The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 14 December, 2015

Report of the Leader

Performance Management Framework

Purpose of the Report

  1. To request Cabinet approval for changes to the Council's Performance Management Framework as the basis for consultation with Scrutiny Committees.


  1. That Cabinet approves the proposals for changes to the Council's Performance Management Framework as described in this report as the basis for consultation with Scrutiny Committees.
  2. That, subject to recommendation 1, Cabinet refers this report to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources, Life Long Learning, Economy & Environment, Housing & Public Protection and Social Care & Health) for their consideration.
  3. That, subject to recommendations 1 and 2, Cabinet receives a further report in due course setting out final proposals for changes to the Council's Performance Management Framework, informed by the consultation activity.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To authorise consultation on the proposed changes to the Council's Performance Management Framework with Scrutiny Committees.
  2. To provide Scrutiny Committees with an opportunity to consider the proposals and feedback any comments to Cabinet.
  3. To update Cabinet on the outcome of the consultation process with Scrutiny Committees and receive final proposals upon which to make a determination.


  1. The Council has a strong performance management track record as evidenced in previous Annual Improvement Reports (AIR) by the Wales Audit Office. The recent AIR for 2014/15, nevertheless identified two proposals for improvement to:
  • P1 Refine performance reporting arrangements to ensure data is presented in a way that provides a balanced picture of performance and of the outcomes being achieved.
  • P2 Improve reporting so that cross-directorate/cross-service activity is considered in the context of delivery of priorities rather than completion of service-based actions.
  1. The Council's Performance Management Framework (PMF) sets out the way in which we undertake performance management and measurement across the Council. The framework enables the Council to regularly assess, report and scrutinise performance in order to support continuous improvement of its activities.
  2. The PMF brings together the Council's key planning, monitoring and evaluation processes through an integrated suite of documents. These (which include the Community Strategy, Corporate Plan, Service Plans, Team Plans, and Personal Development Plans) demonstrate the contribution made at a variety of levels of the organisation to the Council's priority outcomes. These are supported by other key strategies and plans such as the Medium Term Financial Plan, Workforce Plan and Corporate Asset Management Plan.
  3. In view of the significant new challenges faced by the Council going forward, it is considered essential that the Council takes stock of its position and reassesses what its priorities should be in the medium term. This has necessitated a review of the Corporate Plan, which is reported to Cabinet separately on this agenda.
  4. The draft Corporate Plan includes four cross-cutting well-being outcomes which are supported by eight well-being objectives. As well as setting the priorities for the next four years, the new Corporate Plan will assist the Council in complying with the requirement of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 that the Council set and publish well-being objectives that maximise the contribution towards the Well-Being Goals for Wales.
  5. The draft guidance on the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 issued by Welsh Government advocates that "Public bodies should not treat the requirement to set well-being objectives under this Act as separate from the objectives that guide and steer the actions and decisions of the organisation. Given that all public bodies captured by the Act have in place arrangements to express their corporate vision and objectives, public bodies will best demonstrate application of the well-being duty through a single integrated corporate approach. This will help avoid sustainable development being treated as an 'add on'.'"
  6. In developing the new Corporate Plan, consideration has been given to the most effective and efficient way to monitor the delivery of the four well-being outcomes via a more outcome focused approach and this report sets out proposals to make changes to the PMF to support this approach.
  7. The proposed revisions to the PMF focus on reporting aspects of the framework and builds on existing strengths and the principles that have underpinned performance management within the Council to date.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The Council's draft revised Corporate Plan has considered and reflects the requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and identifies a series of well-being outcomes for the Council. Within each well-being outcome, well-being objectives have been identified including associated actions aimed at achieving the outcomes and to articulate the priorities for the Council over the next four years. A sponsoring Director will take responsibility for each of the outcomes and will be responsible for coordinating activity to achieve the well-being objectives, improving accountability for well-being outcomes and recognising the cross-cutting nature of the objectives.
  2. It is proposed that the Corporate Plan will be monitored on a quarterly basis by an overall Corporate Health Scorecard report and supplemented by specific quarterly reports for each of the four well-being outcomes.
  3. "Corporate health" will be illustrated from a number of perspectives: Performance against well-being outcome/objectives, resources (finance/savings, people, assets and ICT), customer focus and risks. The report will incorporate a RAG status for each well-being outcome to give snapshot of overall progress against the well-being outcomes. A brief position statement will be provided for the quarter covering the well-being outcomes and corporate health performance overall. A brief summary of achievements by outcome will be provided as well as areas of underperformance/ key challenges across the corporate health perspectives being highlighted with remedial actions to address these going forward. This quarterly overview report will be presented in a dashboard/scorecard format designed to make the information contained in it as accessible as possible.
  4. Four Quarterly Well-being Outcome & Objectives Scorecard Reports will demonstrate progress against each of the well-being outcomes and associated objectives. Informed by performance data collected from Service Plans, these reports will demonstrate the cross-cutting nature of the well-being outcomes and draw together evidence from a range of service areas. A brief position statement from the sponsoring Director will be provided for the quarter. A brief summary of achievements by objective will be provided and areas of underperformance/ key challenges highlighted, including a description of any remedial actions required to address these going forward.
  5. These measures include amending the Scrutiny Committee structure from May 2016 to align it with the well-being outcomes of the Corporate Plan. Members will be aware that such a change to Scrutiny structures will require the approval of Council prior to the Annual General Meeting in May 2016. It is proposed that the Terms of Reference for the existing "service based" Scrutiny Committees be reviewed to reflect the Council's four well-being outcomes and to support the cross-cutting nature of the new plan.
  6. In addition to the four well-being outcome-based Scrutiny Committees, the existing Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committee would be replaced with a Committee responsible for Corporate Resources & Performance. In addition to the Corporate Resources & Performance Scrutiny Committee, the Council would therefore have the following Scrutiny Committees in operation:
  • An Inclusive & Safe Vale Scrutiny Committee
  • An Active & Healthy Vale Scrutiny Committee
  • An Environmentally Responsible & Prosperous Vale Scrutiny Committee
  • An Aspirational & Culturally Vibrant Vale Scrutiny Committee
  1. These proposals do not consider any changes to the composition of the Committees. However, the proposals are not merely a change in name of the Committee but rather they represent a refocusing of scrutiny activity on the way in which the Council's actions are delivering against its intended outcomes.
  2. The Quarterly Well-being Outcome & Objectives reports (as described above) will be reported to the relevant committee, with the Overall Corporate Health Scorecard Report being presented to the Corporate Resources & Performance Committee.
  3. The Council will continue to produce Service Plans. However, rather than being at Directorate level, these plans will be developed at Head of Service level and will focus on the contribution made to the Council's well-being outcomes & objectives, in addition to the way in which the service will manage its resources. It is intended that this will help reduce the size of the Service Plans and improve the focus of the plans on specific priority areas for the Council.
  4. Service level self-assessments that are currently a feature of our existing Service Plan will be reported separately to relevant Scrutiny Committees and Cabinet during March. The self- assessment will incorporate a performance assessment as well as the views of external regulators on Council Services and be used as the basis for developing service plan actions that also reflect outcomes. This will inform Council plans for improvement as well as the annual work programme of Scrutiny Committees. It is proposed that these plans be signed off by relevant Scrutiny Committees in March as is current practice.
  5. The Service Plans will contain a brief overview of the challenges facing the service against each corporate perspective (risks, customer focus, resources (workforce, finance, assets, ICT) and performance) and an action plan informed by the self- assessment.
  6. Two key questions to be addressed within the plan are:

