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Agenda Item No. 7

 

Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 18 April 2016

 

Report of the Director of Learning and Skills

 

Improvement Plan Part 1 (Improvement Objectives 2016/17)

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. The report seeks Member endorsement of proposed Improvement Objectives for 2016/17.

Recommendation

That Members endorse the proposed Improvement Objectives for 2016/17.

Reason for the Recommendation

To ensure the Council identifies key annual improvement priorities for 2016/17 in line with requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

Background

  1. The Corporate Plan is our key means complying with the Local Government Measure 2009, which requires the Council to set 'Improvement Objectives' annually and demonstrate continuous improvement.
  2. The Corporate Plan 2016-2020 was approved by Cabinet on 22nd February 2016 and by Council on 2nd March 2016 following extensive consultation with key stakeholders and partners. The Plan sets the Council's priorities for the next four years as well as its vision, values and well-being objectives. Work has been undertaken to ensure that these plans are aligned and reflect the priorities for the Vale of Glamorgan. These outcomes are also reflected in service plans for 2016/17.
  3. The proposed Improvement Objectives and associated actions for 2016/17 reflect the four well-being outcomes in the Corporate Plan, ensuring that the Council is focusing on the areas in need of the most improvement.
  4. Our annual Corporate Self-Assessment reported to all Scrutiny Committees during March 2016, have also informed Improvement Objectives for the same period along with the Council's risk register, consultation on the Corporate Plan priorities for 2016-20, current regulatory assessments and progress with existing Improvement Objectives for 2015/16.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. Five Improvement Objectives are proposed for 2016/17 as follows.
  • Objective 1 (Reducing poverty and social exclusion)
  • Objective 2 (Promoting regeneration, economic growth and employment)
  • Objective 3 (Raising overall standards of achievement)
  • Objective 4 (Encouraging and promoting active and healthy lifestyles).
  • Objective 5 (Deliver the Council's transformational programme, 'Reshaping Services' to meet the future needs of citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan, within the context of unprecedented financial challenges.)
  1. The five objectives comprise:
  • Proposals for two new objectives which relate to Objective 1 (Reducing poverty and social exclusion) and Objective 4 (Encouraging and promoting active and healthy lifestyles).
  • Two amendments to existing objectives are proposed which relate to Objective 2 (Promoting regeneration, economic growth and employment) and Objective 3 (Raising overall standards of achievement). Extending the area of focus for the Council in 2016/17 bringing these in line with the broader objectives outlined in the Corporate Plan 2016-20.
  • It is also proposed that one current objective be carried forward into 2016/17 to reflect the continued focus on Reshaping Services to meet future needs of all Vale citizens (Objective 5).
  1. Objective 3 applies specifically to this Committee; however, the work of this Committee will also contribute towards Objectives 1, 2, 4 and 5.
  2. Appendix 1 outlines the proposed objectives for 2016/17 and provides a rationale for each objective. The measures to be undertaken to make a difference are identified including a sponsoring Director with responsibility for ensuring the achievement of key outcomes.
  3. We are required to consult on our Improvement Objectives and the proposed objectives will be published on the Council's website from March 2016 inviting comments from the public. At the same time elected 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.
  4. Challenging targets have been set against all measures for improvement, reflecting the Council's commitment to continuously improve the services it provides to citizens of the Vale.  At the same time, the Council is also mindful of significant financial and service demand pressures over the coming year and key targets and milestones for proposed Improvement Objectives have been set within this context. This means that in some areas for example it will be an achievement to maintain existing levels of service performance whilst absorbing reductions in funding, managing increasing service demand or both. Such issues will need to be taken into account during internal challenge of proposed Improvement Objectives and targets.
  5. Improvement Objectives will be revised to reflect relevant Cabinet amendments and will be considered by Council on 27th April 2016.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. 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 well-being objectives set out in the Corporate Plan 2016-20 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

  1. The proposed Improvement Objectives have given due consideration to sustainability and climate change implications on planned activities where appropriate with particular reference to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. 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)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. 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

  1. The Corporate Plan, Improvement Objectives and service plans form part of the Council's approved policy framework.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. In line with the requirement to consult on our Improvement Objectives, views will also be sought from 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

  1. All

Background Papers

Rationale for Improvement Objectives 2016/17

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

Operational Manager Performance and Policy

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills

 

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