Agenda Item No


Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committees (Housing and Public Protection): 4th September 2013


Report of the Managing Director


Improvement Plan 2013/14


Purpose of the Report

1.             To present the draft Improvement Plan 2013/14 which contains performance and improvement information for improvement objectives agreed in April 2012.


That the Committee endorses the Improvement Plan for 2013/14.

Reason for the Recommendation

To ensure that actions are taken to improve the performance of the council.


2.             The Council's Part 1 Improvement Plan for 2012/13 was agreed by Cabinet on 18 April 2012; this is required by the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009. The Part 1 Plan is forward looking, and set improvement objectives for 2012/13.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.             The Part 2 Improvement Plan (attached at appendix A) is a document primarily looking back over 2012/13. It contains key performance measures along with and targets and actions for 2012/13. Where available, it contains Welsh average performance for benchmarking purposes.

4.             The performance information will be used by the Wales Audit Office to assess the council’s capacity to improve, and therefore is of critical importance to the reputation of the council.

5.             The plan is substantially complete, although further minor amendments will be required following additional information being provided by chief officers, changes to performance information provided by the Local Government Data Unit and from proofreading. This information will need to be included prior to the final draft being presented to Cabinet.

6.             The Housing and Public Protection Committee will primarily be interested in objectives 1, 2 and 5.

7.             Objective 1: To improve the quality and standard of private sector housing in the Castleland area.

8.             The objective has been partially met; the improvement work is continuing, and there are achievable project plans in place to fully meet this objective within the timescale established for the project.

9.             Overall, the renewal scheme has contributed to improving the standard of housing for the people in the area. A five year programme of ‘face-lifting’ which involves improvements to the front of properties has enhanced the street scene in Castleland; 353 properties were included in the facelift scheme in 2013. In the previous year, 346 properties were improved. In both years resident participation in the scheme has been over 90%.  A further 260 homes are set to benefit from improvement by March 2014.

10.        For more information on objective 1, turn to page 8 in the plan..

11.        Objective 2: To reduce the time taken to deliver disabled facilities grants to children and young people and to adults to achieve the Welsh average performance of 2010/11 (386 days) as a minimum.

12.        The council’s performance of 346 days (2012/13) to deliver a disabled facilities grant means that it has achieved overall its improvement objective of reducing the time taken to deliver disabled facilities grants to children and young people and to adults to 386 days.

13.        The process for delivery of DFGs has become more streamlined as a result of regular detailed reviews of the whole framework. Electronic tendering is now standard practice. An occupational therapist (OT), funded by the council, is based within the team. This has cut down on the time taken for responses and has provided improved continuity for customers. New guidelines have been established and widely communicated to staff, ensuring a consistent approach to the handling of DFGs.

14.        Waiting times for DFGs have continually reduced over the past 4 years.  The Welsh Government’s Local Authority Service Performance report (2011/12) identified the Vale of Glamorgan as the most improved authority in Wales for delivery of DFGs.

15.        For more information on objective 2, turn to page 12 of the plan.

16.        Objective 5: To increase the proportion of the Council’s housing stock that meet the Wales Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) by 31 March 2014.

17.        This objective is being achieved, although work will continue to take place to ensure that all the council’s housing stock reaches the quality standard.

18.        In total £82m will be spent over a 4.5 year period to meet the WHQS.  A housing asset management strategy and action plan are in place to fully meet the standard by April 2017.

19.        Internal work has been the initial focus so far: 426 new heating systems have been installed and 140 new roofs and 71 windows and doors have been installed ensuring that homes are more weatherproof.

20.        For more information on objective 5, turn to page 23.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

21.        The production of the Improvement Plan is a major annual project that involves a considerable amount of time from officers. The cost of producing the plan and publishing a bilingual summary in October is met through existing budgets.  

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

22.        Sustainability issues have been taken into account as part of the process for selecting the improvement objectives.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

23.        The Improvement Plan is a statutory duty under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009, along with a duty to continually improve.

Crime and Disorder Implications

24.        None as a result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

25.        The summary document provides members of the public with an opportunity to become aware of the Council’s performance and will be produced bilingually.

Corporate/Service Objectives

26.        The plan provides information on the improvement objectives agreed by the council.

Policy Framework and Budget

27.        The Improvement Plan forms a part of the Policy Framework and is required to be agreed by Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

28.        Elected Members and Corporate Management Team were involved in the selection of improvement objectives for 2012/13.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

29.        Housing and Public Protection

Background Papers

Reforming the Wales Programme for Improvement - Guidance to Local Authorities 2010

Corporate Plan 2010/2014

Vale of Glamorgan Community Strategy 2011 - 2021

Contact Officer

Beverly Noon 01446 709746

Officers Consulted

All relevant officers have been consulted on the contents of this report:

Corporate Management Team

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies, Managing Director