1. Which well-being objectives does the service contribute to and what actions will we be taking this year to achieve these?

2. How will we manage our resources to achieve these actions and support our service?

  1. As described above, the current approach to the monitoring of Service Plans will be replaced by quarterly reports against each well-being objective linked to a well-being outcome. This will enable Members to focus on scrutinising progress towards achieving the Council's well-being outcomes. Services will continue to report performance data quarterly. However, this information would be used to inform the more focused Well-being Outcome Scorecard Reports.
  2. A new framework reflecting the revised Corporate Plan will be developed and coordinated centrally.
  3. The above changes will also be reflected in the way in which Team Plans operate and these plans will continue to be published on the Council's website following sign-off by the relevant Director. Three key questions will be addressed within the Team plan which are:

1. Which well-being objectives does the team contribute to?

2. Which service plan actions are we contributing to achieving this year?

3. How will we manage our resources to achieve these actions and support our team?

  1. Personal Development Reviews (PDR) will continue to demonstrate the individual colleague's contribution to Team/ Service Plan actions and reinforce their sense of place in the Council. A simplified approach would be reflected in a revised template that would enable individuals to identify and link their contribution to well-being outcomes and team plan actions at an individual level. The PDR would also provide an opportunity for managers to discuss with colleagues how their contribution aligns with the Council's renewed vision and values.
  2. To enable operation of the new PMF as outlined, the Council will require new performance monitoring software system to support both the implementation and management of the framework.
  3. Below is an indicative timetable for implementation of the revised PMF, which will be phased in over the 2016/17 annual performance planning and reporting cycle.



Service Self-Assessment 2015/16

March 2016

Service Plans 2016/17

March 2016

Team Plans 2016/17

March - June 2016

Personal Development & Review for all staff

March - July 2016

Corporate Plan 2016-20

1 April 2016

Development and agreement of performance scorecard reports

April - August 2016

Approval of Scrutiny Structures

May 2016

Quarter 1 performance reporting

September 2016

Produce specification and tender for new performance monitoring software

August - December 2016

Quarter 2 performance reporting

December 2016

Develop data framework, design Vale dashboards and reports and disseminate training

January 2017 - July 2017

Quarter 3 performance reporting

March 2017

End of Year performance reporting

July 2017

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The cost of the performance monitoring software and associated licensing costs will be met from within existing resources (Policy and Development budget).

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 covered within the plan as well as how the Council will maximise its contribution to the well-being goals.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The development of these proposals has been undertaken with reference to the new duties placed on the Council under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act. The Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 also requires the Council to secure continuous improvement across the full range of local services for which it is responsible.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. Activities to improve community safety are included in the draft 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 PMF will support 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 draft 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 PMF will support the delivery of actions associated with these objectives.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The PMF supports the delivery of all of the Council's Corporate and Service Objectives.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for executive decision by Cabinet. However, the proposals to make changes relating to Scrutiny Committee arrangements will require a Full Council decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Due to the corporate nature of this report, no specific Ward Member consultation has been undertaken. This report has been drafted to provide Scrutiny Committees with details of the proposals in order to seek feedback prior to finalisation of proposals.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Corporate Resources is the lead scrutiny committee for corporate performance matters. However, these proposals would impact upon all Scrutiny Committees and as such; it is recommended that the report be referred to all Scrutiny Committees for consideration.

Background Papers


Contact Officer

Tom Bowring, Operational Manager - Performance & Policy

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Head of Performance & Development

Head of Legal Services

Operational Manager, Democratic Services

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Managing Director