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Agenda Item No 8

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 9th October 2013

 

Report of the Director of Visible and Housing Services

 

Quarter 1 Housing and Building Services Performance Report 2013/14

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To present performance results for quarter 1, 1st April - 30th June, 2013-14.

Recommendations

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 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2013/14.

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 quarter 1 Housing and Building Services performance results as at 30th June 2013 in order to identify service areas for improvement work.

3.             To meet the Auditor General, Wales' improvement proposal to ensure that:

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

4.             To enable the Council to demonstrate achievement of its objectives and identified outcomes.

Background

2.             Service plans for 2013/14 have been revised in accordance with the proposal for improvement and are now designed to focus on the achievement of key objectives within each Directorate which will in turn contribute towards the achievement of identified outcomes.  Service plans reflect the revised Corporate Plan 2013-17.

3.             Quarterly performance reports have been revised to reflect the new service plans and are designed to ensure the Council reports performance in the context of progress against its objectives.  A new framework has been developed in Ffynnon to record performance information against objectives.

4.             The revised 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 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.
  • 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 is on or has exceeded target.  All areas of underperformance identified include a reason for the poor performance and proposed remedial actions.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             Housing Services is generally on track to achieve the objectives contributing to its service outcomes, with 52% of actions either completed or on track. Of the 32 corporate plan actions in the service plan, 50% (16) are either completed or on track for completion, 9 have slipped and 5 have not started but were due to have. 2 will commence in the second quarter. The service has no improvement objective actions for 2013/14.

6.             Of 9 performance indicators, 3 have met or exceeded target, 1 is within 10% of target, 1 missed target by more than 10% 3 are new indicators and 1 did not set a target.

7.             In terms notable performance during quarter 1, Housing Services successfully secured an additional £625k in Social Housing Grant from the Welsh Government to deliver 14 new one and two bedroom affordable housing units in partnership with Newydd Housing Association. These properties will be prioritised for existing social housing tenants in the Vale of Glamorgan who are affected by the welfare reforms through the under occupation of their existing homes (by enabling them to downsize to smaller more suitable accommodation).

8.             Building Services started upgrading Council void properties in September last year to the WHQS standard. Results for September to December indicated that only 5% were completed on time (which affected income to the Council).  Following significant internal improvements, results for the first quarter of 2013/14 show that 63% of properties are now returned on time (for July 2013, this has risen to 89%).

9.             Building Services' performance in upgrading sheltered housing to time was 65% during the period September to December 2012 (which reduced down to 48% for January to March this year).  Following a number of improvement processes implemented, 100% of properties are now delivered on time. This is the highest out of all five contractors and this performance is being maintained during the second quarter of this financial year.

10.        Whilst legislation contained within the Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (Wales) Order 2006 states B&B is unsuitable, households with children can be placed in B&B by the local authority provided the accommodation meets the Higher Standard Rate for B&B accommodation as specified within the Order and for a period that does not exceed 6 weeks. Given the Vale’s current family temporary accommodation resource, we are confident that families with children will no longer be placed into B&B unless in an emergency or following an out of hours presentation. No families with children have been placed in B&B since August last year.

11.        The service has identified remedial actions to address reported slippage during the quarter.  The feasibility study for the provision of an older people’s village has not started [HS02/A016 (CP/H2)] as this is very much dependent on the availability of a site and funding. Consultation is currently ongoing on one site and a feasibility study on a second.

12.        Welsh Government guidance is awaited in order to establish an accreditation procedure for all Supporting People services where funding transfers to the Authority [HS07/A061 (CP/H10)]. The development of a housing solutions service [HS01/A003 (CP/H9)] has been postponed pending a review of Housing and Building Services structure.  It is anticipated that the service will be implemented in the next financial year. 

13.        A detailed report of the Directorate’s overall performance is provided at Appendix 1.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14.        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

15.        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)

16.        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

17.        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)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.        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

20.        This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.        Housing and Public Protection

Background Papers

23.        Quarter 1 Performance Report, Cabinet, 23 September 2013

 

Contact Officer

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager.

 

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

Beverly Noon, Operational Manager – Corporate Policy and Communications

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter, Director of Visible and Housing Services 

 

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