Agenda Item No 6

The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee: 11th  October 2016


Report of the Managing Director


Quarter 1 (2016-17) Performance Report: An Environmentally Responsible and Prosperous Vale


Purpose of the Report

  1. To present the performance results for quarter 1, 1st April-30th June, 2016-17 for the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcome 2, ' An Environmentally Responsible and Prosperous Vale.'


  1. That Members consider progress to date in achieving key outcomes in line with the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcome 2 - 'The Vale of Glamorgan has a strong and sustainable economy and the local environment is safeguarded for present and future generations.'
  2. That Members consider the performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address areas of underperformance and tackle identified key challenges going forward.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To ensure the Council clearly demonstrates the progress being made towards achieving its Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes aimed at making a positive difference to the lives of Vale of Glamorgan citizens.
  2. To ensure the Council is effectively assessing its performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement outlined in the Local Government Measure (Wales) 2009 and reflecting the requirement of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act to maximise its contribution to achieving the Well-being goals for Wales.


  1. The Council's Performance Management Framework is the mechanism through which our key priorities and targets are monitored and realised in order to secure continuous improvement.
  2. As part of the review of its Performance Management Framework, the Council has recently adopted a new Corporate Plan (2016-20) which reflects the requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and identifies 4 Well-being Outcomes and 8 Objectives for the Council.
  3. In order to ensure a more cross-cutting approach to scrutinising the Well-being Outcomes in the Corporate Plan and reduce potential for duplication, the remits of Scrutiny Committees have been re-aligned with the Well-being Outcomes contained in the Corporate Plan with performance reporting revised to reflect these arrangements.
  4. Service Plans have been completed at Head of Service level and focus on the contribution made by those areas to the Council's Well-being Outcomes and Objectives.
  5. As approved by Cabinet, from 2016-17, the Corporate Plan will be monitored on a quarterly basis by an overall Corporate Health Performance Report and this will be reported to the Corporate Performance & Resources Scrutiny Committee. This will be supplemented by specific quarterly performance reports for each of the four Well-being Outcomes. This will enable Members to focus on scrutinising the progress being made towards achieving the Council's Well-being Outcomes. Services have continued to report performance data quarterly to the Council's Performance Team and this information has been used to compile and present the more focused Well-being Outcome Reports for the quarter 1 period. The newly devised report formats have been designed to make it easier to assess overall progress in each objective/outcome, whilst continuing to provide detailed supporting information relating to actions and indicators.
  6. Work has been undertaken in reviewing the Council's existing performance indicator dataset with workshops held for all four Well-being Outcome areas chaired by the respective Sponsoring Director and Lead officers/ Heads of Service. These produced a basket of proposed measures comprising some existing and some new measures for consideration by the Member Working Group for each Well-being Outcome. The draft quarterly Well-being Outcome report template and the proposed basket of measures were approved by both the Member Working Group and Cabinet (16th June and 25th July respectively) as the basis for preparing quarterly performance monitoring reports for 2016-17. Following the consideration of the quarterly reports by Scrutiny Committees and Cabinet, feedback on the format of the reports will be considered by Officers and the Member Working Group, as part of the on-going development of the Council's performance management arrangements.
  7. The performance report is structured as follows:
  • Section 1: Outcome Summary - Provides an overall summary of performance and highlights the main developments, achievements and challenges for the quarter as a whole. It includes an evaluation of the progress made against actions and performance indicators as well as corporate health (resource) impacts which supports the overall RAG status for the Well-being Outcome.
  • Section 2: Performance Snapshot - Provides an overview for each Well-being Objective, describing the status of Corporate Plan actions and performance indicators. A RAG status is attributed to each Well-being Objective to reflect overall progress to date and contributes to the overall RAG status for the Well-being Outcome.
  • Section 3: Key Achievements and Challenges - Highlights the key achievements and challenges to date in achieving the intended outcomes for the Well-being Outcome.
  • Section 4: Corporate Health: Use of Resources and Impact on Improvement - Provides a summary of the key issues relating to the use of resources and the impact on delivering improvement during the quarter. The focus is on key aspects relating to staffing, finance, assets, ICT, customer focus and risk management.
  • Appendix 1: Provides, by Well-being Objective, detailed information relating to the Service Plan actions which have contributed to Corporate Plan actions.
  • Appendix 2: Provides detailed performance indicator information linked to each Well-being Objective which show for our planned activities, how much we have done, how well we have performed and what difference this has made. It must be noted that new annual and quarterly reported performance indicators have been introduced as part of the Council's revised Performance Management Framework and for a number of these data will not be available as this year will be used to establish baseline performance. A Not Available (N/A) status will be attributed to all such measures with commentary provided confirming this status. Where possible cumulative data will be provided in future quarterly reports as this becomes available. This is the first year of reporting against the new Corporate Plan and we will continue to develop our key measures within each Well-being Objective to ensure these most accurately reflect our Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes.
  • Appendix 3: Provides an explanation of the performance terms used within the report. The performance report uses the traffic light system, that is, a Red, Amber or Green (RAG) status and a Direction of Travel (DOT) to aid performance analysis. Progress is reported for all key performance indicators by allocating a RAG performance status, Green relates to performance that has met or exceeded target, Amber relates to performance within 10% of target and Red relates to performance that has missed target by more than 10%. A DOT arrow is also attributed to each measure indicating whether current performance has improved, stayed static or declined on last year's first quarter performance. An upward arrow indicates that performance has improved on the same quarter last year, a static arrow indicates performance has remained the same and a downward arrow shows performance has declined compared to the same quarter last year.

