Agenda Item No. 5


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Homes and Safe Communities Scrutiny Committee: 12th October 2016


Report of the Director of Environment and Housing


Quarter 1 (2016-17) Performance Report: An Inclusive and Safe 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 1, ' An Inclusive and Safe Vale.'


  1. That Members consider progress to date in achieving key outcomes in line with the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcome 1 - 'Citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan have a good quality of life and feel part of the local community.'
  2. That Members consider the performance results, targets and remedial actions to be taken to address areas of underperformance and to tackle the key challenges identified.

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 that it maximises 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 to 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. It 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 to review the Council's existing performance indicator dataset. This included workshops 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 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 1, 'An Inclusive and Safe 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, 15 out of 16 Corporate Plan actions under the Outcome are on track to be delivered giving an overall GREEN performance status for actions. A status was not applicable to one action (IS006), as work on aligning activities associated with Families First, Flying Start, Communities First and Supporting People programmes is scheduled to commence in Q3
  3. An overall AMBER performance status has been attributed to the quarterly measures reported against this Outcome. Of the 5 quarterly measures reported, performance was on or above target for 3 indicators with the remaining 2 missing target by more than 10%.
  4. A detailed report outlining the progress at quarter 1 towards achieving Well-being Outcome 1 is provided at Appendix 1. Highlighted below are some of the key achievements and challenges for the quarter:
  5. Visitors to Barry Island can now surf the web whilst soaking up the sunshine. The Vale of Glamorgan Council has installed free public access Wi-Fi across the seafront. In a move to boost digital inclusion across the county, Barry Island has become the latest venue to offer free Wi-Fi to users. Other venues already offering the service include Council buildings, such as the Civic and Dock Offices and Libraries.
  6. We continue our work to promote digital inclusion, as a key Council priority, via "Get the Vale Online". This initiative which is focusing on increasing the number of "digital champions" and ensuring that identified groups are supported to develop their digital skills enabling them to better communicate with the Council via the internet, email, mobile apps and social media. Enabling access to these benefits is also an important part of the Council's goal to tackle poverty and social and digital exclusion in the Vale of Glamorgan.
  7. Customer satisfaction relating to service access is high, with over 98% of customers contacting C1V in Q1, satisfied with access to services across all channels
  8. Barry Communities First continues help residents in identified areas of need to improve their quality of life through improved health, access to employment and access to education. Work continues to be undertaken with young people helping them through the transition phase of moving from primary school to secondary School, helping NEET young people into education, training or employment and helping residents access the benefit they are entitled to and improving their ICT skills. All of these contribute to the Council's goal to tackle poverty and social exclusion
  9. The Council has set in motion plans to build the first new council owned housing in the county for 17 years. £3 million has been budgeted for the building of new homes in 2016/17 and plans have been agreed that could see construction soon underway on two developments of new homes for families with adults and children with disabilities in Barry. These new developments will provide homes to those in very real need, who have in some cases been waiting for a long time and will make a very real difference to the lives of these residents. The Council's accessible housing register has been reviewed and applicants in the greatest need will have the opportunity to receive the first batch of new council housing.
  10. 187 new dwellings were approved between 1st April 2016 and 30th June 2016, of which 55 (29%) were affordable thus contributing to increased levels and range and choice of affordable housing available for families in need of new housing.
  11. Work is progressing to programme in relation to the renewal work on Holton Road, Barry. To date, 95% of residential properties have been completed and 75% of commercial scheme completed with conversion of shops to residential. This has contributed to improvements in the fabric and appearance of properties and greater confidence in the area.
  12. The Vale and Cardiff Regional Accommodations Solutions service is in place. Expansion of the scheme has included recruitment of Project Manager, 2 Independent Living Officers, Senior Occupational Therapist and regional Step Down Co-ordinator. In Q1, 40 Vale referrals have been made of which 15 patients have been discharged with an intervention in place, thus contributing to improved health and life outcomes for Vale residents.
  13. Improvements continue to be made in our Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) processes enabling us to reduce delivery times further. 39 DFGs were completed during Q1 at average of 174 days, compared to 180 days and 40 DFGs in the same period last year (2015/16 end of year performance of 178 days). Of the 39 DFGs completed at Q1, one related to a young person and this was delivered in 154 days compared to 185 days and the same number of DFGs in the same period last year (201 days at year end 2015/16.) 39 clients were helped to retail retain independence at home or remain living at home with less assistance to bathe, cook or mobilise around their homes
  14. We have implemented an improved case management process with respect to anti-social behaviour which incorporates victim action plans and risk assessments. Joint case management (between Community Safety and Housing) has contributed to an improved response where prevention services have failed. This approach has improved our response as a social landlord to incidents of anti-social behaviour and in the long term will contribute to improved community cohesion and reduced fear of crime in neighbourhoods.

Key challenges

  1. Improving the turnaround time for the letting of voids or empty properties. At Q1, the average days to let an empty property was 39.7, well below the target originally set of 28 days and slightly below the 39.96 days reported within the same time period last year. A review has been undertaken of how performance on this indicator was calculated during 2015 / 2016 and it is apparent that the method of calculation is not in accord with the principles of 'Housemark'. Housemark is the leading provider of integrated data and analysis for both RSL's and Local Authority housing providers. When collection and recording of the Council's data on voids is undertaken using 'Housemark' principles it enables the data to be benchmarked, not only in Wales, but across the UK. When considering the principles of 'Housemark' and the Council's current position, it is believed that the previous target of 28 days for void properties was too aspirational. It is suggested that this target should be changed to 33 days for 2016 / 2017, which is better than the 'Housemark' median figure of 33.96. The 'Housemark' lower quartile figure for our comparator group is 38.54 and the upper is 25.31. Performance is also recorded cumulatively, therefore we have to improve performance in quarters 2 to 4 in order achieve the suggested new target. For the information of Committee, our quarter 2 performance on voids using the 'Housemark' principles was 32.76 days, demonstrating that we are going in the right direction to achieve the suggested 33 day target for the full year.
  2. Increasing the number of Council housing stock that meets the WHQS standard overall. Currently a number of external property failures e.g. roofs, external walls, cladding etc. have been identified within the WHQS external works program to be completed by the end of this financial year and to date 589 have been completed (38.9%). At present 94.6% of internal works have been completed and will continue to be picked up as and when properties become void or tenants who had refused WHQS internal works previously change their mind. The Capital projects team will continue to work towards completing the required works by the end of 2017.
  3. We need to deal with the on-going uncertainty in relation to the future of the Vibrant and Viable Places programme within Welsh Government and the timing of that programme. We will do this by continuing positive dialogue with Welsh Government to promote pipeline projects (projects that could benefit from underspends in the current in-year welsh funding regime), working with partners in the private sector and targeting capital funds and S106 funding
  4. We need to make improved use of the CCTV systems within the Vale for crime detection and prevention.

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

Homes and Safe Communities 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:

Miles Punter, Director of Environment & Housing and Sponsoring Director for Well-being Outcome 1, 'An Inclusive and Safe Vale'