Agenda Item No. 10(b)










Endorsement was sought of the Improvement Plan Part 1 attached at Appendix 1 to the report that outlined the Council's proposed Improvement Objectives for 2015/16.


The Corporate Plan approved by Cabinet on 25 February, 2013 complied with the Local Government Measure 2009, which required the Council to set 'Improvement Objectives' annually and demonstrate continuous improvement. The Plan set out a four year vision for the Council, structured around eight priority outcomes.


All Scrutiny Committees considered the proposed Improvement Objectives during March 2015. The views of key stakeholders including the Local Service Board, Town and Community Councils, local businesses and voluntary sector organisations were also sought over a period of 6 weeks (23 February to 7 April, 2015).  In addition, public views had been sought via an online survey, local media advertisements and social media in line with the requirement to consult on our Improvement Objectives.


Five Improvement Objectives were proposed for 2015/16. These were outlined below:

  • To deliver sustainable services including alternative methods of delivery as part of the Council’s Reshaping Services Change Programme. (Objective 1)
  • To support more people towards independence. (Objective 2)
  • To support and enhance the town centres of the Vale of Glamorgan for the benefit of residents, visitors and businesses. (Objective 3)
  • To reduce the number of young people who are not in employment education or training (NEET). (Objective 4)
  • To reduce the achievement gap between pupils in receipt of free school meals and those who are not. (Objective 5)

Objectives (2, 3 and 4 above) had been carried forward from last year, with objective 5 amended to reflect an area of focus for further work in 2015/16.


Appendix 1 attached to the report contained the original Improvement Plan Part 1 that outlined the proposed objectives for 2015/16 and provided a rationale for each objective. The measures to be undertaken to make a difference were identified including a lead at chief officer level with responsibility for ensuring the achievement of key outcomes.


Challenging targets had been set against all measures for improvement, reflecting the Council's commitment to continuously improve the services it provided to citizens of the Vale.  At the same time, the Council was also mindful of significant financial and service demand pressures over the coming year and key targets and milestones for proposed Improvement Objectives had been set within this context. This meant that in some areas it would be an achievement to maintain existing levels of service performance whilst absorbing reductions in funding, managing increasing service demand or both. Such issues would need to be taken into account during internal challenge of proposed Improvement Objectives and targets.


Despite efforts made on behalf of the Council to consult with key strategic partners and other identified key stakeholders including the public, only three organisations responded. These were Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, Penarth Town Council and Diverse Cymru.


All three organisations supported the proposed Improvement Objectives for 2015/16. Appendix 2 attached to the report highlighted in full comments and suggestions made in relation to all objectives.


The Improvement Plan Part 1 would be revised to reflect relevant Cabinet and Council amendments and published following Council approval on 29 April, 2015.


This was a matter for Executive and Council decision




(1)       T H A T the recommendations from all Scrutiny Committees following consultation on the proposed Improvement Objectives for 2015/16 be noted.


(2)       T H A T comments from key strategic partners in response to consultation on the proposed Improvement Objectives for 2015/16 be noted.


(3)       T H A T the Improvement Plan Part 1 including proposed Improvement Objectives for 2015/16 attached at Appendix 1 to the report be endorsed.


(4)       T H A T the use of article 13.09 of the Council's Constitution (urgent decision procedure) be authorised to enable the report to be presented to Council on 29 April, 2015, for approval in order to meet the statutory timescales.


Reasons for decisions


(1)       To ensure that Improvement Objectives focused specifically on those areas where there was a need for improvement, reflecting the work being undertaken across the Council to improve the quality of life for Vale residents.


(2)       To ensure the Council fulfilled its duty to consult on its annual Improvement Objectives.


(3)       To ensure the Council identified key annual improvement priorities for 2015/16 in line with requirements of the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.


(4)       To ensure the Council met its statutory obligation to publish its forward looking Improvement Plan at the start of the financial year outlining how it proposed to meet its Improvement Objectives for 2015-16.