Plan, improvement objectives and service plans form part of the Council’s approved policy framework.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.      In line with the requirement to consult on our improvement objectives, views will also be sought from the Local Service Board, town and community councils, voluntary sector organisations, local chambers of commerce and the general public via an online survey, local media advertisements and social media.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.      All

Background Papers

Rationale for Improvement Objectives 2014/15

 

Contact Officer

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager

 

Officers Consulted

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

 

Corporate Management Team

Heads of Service

Head of Performance and Development

Operational Manager Policy and Communications

Improvement Manager

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services

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