For actions, a Green status relates to a completed action or one that is on track to be completed in full by the due date. An Amber status relates to an action where there has been a minor delay but action is being taken to bring this back on track by the next quarter. A Red status relates to an action where limited progress has been made, and an explanation must be provided including any planned remedial action(s) and where appropriate a revised completion date.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. An overall GREEN RAG status has been attributed to Well-being Outcome 2, 'An Environmentally Responsible and Prosperous Vale', reflecting the positive progress made to date in making a difference to the lives of residents and our customers within a highly challenging environment.
  2. At Q1, all 19 Corporate Plan actions under the Outcome are on track to be delivered giving an overall GREEN performance status for actions. An overall GREEN performance status has been attributed to the quarterly measures reported against this Outcome. Of the 4 quarterly measures reported, performance was on or above target for 3 indicators with the remaining 1within 10% of target.
  3. A detailed report outlining the progress at quarter 1 towards achieving Well-being Outcome 2 is provided at Appendix 1. Highlighted below are some of the key achievements and challenges for the quarter:
  4. There has been a high take up of coastal award concessions for attractions at Barry Island with successful concession holders commencing from 1st June 2016 for up to 5 years. There has also been significant Interest in Barry Island's beach huts with all year-long rentals fully booked on the first day of being made available. Take up of the daily rentals been high as these have also proved to be very popular. The success of the scheme has contributed to increased visitor numbers to the Barry Island resort this summer.
  5. The Vale recycled an impressive 64% of its waste in 2014/15 but by 2024 we will have to push this figure above 70% to meet new national targets. In order to achieve this we all have to continue to change the way we dispose of our waste and we at the Council will have to continue to change how we collect it. The recent changes to waste collection schedules are designed to reduce the cost of waste collection and provide a more efficient service. WE have communicated this to all households in the Vale of Glamorgan (56,937), and we have advertised the changes in the local press, shared news about new collection days on social media, and featured the information on the front page of the Council's website.
  6. Five seaside locations in the Vale of Glamorgan have received national coast awards, including two prestigious Blue Flag awards, as part of Keep Wales Tidy's Seaside Awards 2016. Both Whitmore Bay, Barry Island's main beach, and Penarth Marina received Blue Flags in this year's awards. While Southerndown, Cold Knap, and Barry Island's other beach Jackson's Bay also won awards. The prestigious Blue Flag for beaches is acknowledged in 46 countries around the world. The programme aims to raise environmental awareness and promote good environmental behaviour among tourists and local populations and best practice among beach and marina management staff.
  7. Work is well advanced in collaborating with the South East Wales authorities on a City deal and a shadow joint Cabinet has been established to oversee the next stages in working up a City Deal. Work has focussed on developing interventions in relation to transport infrastructure, business support, regeneration, skills and innovation.
  8. In line with the Council's commitment to promote regeneration, property owners across the Vale of Glamorgan are now able to make improvements and essential repairs to bring properties back into use. In partnership with Welsh Government, the Vale is now offering interest-free loans, to help homeowners to achieve this whilst improving the public realm, reducing anti-social behaviour, vandalism and fly-tipping. It also provides an opportunity for property owners to consider potential opportunities for affordable housing as an option in bringing properties back to use, particularly as these are in very short supply in the Vale.
  9. Construction work is now underway on a £100,000 investment into Barry library that will see a state of the art adult learning centre established and the building transformed into a learning hub for the Vale of Glamorgan. Once improvements to the building are completed (November 2016) the library will have gained three classrooms, a computer suite, office space and a crèche. It will then become the new home of the Vale of Glamorgan Open Learning Centre currently based at Provincial House. This latest investment into Barry Library will provide the Vale with a first class facility, purpose built to help residents of all ages to gain skills and knowledge and broaden their horizons. All of the library's most popular services will be maintained and library users will now be able to access a wide range of adult education courses, covering everything from drop-in computer workshops, employability skills, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) to English and maths courses for those who want to improve their skills for life and work - all at the same location.
  10. All 'full plan' applications were approved first time at Q1 and the service continues to deliver top quartile performance whilst receiving increased number of applications. 62 applications were approved compared to 59 within the same time period last year. Over 92% of all planning applications were determined within 8 weeks during the quarter. A total of 347 applications were completed within timescale out of a total of 377 received.

