Agenda Item No. 11(a)











The report sought Members endorsement of the Improvement Plan Part 1 outlining proposed improvement objectives for 2013/14.


A full review of the Corporate Plan was undertaken during 2012 following local government elections and identified eight priority outcomes for the council. The proposed improvement objectives and associated actions for 2013/14 reflected priorities in the Corporate Plan and ensured that the council was focused on the areas in need of the most improvement.  Priority outcomes were also reflected in service plans that had informed the development of service outcomes and objectives. The 2013/17 Corporate Plan was approved by Council on 6th March 2013 following consultation with key stakeholders and partners.


In response to findings from the consultation undertaken with the public and relevant stakeholders including town and community councils no amendments to the Improvement Plan were proposed:


·               Responses from 2 out of the 3 participating town and community councils were broadly supportive of the proposed improvement objectives. Of the additional priority areas identified by Dinas Powys Community Council, traffic congestion was not considered as high a priority as the proposed improvement objectives.  Furthermore, Education and Social Services budget issues were picked up through the council's annual budget process. The only response from a member of the public did not raise any objections to the improvement objectives.


In addition to the public consultation the draft improvement objectives were discussed at meetings of all five of the Vale of Glamorgan Council scrutiny committees. Appendix 2 attached to the report outlined in full the recommendations and comments from all scrutiny committees and the key recommendations were as follows:


·               Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) endorsed the proposed improvement objective for 2013/14 "To increase the number of Council Foster Carers".


·               Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) endorsed the improvement objectives for 2013/14 that fell within its remit subject to the word "not" being inserted in the last line of the penultimate paragraph under the rationale for objective 1.


·               Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection) endorsed the proposed improvement objectives with no recommendations to cabinet.


·               Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) recommended that cabinet be requested to consider increasing the targets identified for 2013/14 under objective 4 by more than 1% as this was not felt to be sufficiently challenging. The committee also requested that consideration be given to introducing measures for the early identification of NEETS at the end of Year 9.


·               Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) recommended that cabinet approve the draft improvement objectives but made a number of additional comments that they wished to be taken into consideration. Particular attention was paid to objective 2, the time taken to deliver disabled facilities grants with a recommendation for cabinet to consider concerns expressed in relation to ongoing service underperformance. The committee also requested that the word "tool" contained within the 2nd action shown in relation to objective 6 be amended to "mechanism".


In response to the findings from the consultation undertaken with scrutiny committees the following amendments to the Improvement Plan were proposed:


Objective 1

·               Under the rationale for the objective, insert the word 'not' in the last sentence of the penultimate paragraph to correct a typing error.


Objective 2

·               Amend the 2013/14 target for the delivery of disabled facilities grants (GFDs) to children to 510 days from 580 days, a more challenging yet realistic target reflecting improvements made to the service during 2012/13.  In light of these changes, new cases assessed for adaptations will be delivered quicker impacting positively on the overall delivery time for DFGs.


Objective 4

·               Retain the proposed 1% increase across the board for measures aimed at improving pupil attainment levels at key stage 3 with a view to reviewing this in the autumn in line with the proposed Key Stage 3 Improvement Strategy agreed by cabinet on 22 April 2013.


Objective 6

·               Replace the word "tool" with "mechanism" as a preferred wording in the second action under, "what actions are we going to take to make a difference?"


Objective 8

·               None.  Measures for early identification are being addressed as part of the NEETs Strategy. The strategy is due to be considered by cabinet.


The original plan would be revised to reflect relevant cabinet amendments and will be considered by Council on 26th June 2013.


At the meeting the Leader took this item with agenda item no 24b "Delivery of Children’s Disabled Facilities Grants".  He acknowledged Scrutiny’s concerns regarding the performance of this activity. The improvement objective target proposed was realistic for 2013/14  but he felt a more ambitious target should be set for 2014 – 15.


This was a matter for Executive decision.




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(5)                   T H A T the revised Improvement Plan Part 1 incorporating Cabinet amendments be referred to Council for approval on 26th June 2013.

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Reasons for decisions


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(5)                   To gain council approval.

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