Agenda Item No. 5
Vale of Glamorgan Council
Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee: 23rd April 2018
Report of the Director of Learning and Skills
Vale of Glamorgan Well-being and Improvement Objectives (Improvement Plan Part 1) 2018/19
Purpose of the Report
- The report seeks Members' endorsement of the Improvement Plan Part 1 outlining the Council's Well-being and Improvement Objectives and associated actions for 2018/19.
That Members consider and endorse via recommendation to Cabinet the Corporate Plan Well-being and Improvement Objectives and associated priority actions for 2018/19 as outlined in Appendix 1.
Reason for the Recommendation
To ensure the Council fully discharges its statutory duties to set and publish its Improvement Plan Part 1, outlining how it proposes to meet its Well-being and Improvement Objectives for 2018/19.
- The Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (WFGA), both place specific duties on the Council in relation to objective setting and reporting duties. Under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, the Council was required to publish its Well-being Objectives by 31 March 2017 and to keep these under review. Under the Measure, the Council also has to set annual Improvement Objectives and publish these as soon as possible at the start of the financial year.
- The Corporate Plan is our key means of complying with the Local Government Measure 2009, which requires the Council to set 'Improvement Objectives' annually and demonstrate continuous improvement. The Plan sets out the Council's Well-being Outcomes and Objectives for 2016-2020 as well as its vision and values with reference to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and has been informed by local needs and available resources and incorporates the views of residents, partners and staff.
- In order to ensure the Council continued to discharge its duties to publish Well-being and Improvement Objectives under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, in April 2016, Cabinet formally endorsed the eight Corporate Plan Well-being Objectives as the Council's Well-being and Improvement Objectives.
Relevant Issues and Options
- Appendix 1 contains the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Well-being and Improvement Objectives (Improvement Plan Part) 1 for the period 2018/19.
- Pages 8-35 of the Plan provides further details on each Objective including: an identified Sponsoring Director with responsibility for ensuring progress is made in achieving our intended outcomes; a brief rationale for selection of the Objective; the specific actions we will take during 2018/19 in order to progress our identified priorities; and performance indicators and targets to measure our progress.
- Challenging targets have been set for improvement reflecting the Council's commitment to continuously improve the services it provides to citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan, and a desire to aspire to top quartile performance where appropriate. 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 our Well-being and 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 performance whilst absorbing reductions in funding, managing increasing service demand or both. Such issues have been taken into account during internal challenge of our Well-being and Improvement Objectives and associated targets.
- Under the WBFG Act, the Council is required to review its Well-being Objectives annually to ensure they remain relevant. We continually review the relevance of our Well-being Objectives in the Corporate Plan through our integrated planning processes in order to ensure we continue to reflect the priorities for the Vale of Glamorgan and focus our improvement activity on the areas in need of the most improvement. Going forward into 2018/19, we are assured that the priorities we have set aligned to our Corporate Plan Well-being Objectives continue to be relevant priorities and this has been reinforced by:
- Positive responses from challenge sessions held in January 2018 with Sponsoring Directors and responsible officers on proposed emerging priorities for improvement for 2018/19 as identified through the Council's Annual Self-Assessment process. Mapping our improvement priorities to the PSB's draft Well-being Plan has enabled us to challenge our ways of working and identify synergies between service areas across the Council in terms of how we contribute to the PSB's Well-being Plan objectives. As a consequence of this exercise, we are assured that the priorities we have identified are appropriate and relevant to the priorities in the Well-being Plan and will complement the work of the PSB going forward. It has also enabled us to identify further opportunities for working in partnership to deliver services that better meet and reflect community needs.
- Findings from our budget consultation for 2018/19 which demonstrates positive support from residents for the Council's priorities and Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes. The initial findings show that residents are sympathetic and supportive of the ways in which the Council is proposing to meet its financial challenges and the priorities we have identified for the future.
- Findings from the Public Opinion Survey carried out between December 2016 and January 2017. Overall satisfaction with Council services has improved to 92% compared with 84% in 2014/15. Over 97% of residents were either very satisfied or satisfied with the Vale of Glamorgan as a place to live. Overall, the consultation also shows that the changes to services that have been made due to the level of savings required have not had a detrimental effect on residents' satisfaction with services.
- In line with the Council's Performance Management Framework, our Improvement Plan priorities for 2018/19 are reflected in our Service Plans for 2018-22 which Members have recently endorsed (March 2018). Progress against these priorities will be monitored via quarterly performance reports to the relevant Scrutiny Committees as aligned with the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes, supplemented with an overall summary report to Cabinet.
- The Council is required to publically communicate its Well-being and Improvement Objectives to all key stakeholders including Vale residents and partners. Following approval by Cabinet, publication of the Improvement Plan Part 1 will take place via a variety of media (including social media) which will ensure the Council is complying with this requirement. Hard copies will be made available at the Council's main reception areas and libraries. A public summary (Appendix 2) will also be available online and in the Council's main reception areas.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
- 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
- Sustainability issues, reflecting the Sustainable Development principle introduced by the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, have been taken into account as part of the process for developing our Well-being Objectives.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
- The Council has a duty to identify and publish its annual Improvement Objectives and report progress against them.
- 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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- The Corporate Plan's Well-being Outcomes and Objectives and Service Plans form part of the Council's approved policy framework and a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
- In line with the requirement to consult on our Well-being Objectives, we have sought input from our partners, residents and staff on our Corporate Plan Well-being and Improvement Objectives.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
Learning & Culture Scrutiny Committee
Julia Archampong, Performance Manager
Corporate Management Team
Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development
Tom Bowring, Operational Manager Performance and Policy
Paula Ham, Director of Learning & Skills and Sponsoring Director for Well-being Outcome 3, 'An Aspirational and Culturally Vibrant Vale'.