Key challenges

  1. To ensure that the recent momentum gained through the regeneration of Barry Island is not lost, given that this is a significant day visitor destination for the Vale of Glamorgan. This will require a coordinated approach across the Council to ensure that regeneration activity is focussed, events are 'fresh' and exciting and the resort cleanliness is maintained at levels that visitors have come to expect.
  2. Issues of capacity and skills are referenced in the Outcome Summary. This is particularly the case in relation to day to day operational issues relating to Highway Engineering and Waste Management. This has been mitigated by prioritising and also using temporary and short term contracts to assist on service delivery at a time when reshaping activity is seeking to introduce new ways of working.
  3. A key challenge will be to continue to deliver regeneration of our towns and communities and support new and growing businesses in face of continued uncertainty as a result of the recent EU referendum. This is being mitigated by continuing to engage with our partners and work within the existing organisational structures such as the Enterprise Zone and the City deal arrangements to promote the attractiveness of the Vale of Glamorgan for investment and appropriate growth.
  4. Increasing the proportion of Council street lights that are LED. Currently circa 33% of street lights are LED. A decision has been taken to roll out LED across the Vale of Glamorgan within the next 6 months. This will represent an investment of £1.2 million with a payback period of 7.54 years.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. 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. The report includes information relating to the use of financial, asset, ICT and people resources and how these are being deployed to support the delivery of the Council's well-being outcomes.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. The Corporate Plan emphasises the Council's commitment to promoting sustainable development and our understanding of our duties under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act. The many different aspects of sustainability (environment, economy, culture and social) are reflected within planned activities as outlined the Corporate Plan and demonstrates how the Council will maximise its contribution to the Well-being Goals.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 requires that the Council secure continuous improvement across the full range of local services for which it is responsible.
  2. The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 requires the Council to set and publish Well-being Objectives by April 2017 that maximise its contribution to achieving the Well-being goals for Wales.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. Activities to improve community safety are included in the Corporate Plan and one of the Well-being Outcomes is 'An Inclusive and Safe Vale' with a supporting objective 'providing decent homes and safe communities'. The Council's Performance Management Framework supports the delivery of actions associated with these objectives.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. An Inclusive and Safe Vale' is one of the Well-being Outcomes in the Corporate Plan with a supporting objective 'reducing poverty and social exclusion'. There is also a Well-being Outcome 'An Aspirational and culturally vibrant Vale' with a supporting action 'valuing culture and diversity'. The Council's Performance Management Framework supports the delivery of actions associated with these objectives.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The Corporate Plan 2016-20 reflects the requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations Act and identifies 4 Well-being Outcomes and 8 Objectives for the Council. These promote improvements in the economic, social and cultural well-being of residents in the Vale of Glamorgan which in turn will contribute to achieving the Well-being goals for Wales.
  2. The Council's Performance Management Framework supports the delivery of all of the Council's Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes and Objectives.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. The information contained within the report is based on quarterly returns provided by service directorates to the Performance Team. Quarterly performance reports covering the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes and Objectives along with an overall Corporate Health Report will be considered by relevant Scrutiny Committees and the Cabinet.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

Environment & Regeneration Scrutiny Committee

Background Papers

Performance Management Framework, Report of the Leader, Cabinet, 25th April 2016

Contact Officer

Julia Archampong, Corporate Performance Manager

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

Tom Bowring, Operational Manager Performance and Policy

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Managing Director and Sponsoring Director for Well-being Outcome 2, 'An Environmentally Responsible and Prosperous Vale'