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Agenda Item No. 9

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 16 March 2015

 

Report of the Director of Learning and Skills

 

Improvement Plan Part 1 (Improvement Objectives 2015/16)

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         The report seeks Member endorsement of proposed Improvement Objectives for 2015/16.

Recommendation

1.         That Members endorse the proposed Improvement Objectives for 2014/15.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.         To ensure the Council identifies its key annual improvement priorities for 2015/16 in line with requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

Background

2.         The Corporate Plan is a key means of the Council complying with the Local Government Measure 2009, which requires the Council to set 'Improvement Objectives' annually and demonstrate continuous improvement.

3.         The Corporate Plan 2013-2017 was approved by Cabinet on 25th February 2013 following extensive consultation with key stakeholders and partners.  The Plan sets out a four year vision for the Council, structured around eight priority outcomes which reflect the priority outcomes in the Community Strategy 2011-2021. These outcomes are also reflected in service plans for 2015/16 and have informed the development of service outcomes and objectives.

4.         The proposed Improvement Objectives and associated actions for 2015/16 reflect the eight priority outcomes in the Corporate Plan, ensuring that the Council is focusing on the areas in need of the most improvement.

5.         Service Plans for 2015/16 have incorporated a comprehensive self-assessment and these have also informed proposed Improvement Objectives for the same period, along with the Council's risk register, current consultations and internal and regulatory assessments.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         Five Improvement Objectives are proposed for 2015/16. These include three current objectives to be carried forward from 2014/15 which are long term strategic priorities for the Council.  Additionally, one further objective has been amended and carried forward to reflect an area of focus for further improvement in 2015/16.

7.         Our proposed Improvement Objectives for 2015/16 are:

·           Objective 1: To deliver sustainable services including alternative methods of delivery as part the Council’s Reshaping Services Change Programme.  [New]

·           Objective 2: To support more people towards independence.  [Carried forward]

·           Objective 3: To support and enhance the town centres of the Vale of Glamorgan for the benefit of residents, visitors and businesses.  [Carried forward]

·           Objective 4: To reduce the number of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET).  [Carried forward]

·           Objective 5: To support and challenge schools in order to improve pupil attainment levels at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4.  [Proposed amendment: To reduce the achievement gap between pupils in receipt of free school meals and those who are not.]

8.         Two objectives apply specifically to this Committee however the work of the Committee also contributes towards objective 1.

·           Objective 1: To deliver sustainable services including alternative methods of deliver as part of the Council's Reshaping Services Change Programme.

·           Objective 4: To reduce the number of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET).

·           Objective 5: To support and challenge schools in order to improve pupil attainment levels at Key Stages 2, 3, and 4.

9.         Appendix 1 outlines the proposed objectives for 2015/16 and provides a rationale for each objective. The measures to be undertaken to make a difference are identified including a lead officer at chief officer level with responsibility for ensuring the achievement of key outcomes.

10.      We are required to consult on our Improvement Objectives and the proposed objectives will be published on the Council’s website during March 2015 inviting comments from the public. At the same time Members will also be consulted via scrutiny committees as will other key stakeholders including the Local Service Board, Town and Community Councils, voluntary sector organisations and local businesses. Proposals will be made to Cabinet based on the findings from the consultation.

11.      Improvement Objectives will be revised to reflect relevant Cabinet amendments and will be considered by Full Council in May 2015.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.      In determining its priorities the Council has been mindful of the economic situation locally and nationally and taken into account legislation changes and government policy. Key objectives set out in the Corporate Plan and Service Plans either have resources committed to their achievement (Medium Term Financial Plan and annual budget review) or the likely prospect of such resources being made available in the period of the plan.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

13.      The proposed Improvement Objectives have given due consideration to sustainability and climate change implications on planned activities where appropriate.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.      The Council has a duty to identify and publish its annual Improvement Objectives and report progress against them.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.      The proposed Improvement Objectives have given due consideration to crime and disorder implications on planned activities where appropriate.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.      The proposed Improvement Objectives have given due consideration to equal opportunities implications on planned activities where appropriate. A scoping for equality impact assessment will be undertaken on the proposed Improvement Objectives.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.      Improvement Objectives are a priority for the Council. Improving how the Council evidences and reports achievement of its priority outcomes contributes towards effective community leadership.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.      The Corporate Plan, Improvement Objectives and Service Plans form part of the Council’s approved policy framework.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.      In line with the requirement to consult on our Improvement Objectives, views will be sought from all Scrutiny Committees, the Local Service Board, Town and Community Councils, voluntary sector organisations, local businesses and the general public via an online survey, local media advertisements and social media.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.      All

Background Papers

Appendix 1- Improvement Objectives 2015/16 Rationale

 

Contact Officer

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager

 

Officers Consulted

All relevant officers have been consulted on the contents of this report including:

Corporate Management Team

Heads of Service

Head of Performance and Development

 

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills