Agenda Item No. 14(b)
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COUNCIL: 26TH SEPTEMBER, 2018
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 17TH SEPTEMBER, 2018
C412 VALE OF GLAMORGAN ANNUAL REPORT (IMPROVEMENT PLAN PART 2) 2017/18 (L) (SCRUTINY - ALL) -
The Leader presented the report, the purpose of which was to seek Members’ endorsement of the Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report 2017/18 (Improvement Plan Part 2) which outlined the Council’s progress towards achieving the Council's Well-being (Improvement) Objectives agreed in April 2017. The report also outlined the Council's performance for 2017/18 on a range of services relative to all other Welsh Local Authorities as published by the Local Government Data Unit (now Data Cymru).
The Local Government (Wales) Measure (LGM) 2009 and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (WFGA), both placed specific duties on the Council in relation to objective setting and reporting. Under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, the Council was required to annually publish its Well-being Objectives to report progress against these. Under the Measure, the Council also had to set annual Improvement Objectives and report its progress in achieving these.
In April 2017, Cabinet endorsed the Corporate Plan Well-being Objectives and associated priority actions for 2017/18 as the Council's Improvement Objectives for 2017/18. This ensured that the Council continued to discharge its duties to publish its Well-being (Improvement) Objectives under the WBFG (Wales) Act and the LGM.
The Leader stated that the Corporate Plan was therefore the Council’s key means of complying with these duties and set out the Council's Well-being and Improvement Objectives for 2016-2020 as well as its vision and values with reference to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and had been informed by local needs and available resources and incorporates the views of residents, partners and staff.
Following a review of the annual improvement planning and monitoring timetable and the supporting plans in May 2018, Cabinet subsequently endorsed (30th July, 2018) changes to the Council's annual improvement planning and monitoring timetable. This had further streamlined the content and format of some of the Council’s plans/ reports and had enabled the Council to rationalise the number produced and reduce the level of duplication in existing reports due to the timing of reports. This approach would also enable the Council to utilise the streamlined information for multiple purposes whilst continuing to meet its statutory requirements for improvement planning and reporting. Doing so was consistent with the latest guidance produced by the Wales Audit Office and the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner to ensure the reports were understandable and accessible.
In line with the changes to the annual improvement planning and monitoring timetable, the Annual Report for 2017/18 now combined the current end of year (Quarter 4) performance reports and the Improvement Plan Part 2 into one document, to produce a Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report 2017/18 and had eliminated the need for separate end of year reports to Scrutiny Committees.
The new style report provided a comprehensive annual review of the previous year's performance by Well-being Outcome and Objective and also incorporated the Council’s statutory reporting requirements including; outlining overall Council contribution to the national well-being goals; a comparison of the Council’s performance using national benchmarking data, where available; progress against the Council’s strategic collaborations; what the Council’s auditors say about the Council; how the Council has used its resources and how the Council has engaged with its residents.
The Leader advised that The Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report (Improvement Plan Part 2) for the period 2017/18 could be viewed online and a hard copy was also available in the Members Room. By producing the report, residents could find out about the progress the Council has made in achieving the key outcomes aligned to the Council’s Corporate Plan Well-being Objectives.
Pages 155 -164 of the Annual Report provided a summary of the Council’s performance against the national performance indicator set relative to all Welsh Local Authorities. On balance, the Council’s performance continued to be positive and overall remained the top performing Council in Wales for the fourth year running in relation to the dataset. Key highlights were:
- 10 out of 20 indicators were in the top quartile of performers in Wales. These were in areas such as preventing homelessness, highway cleanliness standards, how we responded to fly tipping incidents, participation in leisure activities, pupil attainment at GSCE level, young people who were known not to be in education, employment or training, pupil attendance in primary and secondary schools and speed of determining planning applications.
- Overall, the Vale performed better than the Welsh average in all but 2 indicators (90%). When compared against the region of South East Wales local authorities, 67% (12) of the Council’s measures also performed better than the average for this family group.
- Nevertheless, the Council also recognised that improvements could be made to those areas where it was performing in the lower to bottom quartiles when compared with the rest of Wales. These areas related to the condition of our roads and participation in recycling waste.
