Agenda Item No. 6











Cabinet was requested to approve changes to the Council’s Performance Management Framework as the basis for consultation with Scrutiny Committees.


The Council had a strong performance management track record as evidenced in previous Annual Improvement Reports (AIR) by the Wales Audit Office. However, the recent AIR for 2014/15, identified the following two proposals for improvement: 

  • P1 Refine performance reporting arrangements to ensure data was presented in a way that provided a balanced picture of performance and of the outcomes being achieved.
  • P2 Improve reporting so that cross-directorate/cross-service activity was considered in the context of delivery of priorities rather than completion of service-based actions.

The Council’s Performance Management Framework (PMF) set out the way in which the Council undertook performance management across the Council. The framework enabled the Council to regularly assess, report and scrutinise performance in order to support continuous improvement of its activities.


The PMF brought together the Council’s key planning, monitoring and evaluation processes through an integrated suite of documents. These included the Community Strategy, Corporate Plan, Service Plans, Team Plans, and Personal Development Plans and demonstrated the contribution made at a variety of levels of the organisation to the Council’s priority outcomes. These were supported by other key strategies and plans such as the Medium Term Financial Plan, Workforce Plan and Corporate Asset Management Plan.


In view of the significant new challenges faced by the Council going forward, it was considered essential that the Council took stock of its position and reassessed what its priorities should be in the medium term. This had necessitated a review of the Corporate Plan, which was reported to Cabinet separately on the agenda.


The Council’s draft revised Corporate Plan had considered and reflected the requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and identified a series of well-being outcomes for the Council. Within each well-being outcome, well-being objectives had 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 would take responsibility for each of the outcomes and would 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.


The report outlined that the Corporate Plan would 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.


“Corporate health” would 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 would incorporate a Red, Amber, Green (RAG) status for each well-being outcome to give snapshots of overall progress against the well-being outcomes. A brief position statement would be provided for the quarter covering the well-being outcomes and corporate health performance overall.  A brief summary of achievements by outcome would 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. The quarterly overview report would be presented in a dashboard/scorecard format designed to make the information contained as accessible as possible.


Four Quarterly Well-being Outcome & Objectives Scorecard Reports would demonstrate progress against each of the well-being outcomes and associated objectives. Informed by performance data collected from Service Plans, the reports would 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 would be provided for the quarter.  A brief summary of achievements by objective would be provided and areas of underperformance/ key challenges highlighted, including a description of any remedial actions required to address these going forward.


The measures included amending the Scrutiny Committee structure from May 2016 to align it with the well-being outcomes of the Corporate Plan. Such a change to Scrutiny structures would require the approval of Council prior to the Annual General Meeting in May 2016. The Terms of Reference for the existing “service based” Scrutiny Committees would be reviewed to reflect the Council’s four well-being outcomes and to support the cross-cutting nature of the new plan.


In addition to the four well-being outcome-based Scrutiny Committees, the existing Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) 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

The proposals did not consider any changes to the composition of the Committees. However, the proposals were not merely a change in name of the Committee but rather they represented a refocusing of scrutiny activity on the way in which the Council’s actions were delivering against its intended outcomes.


Quarterly Well-being Outcome & Objectives reports would be reported to the relevant committee, with the Overall Corporate Health Scorecard Report being presented to the Corporate Resources & Performance Committee.


The Council would continue to produce Service Plans. However, rather than being at Directorate level, the plans would be developed at Head of Service level and would focus on the contribution made to the Council’s well-being outcomes & objectives, in addition to the way in which the service managed its resources. It was intended that this would help reduce the size of the Service Plans and improve the focus of the plans on specific priority areas for the Council.


The report contained the timetable for implementation of the revised PMF, which would be phased in over the 2016/17 annual performance planning and reporting cycle.


This was a matter for Executive decision


Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein




(1)       T H A T the proposals for changes to the Council’s Performance Management Framework as described in the report as the basis for consultation with Scrutiny Committees be approved.


(2)       T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources, Lifelong Learning, Economy & Environment, Housing & Public Protection and Social Care & Health) for their consideration.


(3)       T H A T Cabinet receive 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 decisions


(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.



Attached as Appendices –       Supplementary Information

                                            Report to Cabinet – 14 DECEMBER 2015