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Agenda Item No. 7

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 16 July 2014

 

Report of the Director of Visible Services and Housing

 

Housing and Building Services End of Year Performance Report 2013/14 and Target Setting 2014/15

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To present end of year performance results for the period 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2014 and proposed service targets for 2014/15.

Recommendations

1.         That Committee note service performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address service underperformance. (Paragraphs 5-21 with full details in Appendix 1.)

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. (Paragraphs 6-7 with full details in Appendix 1.)

3.         That Committee consider proposed service targets for 2014/15. (Paragraphs 22-24 with full details in Appendix 2.)

4.         That Committee refer any recommendations to Cabinet for approval.

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 (Wales) Measure 2009.

2.         To enable the Council to demonstrate achievement of its objectives and identify service areas for improvement work.

3.         To ensure challenging targets are set against the Council's measures for improvement, reflecting our commitment to continuously improve services whilst mindful of significant financial and service demand pressures over the coming year.

4.         Cabinet have final decision making powers.

Background

2.         Service Plans for 2013/14 focus on the achievement of key objectives within each directorate which in turn contribute towards the achievement of Corporate Plan and Improvement Plan outcomes.

3.         Quarterly performance reports reflect 2013/14 Service Plans and are designed to ensure the Council reports performance in the context of progress against its objectives. 

4.         End of year (quarter 4) service performance reports are cumulative and comprise performance information covering the period 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2014 (Appendix 1). The 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. Examples of exceptional performance during the year are highlighted as are 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 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 has met or exceeded target.  All areas of underperformance identified include a reason for the poor performance and proposed remedial actions.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         The department has completed 58% of service plan actions at end of year, with a further 2% on track for a later completion date. Details are available under each objective. There are a total of 69 actions in the plan; 40 are completed, 1 is on track, 25 have slipped and 3 have not been started.

6.         The department has completed 53% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2013/14 service plan. Of the 32 actions within the service plan, 17 are completed, 13 have slipped and 2 have not been started.

7.         There are no Improvement Objective actions for Housing and Building services.

8.         There are no Outcome Agreement actions in the 2013/14 plan, as the Outcome Agreement was not agreed until 1 April 2014.

9.         Of the 15 performance indicators in the plan, 4 (27%) did not have targets set for 2013/14. 5 (33%) met or exceeded target at end of year, 3 (20%) were within 10% of target and 2 (13%) missed target by more than 10%. Data was unavailable for 1 (7%) indicators.

10.      In terms of notable performance, we 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. This will benefit 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).

11.      Our commitment to using other forms of temporary accommodation has had a significant financial benefit for the Council in terms of the general fund but more importantly, more appropriate forms of accommodation have been used for those in housing need. No families with children have been placed in B&B since August 2012. As of January 2013 the homelessness service has had no one residing in Bed and Breakfast.

12.      The "lean" principle adopted in managing empty properties from the 'keys in' stage to the 'keys out' stage continues to yield improvements. The number of lettable empty properties (excluding those empties that are classed as 'hard to treat' or suspended lets) has reduced significantly since April 2013 from 107 to 53. The time associated with letting the 'lettable' empties from keys in to keys out has also halved from 100 days to 46 days.

13.      Our Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) programme is being delivered to time and to budget. To date 54.2% of the internal work has been completed in tenants’ homes. Tenant satisfaction in relation to WHQS work continues to improve across the entire contractor framework with Building Services receiving the highest level of satisfaction in terms of the process and completed work. Our average satisfaction score is 9 out of 10.

14.      Even with the pressures of welfare reform our year end rent arrears figures are lower than those of 2012/13.

15.      The tender has been completed to provide a new 6 unit 24 hour supported housing project for young and vulnerable clients [HS01/A069 (CP/CYP7)]. This will open in May 2014.

16.      A feasibility event took place on 10 April 2014 to develop further service improvements through a Housing Solutions Service [HS01/A003 (CP/H9)]. Feedback from this event will be taken forward to inform options.

17.      A draft Local Housing Strategy is due to go to Cabinet in June 2014 [HS02/A010 (CP/H1)].

18.      A consultant has been appointed to write an Older Person’s Accommodation Strategy with care and housing representatives [HS02/A016 (CP/H2)]. This work is being progressed through Social Services.

19.      The review of Housing and Building services is ongoing with new roles currently progressing through job evaluation [HS05/A026 (CP/H13)]. Interim posts have been filled in Compliance and Responsive Repairs and a new Operational Manager for Building services is due to start 1 May 2014. A keystone training plan programme has been agreed to improve the effectiveness of the current OHMS housing management system [HS05/A027 (CP/H13)].

20.      A review of the role of Tenant Engagement Associates has been deferred until 2014/15 due to additional consultation training being provided for TEAs [HS06/A055 (CP/H12)]. A recent Housing Service Review Forum agreed to delay the visit to a Registered Social Landlord until training needs have been identified and agreed for the group [HS06/A054 (CP/H12)]. A report analysing gaps and under-represented groups across the Vale as part of the Tenant Engagement Strategy has been delayed until June 2014 as sub groups and fun day evidence is still being collated [HS06/A053 (CP/H12)][HS06/A048 (CP/H12)]. Options for establishing a tenant’s resource centre will also be considered as part of the Tenant Engagement Strategy, which is delayed until June 2014 [HS06/A046 (CP/H12)]. Whilst no Tenant Young People’s Forum has been established, an Easter Family Event took place on 16 April with all tenants invited to attend [HS06/A050 (CP/H12)]. Attendees were asked to complete a short questionnaire at the event telling us of how they would like to be consulted i.e. twitter, facebook, text etc. A Rural Vale Tenant and Resident Association will now be established during 2014/15 when events will take place encouraging rural residents to get involved [HS06/A049 (CP/H12)].

21.      We are in the final stages of completing the Supporting People Outcomes Framework in the Vale Standard, and results will be published via the Council website, twitter and various links [HS07/A065 (CP/H10)]. We are awaiting Welsh Government guidance in order to establish an accreditation procedure for all Supporting People Services where funding transfers to the authority [HS07/A061 (CP/H10)].

Proposed Service Performance Indicators and Targets 2014/15

22.      A review of performance indicators has taken place to ensure that the Council collects indicators which effectively monitor service plan objectives and outcomes. New indicators and deletions have been proposed to enable services to better demonstrate achievement of service objectives and outcomes.  Appendix 2 outlines proposed service targets for 2014/15 by service plan area.

23.      Some targets are set in accordance with previously agreed targets in statutory council documents such as the Improvement Plan and the Outcome Agreement. Where relevant, this is indicated in the comment box. Please note that these targets have already been agreed in consultation with members and Welsh Government and cannot now be amended.

24.      The target setting report also includes end of year performance data. In a small number of instances, this may differ from the end of year data in Appendix 1. This is because reports for Appendix 1 are produced through the Ffynnon system, and therefore had to be finalised before the end of the contract at the end of May. Therefore, where data has been updated or verified since this date, this has been updated in Appendix 2, but not in Appendix 1.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

25.      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

26.      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)

27.      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

28.      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)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

Policy Framework and Budget

31.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

32.      The information contained within the report is based on quarterly returns provided by service directorates. Quarterly performance reports are reported to Cabinet and relevant Scrutiny Committees.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

33.      Housing and Public Protection

Background Paper

End of Year Performance Report, Cabinet, 30 June 2014

 

Contact Officer

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager.

 

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter, Director of Visible Services and Housing

 

 

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