Agenda Item No. 8
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION): 7 OCTOBER 2015
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 21 SEPTEMBER 2015
C2918 Disabled Facilities Grants Performance Report for Quarter 1 2015-16 (HBMCS) (Scrutiny Committees – Social Care and Health, Housing and Public Protection) -
Cabinet was informed of the Council’s performance delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during quarter 1 of 2015-16, and the progress made on process changes.
The Council had a statutory duty to consider and approve applications for Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) where there was an identified need and the property could be reasonably adapted. Disabled Facilities Grants funded the adaptation of privately owned homes to allow residents to live as independently as possible in their own home for as long as possible.
The delivery time of Disabled Facilities Grants was a national performance indicator. The Council had previously acknowledged its performance in delivering Disabled Facilities Grants had to be improved, but despite this improvement in 2013/14, the Council remained in the bottom quartile of performance for Local Authorities in Wales. However, for 2014/15, the Council's performance continued to improve dramatically both in real terms and in relative terms when compared to other Local Authorities. The Local Government Data Unit had recently published its Local Government Performance Report for 2014/15 and one of the indicators included within that Report related to the time taken to deliver DFG's. For 2014/15 the average number of days taken to deliver DFG's across Wales stood at 231. This compared to 199 in the Vale of Glamorgan. The Vale of Glamorgan was now (for 2014/15) ranked 8th in Wales and sat in the second quartile. For 2014/15, the Vale of Glamorgan showed the third fastest improvement in performance when compared against 2013/14 figures.
A detailed breakdown of the DFG service performance at the end of quarter 1 and DFG capital expenditure profile to 25 August, 2015 was attached at Appendix 1 to the report. The continued improvement in Quarter 1 was in part due to the introduction of the framework contract and that the more complex cases had also gone through the process with the new framework contract.
There was an identified capital budget for the approval and payment of Disabled Facilities Grants. There was a predicted shortfall in the capital budget for DFGs as shown in Appendix 1 as attached to the report. It was envisaged that once the backlog of applications had been dealt with, the number of applications being processed would reduce to normal throughput levels. £900k per annum was included in the Council’s currently approved Capital Programme between the years 2015/16 and 2019/20 for DFG’s. However, there had been a steady increase in the number of applications being received which was a trend that was likely to continue. The report proposed that in order to properly plan for further applications and in order to meet demand, a further £200k be added to the DFG 2015/16 capital budget, to be funded by a contribution from the Policy revenue budget. This would ensure there was sufficient funding to complete this year's applications without creating a new backlog. A capital bid would also be made to ensure sufficient funding was identified in the Council's Capital Programme for future years.
After this item was presented, the Managing Director highlighted the graph in Paragraph 5 of the report that clearly showed the Council’s sustainable improvement over time from the lowest to the second quartile. He noted that the Wales Audit Office was going to present a report to the Council’s Audit Committee that addressed the growing demand and funding for DFG’s. He concluded that the Council would have to consider an appropriate budget setting based on the increased performance.
This was a matter for Executive and Council decision
(1) T H A T the report on performance for delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during quarter 1 of 2015-16 be noted.
(2) T H A T the request to allocate an additional £200k to the Disabled Facilities Grants capital budget in the 2015/16 Capital Programme, funded by a contribution from the Policy revenue budget, be endorsed and this request be referred to Council for approval.
(3) T H A T the report be forwarded to Scrutiny Committees (Housing and Public Protection) and (Social Care and Health) for consideration.
(4) T H A T thanks be given to the department and staff for their ongoing hard work and commitment.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To note the Council’s performance for delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during quarter 1 of 2015-16.
(2) To allocate an additional £200k to the Disabled Facilities Grants capital budget.
(3) To inform members of the Council’s performance for delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during quarter 1 of 2015-16.
(4) To thank staff for their hard work.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 21 SEPTEMBER 2015