Agenda Item No. 9


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment): 14 July 2015


Report of the Director of Visible Services and Housing


Visible Services End of Year Performance Report 2014-15


Purpose of the Report

1.         To present end of year performance results for the period 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015 outlined in Appendix 1.


1.         That Committee note service performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address service underperformance.

2.         That Committee note progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement with Welsh Government 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2014-15.

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 Measure (Wales) 2009.

2.         To consider the Visible Services end of year performance results as at 31st March 2015 in order to highlight areas for service improvement.


2.         The Service Plans for 2014/15 focus on the achievement of key objectives within each directorate which in turn contributes towards the achievement of identified outcomes in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2014-15. 

3.         Quarterly performance reports have been developed to reflect these Service Plans and designed to ensure that the council reports performance in the context of progress against its objectives. 

4.         End of year (quarter 4) performance reports are cumulative and comprise of performance information covering the period 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015. The performance 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, the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2014-15 for which the directorate has lead responsibility. Examples of exceptional performance during the quarter are highlighted as are any 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 due actions. Progress is provided for all performance indicators by allocating a performance status, J relates to performance that has met or exceeded target, K relates to performance within 10% of target and L relates to performance that has missed target by more than 10%.

·         A direction of travel arrow is also provided against each measure indicating whether current performance has improved, stayed static or declined on previous year’s performance. An upward arrow indicates that performance has improved from the previous year's performance, a static arrow indicates performance has remained the same and a downward arrow shows performance has declined compared to the previous year.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         Overall, Visible Services has completed 60% of Service Plan actions at end of year. Details are available under each objective. There are a total of 40 actions in the plan; 24 are completed and 16 have slipped. All 16 outstanding action will be carried forward to the 2015/16 Service Plan.

6.         The Service completed 54% of its actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2014/15 Service Plan. Of the 13 actions within the Service Plan, 7 are completed and 6 have slipped.

7.         There are currently no actions relating to the Improvement Objectives.

8.         There are 17 actions relating to the Outcome Agreement, all 17 (100%) have been completed. There are 6 measures relating to the Outcome Agreement. Of these, 2 (33%) have met or exceeded target, 2 (33%) are within 10% of target, 1 (17%) has missed target by more than 10%, and performance status was not applicable for 1 (17%) indicator. The one indicator that has missed target by more than 10% is WMT/010i. See relevant objective for reason for underperformance and proposed remedial action where appropriate. 

9.         Of the 34 performance indicators in the plan, performance status was not applicable for 7 (21%) measures. 15 (44%) measures have met or exceeded target at end of year, 8 (23%) are within 10% of target, and 4 (12%) have missed target by more than 10%. The four indicators that missed target by more than 10% relate to WMT/010i, THS/009, THS/011b and STS/007. The reasons for underperformance and any proposed remedial action is provided under the relevant objective.

10.      In terms of notable service achievements, Vehicle tracking has been introduced to 98% of the Council’s fleet, including facial/fingerprint recognition technology for monitoring the timekeeping of all staff and a new home to work transport policy which saw 63 vehicles returned back to the depots for overnight parking saving the Council over £100k per annum. Completion of the independent review of all the Council’s transport operations (EDGE Review) identified possible savings of £1.59m over three years and the work to achieve these savings has already started.

11.      Our street lighting LED replacement programme has not only made savings, it has also reduced the Council’s carbon footprint (over 650 tonnes reduction in CO2 emissions) through more energy efficient street lighting. In addition, our part light street lighting strategy will save in excess of £300,000 per annum and over 1,000 tonnes of CO2.

12.      All Council owned, leased or hired vehicles are run on 5% bio-fuel, helping to lower exhaust emissions. All new vehicles are purchased to the Euro 6 standard, the latest EU emissions standard. Implementation of vehicle tracking will enable detailed statistics on amount of carbon produced by each vehicle

13.      A comprehensive pools car scheme was introduced across the Council on 1 April 2015 as part of a transport savings programme. This will result in significant savings for the Council and contribute towards reducing the carbon footprint of our fleet.

