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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 4th December, 2013

 

Joint Report of the Director of Development Services and the 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.

Recommendation

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.

Background

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: http://www.dataunitwales.gov.uk/SharedFiles/Download.aspx?pageid=79&mid=459&fileid=927.

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 4 indicators were relevant to the Scrutiny Committee in the following areas: Homelessness and Housing Advice (1), Public Protection (1), Private Sector Renewal (2).

·           No indicators were in the top quartile.

·           1 indicator was in the middle quartiles.

·           3 indicators were in the bottom quartile.

·           All 4 indicators have improved 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).

·           1 indicator performed better than the Welsh average

·           3 indicators performed worse than the Welsh average.

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.

·           PSR002 The average number of calendar days taken to deliver a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)

·           Performance for 2012/13 was in the bottom quartile. A significant amount of work has been undertaken to improve this PI and performance has already improved by 67% since 2008/09. More information about current improvement work is available in the action plan below.

·           PSR/004 The percentage of private sector dwellings that had been vacant for more than 6 months at 1 April that were returned to occupation during the year through direct action by the local authority.

·           Performance for 2012/13 was in the bottom quartile. This is another indicator which is calculated differently across councils in Wales. Whilst the PI is a WG priority it is not a statutory duty for the Council.  The area of work is subject to cost pressures which will be put forward. It will mean reallocation of limited resources. More information is available in the action plan below.

·           PPN/009 The percentage of food establishments which are ‘broadly compliant’ with food hygiene standards.

·           Performance for 2012/13 was in the bottom quartile. The indicator measures the performance of food establishments in the Vale and not the Council’s performance. The Council supports food establishments in raising their food hygiene standards through providing proactive training as well as targeted training at those that fail to comply. 

·           This indicator is one where different interpretations of requirements are applied by local authorities in awarding standards. The definition of the indicator was changed for 2013/14 and now excludes establishments not assessed so performance should improve this year.

·           The councils performing well in this indicator tend to be those that generally have higher levels of deprivation, where uptake is higher. The more rural affluent councils such as the Vale have performed the worst.

·           HHA013 The percentage of all potentially homeless households for whom homelessness was prevented for at least 6 months.

·           Whilst performance was in the third quartile for Wales, there has been an 11% improvement in our performance since 2011/12 and we performed above the Wales average for 12/13.

·           A significant number of revolving door cases have impacted on our performance mainly due to the concentration of prison leavers revolving through the system due to short term sentencing.  There is potential improve performance as a result of a potential change in legislation to remove prison leavers as a priority group in April 2015. There is also a problem with lack of supply of suitable accommodation.

·           The current definition set for this performance indicator is very subjective. Local authorities have raised their concerns with WG and we understand that a working group is to consider revising the definition. We do not believe that this indicator is a true comparator to identify prevention success and it is significant that there is a wide variation in the pattern of performance identified in returns across the country.

·           An analysis of the national performance data revealed that some authorities had made vast year on year improvements (e.g. Gwynedd, who improved by 40% and reported a figure of 92.5% for 2012/13) and Torfaen 0%. We believe that this is reflective of Authorities interpretation of the PI.

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 an assets efficiently, effectively and securely.

·           To work with partners to promote and ensure a co-ordinated 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.      Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

Local Government Data Unit Wales, Local Government Performance 2012-13, http://www.dataunitwales.gov.uk/SharedFiles/Download.aspx?pageid=79&mid=459&fileid=927

 

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

 

 

 

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