Following approval by Cabinet, publication of the Annual Report (Improvement Plan Part 2) 2017/18 would take place via a variety of media, including social media, which would ensure the Council was complying with its statutory duties. Hard copies would be made available at the Council's main reception areas and libraries. In addition, a public summary would also be available online and in the Council's main reception areas.
The Leader further advised that due to the timing of meetings and the statutory reporting timetable, Cabinet was being asked to consider the views and recommendations from Scrutiny Committees (Healthy Living and Social Care, Homes and Safe Communities and Environment and Regeneration) in relation to the Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report (Improvement Plan Part 2) 2017/18, with a view endorse and refer the Plan to Full Council on 26th September, 2018 for approval.
The following recommendations had been received from the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee and were tabled for the Members’ consideration:
- Prioritisation should be given to improving the Council’s performance for the condition of A Roads and the rate of recycling;
- With regard to fly tipping and recycling that Cabinet consider the proposal to roll out a proof of residence scheme;
- Cabinet considers the possibility for introducing charges to enable small builders and contractors to access Council Waste facilities for the purpose of waste removal;
- Cabinet considers the proposal to explore opening hours of Waste Recycling facilities beyond the current periods, which could include one evening a week when the facilities are open beyond the usual closure time.
- More information and clarity is made available to Members of the Public around recycling and for there to be more engagement with schools and young people.
At this point, the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport wished to add that the Council had already taken steps towards meeting the recommendations made by the Scrutiny Committee and with regards to the condition of A roads, the Council had assigned more funds than it ever had historically, during the last calendar year, to that purpose.
For clarification purposes, the Managing Director took the opportunity to inform Members that the Performance Status relating to Corporate Plan Priority 154 – Percentage of Council Street lights that are LED, contained on page 51 of the report, was correctly labelled despite an increase in performance level from 2016/17 to 2017/18. This was due to the street lighting work not being completed before the 31st March, 2018 cut off but had subsequently been completed.
Due to the timing of the Scrutiny Committee meetings for Learning and Culture and Corporate Performance and Resources and the schedule of Cabinet meetings, Members of these Committees were being asked to review and endorse the Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report (Improvement Plan Part 2) 2017/18 and refer any recommendations directly to the Full Council meeting on 26th September, 2018 for their consideration. Any amendments following Cabinet and Full Council's consideration would be reflected in an updated Annual Report for publication by 30th October, 2018. This would ensure that the Council fully discharged its duties under both the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (WBFG) and the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 (LGM) to publish an annual review of council performance against its Well-being (Improvement) Objectives by 30th October as per the statutory timetable.
Cabinet was being asked to note the Council's overall performance in relation to the national performance indicator dataset for 2017/18 relative to all Welsh Local Authorities as published by the Local Government Data Unit (now Data Cymru) on 8th August, 2018. This data ranked the Vale of Glamorgan Council as the highest performing Local Authority in Wales for the fourth year running.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the views and recommendations reported verbally from the Scrutiny Committee Environment and Regeneration in relation to the Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report (Improvement Plan Part 2) 2017/18 be noted.
(2) T H A T the Vale of Glamorgan Annual Report (Improvement Plan Part 2) 2017/18 be endorsed and referred to Full Council on 26th September, 2018 for approval.
(3) T H A T the Council’s overall performance on the National Performance Indicator dataset for 2017/18 relevant to all Welsh Local Authorities as published by the Local Government Data Unit (now Data Cymru) on 8th August, 2018 together with the fact that the Vale of Glamorgan Council is ranked as the highest performing Local Authority in Wales for the fourth year running be noted.
Reasons for decisions
(1&2) To ensure the Council fully discharges its duties under both the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (WBFG) and the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 (LGM) to publish an annual review of Council performance against its Well-being (Improvement) Objectives by 30th October as per the statutory timetable and taking into consideration the timing of this Committee's meeting and the schedule of Cabinet meetings.
(3) To apprise Members of the performance of the Vale of Glamorgan Council relative to other Welsh Local Authorities during 2017/18.