14.      The Viridor plant was approximately 18 months ahead of schedule resulting in savings of £1.6 million from the pre Prosiect Gwyrdd contract stage. The new arrangements will ultimately eliminate the need to landfill waste, thus making significant savings to the Council. Commencement of the waste treatment facility is also anticipated to deliver an additional 5-8% increase in the Vale’s overall recycling rate.

15.      All recycling bring sites have been removed reducing recycling contamination and localised fly-tipping in these areas.  Charges for a range of waste management services were successfully introduced on 1 April 2015 and the income obtained from these charges will be used to offset reductions in budgets going forward.

16.      The amount of waste prepared for reuse or recycled (WMT/011) has also increased considerably compared with the previous year’s performance due in part to new penalty arrangements introduced as part of our Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) management contract from 63.32% to 63.87%. It is projected that the 2015 / 2016 recycling target will be achieved.

17.      Five parks in the Vale have now won the coveted Green Flag award, that is, Central Park, Romilly Park, Victoria Park, Belle Vue Park, Alexandra Park and Windsor Gardens. This has been achieved working in close partnership with communities. Green Flag status is a mark of excellence demonstrating good amenities and community involvement in parks.

18.      The Local Government Borrowing Initiative (LGBI) has enabled us to invest in the local highway asset by resurfacing and surface treating over 22km’s of roads last year, as well as enabling a considerable LED street lighting renewal project aimed at reducing street lighting energy costs and the Council’s carbon footprint overall. Additionally, we have successfully secured £150k per year over the last two years to undertake essential footway improvement works. These works have enabled some 6km of footway to be either reconstructed or overlaid each year over the period improving the quality and safety of the Council’s footway network.

19.      The Big Fill initiative has been completed for 2014/15. We spent an additional £200k and repaired over 4500 extra potholes last year through the scheme visiting all 23 wards and encouraging the public to get involved with the reporting of highway defects which were the repaired over one weekend in each ward.

20.      We successfully developed, designed and delivered a number of schemes to improve highway and pedestrian safety throughout the Vale, using a £445,000 Safe Routes in Communities grant. This included an extension of the cycle/ footway from Barry Comprehensive to Weycock Cross roundabout; work to a 20mph zone outside Ysgol Sant Curig in Barry, and upgrading a zebra crossing to puffin on Barry Road.

21.      We developed an investment plan for the refurbishment of public conveniences and improved the standard of cleanliness. During 2014/15 in addition to the new Eastern Shelter public convenience built as part of the regeneration works at Barry Island another 3 public conveniences were refurbished at Romilly Road/Park Crescent, Albert Road and Llantwit Beach with further conveniences scheduled for refurbishment at Cosmeston Lakes and Jacksons Bay.  Improvement works at Southerndown, the Old Town Hall, Barry and the Western Shelter Barry Island were also undertaken in 2014/15. Refurbishments to a further 32 public conveniences are scheduled for 2015/16.

22.      We continued to work with residents and communities on joint initiatives resulting in the introduction of new and improving the quality of existing recreation spaces:

·         Provided a public garden at Cemetery Road, Barry through a joint initiative with Barry Town Council.

·         A 10 year extension to the Management Agreement at the Old Hall garden, Cowbridge will enable the Cowbridge Charter Trust to further develop aspirations for the gardens.

·         Fully refurbished Meggitt Road and Dryden Terrace Play areas, increasing opportunities for play.

·         Installed new equipment and refurbished existing play areas at Alexandra Gardens, Amherst Crescent, Bedford Rise, Belvedere Crescent, Central Park, Chickenwood Park and Romilly Park play areas.

·         In conjunction with Penarth Marina and Haven Residents' Association, we constructed a new woodland footway from Paget Road to Portway.

·         Installed a viewing platform and refurbished Penarth Head Park.

·         Installed a new football changing pavilion at Maslin Park.

·         Working with residents at Aneurin Road, we refurbished the large communal area in the street.

·         Refurbished the period walls at Alexandra Gardens, Knap Gardens and Royal Gardens.

·         Worked with Gibbonsdown residents Board, local young people and the Arts Development Officer to deliver a public art project in Pencoedtre Park. Similarly worked with local young people and the Arts Development Officer to deliver a public art project at St. Athan Skateboard Park.

·         Worked with Friends of Bellevue Park to deliver improvements to the park, particularly the first new public drinking fountain in Wales.

·         Delivered improvements to parks land at Barry Island.

23.      In relation to slippage, the findings of the review of Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) arrangements have been incorporated within the car park charging Cabinet report due to be reported in June / July 2015 [VS/A073 (CP/E4)].

24.      The Boverton flood risk management scheme design has been identified and we are awaiting confirmation of funding approval from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) prior to inviting design and build tenders.  Related land issues cannot be progressed until funding is in place [VS/A070 (CP/E5)]. NRW approval has also been gained for the preferred option for the flood risk management scheme for Llanmaes however, Welsh Government funding approval is now required for the redesign and it is anticipated that the redesign will be completed in 6 to 9 months [VS/A071 (CP/E5)]. In relation to the Coldbrook scheme, we are awaiting Welsh Government determination of the Equality Impact Assessment prior to confirmation of grant funding approval for the scheme and anticipate delivery of the scheme by end of the 2015/16 financial Year [VS/A069 (CP/E5)].

25.      Work has commenced on finalising the Allotment Strategy now that the Welsh Government's "Consultation on improving the availability of Allotments" has been published. This action has been carried forward into 2015/16 [VS/A046 (CP/E12)].

26.      The introduction of a set of service standards for control of littering, dog fouling and graffiti will be completed during April to June of 2015 as part of achieving proposed service efficiencies and savings within the Directorate [VS/A084 (CP/E2].

27.      The review of all collection and recycling rounds is ongoing and the need for revision of specific rounds has been identified and is being progressed [VS/A059]. At the same time, a review of collection arrangements for commercial residual waste and recycling is also progressing and this work is being carried forward into 2015/16 [VS/A063].

28.      Implementation of the all Wales Collective Collaboration Programme for waste will commence once Welsh Government guidance has been issued [VS/A062].

29.      Negotiations are ongoing with recognised trade unions to review working arrangements for staff in relation to the collection of residual waste [VS/A065].

30.      A report on a new policy for missed refuse and recycling collections from domestic properties is now proposed for May 2015 [VS/A066a].

31.      New collection arrangements for green waste utilising the existing recycling and residual waste collection vehicle fleet will commence in May 2015. The new arrangements will result in a reduction in operational costs of the green waste service [VS/A066b].

32.      In relation to the introduction of car parking in specific town centres, consultants Capita have been appointed to carry out sensitivity testing of car park charges prior to the completion of a Cabinet Report in June /July of 2015 [VS/A031].

33.      We are currently considering the use of Arboricultural consultants to complete the audit of the Vale of Glamorgan’s parks and street trees which will inform the management plans for inspection and maintenance [VS/A076].

34.      Work continues with Welsh Government and key providers to improve street cleaning and environmental management through various initiatives. It is anticipated that this action will be completed in April/ June 2015 [VS/A083].

35.      As part of the Directorate's planned savings for 2014/15, part night street lighting is being implemented across the Vale. The street lighting risk assessment is awaiting sign-off from the project board prior to implementation in May 2015 [VS/A068].

36.      A detailed report of the directorate's overall performance is provided at Appendix 1.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

37.      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

38.      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)

39.      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

40.      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)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

42.      The Corporate Plan 2013-17 outlines community leadership as a priority for the Council. Improving how the Council evidences and reports achievements of its outcomes and objectives contributes towards effective community leadership.

Policy Framework and Budget

43.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

44.      The information contained within the report is based on quarterly returns provided by service directorates to the Performance and Development Team. An overall Council report on performance has been considered by Cabinet.  Quarterly performance reports are reported to relevant Scrutiny Committees.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

45.      Economy and Environment

Background Papers

Visible Services End of Year Performance Report 2014/15

Contact Officer

Julia Esseen, Corporate Performance Co-ordinator


Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager


Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter, Director of Visible Services and Housing.