Venue: Committee Room 1, Town Hall
Contact: Nina Neisser Email: email@example.com
Decision – That the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Performance Panel held on 21 March 2019 be approved as a correct record for signature by the Chair.
Declarations of Any Interests
Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda.
If you have a pecuniary interest you must withdraw from the meeting. Normally you should leave the room before the business starts to be discussed. You do, however, have the same right to speak as a member of the public and may remain in the room to enable you to exercise that right and then leave immediately. In either case you must not seek to improperly influence a decision on the matter.
There were no declarations of interest received.
To receive and consider the report of the Director (Policy and Governance).
The Chair, Councillor John Walker, welcomed Asim Khan, Director (Customer and Digital) and Adrian Lowe, Executive Member (Customer, Advice and Streetscene Services) and Alistair Morwood, Executive Member (Public Protection) to the meeting.
The Performance Panel received a report from Asim Khan, Director (Customer and Digital), which outlined performance at quarter four 2018/19. Rebecca Aziz-Brook, Transformation Programme Co-Ordinator, presented the report.
The services within the directorate are;
· Customer services
Asim Khan welcomed Cllr Alistair Morwood as the new Executive Member for Public Protection which included the responsibility for the regulatory services. Customer and Digital is a diverse directorate which consisted of the majority of front-line services. Performance had been successful, and the directorate continued to meet aspirations. With regards to the financial position, the budget for the Directorate underspent by £60,000 which had created a 0.9% variance against the original cash budget.
Asim Khan advised that over the last year the new Enforcement Team had been established and the enforcement services were consolidated to deliver services in an effective way. Additional powers such as Section 215 notices have been exercised, and a continued focus and response to community concerns to address fly tipping and dog fouling is being made.
Work to support the delivery of the council’s ICT and Digital strategies had continued, including the roll out of worksmart principles to many teams in the council and the delivery of Office 365. In order to support this work, additional ICT staffing had been appointed to, to ensure that the team could support this work effectively. A notable successful project has been the introduction of public town centre Wi-Fi which was completed on time.
At 98.14%, the percentage of council tax collected was slightly behind target at quarter four in comparison to 2017/18, although this was in line with the trend across other Lancashire authorities. Following queries, Asim Khan ensured Members that any arrears were tracked and advised on the recovery cycle with regards to Council Tax and the debt policy in place for circumstances where payment couldn’t be made.
Streetscene and Waste
With regards to Streetscene and waste, a new waste procurement exercise had been concluded with a focus during the fourth quarter to mobilise the contract in April 2019. New refuse collection vehicles had been ordered and supported with technology realising significant savings for the council.
Following Member queries, Asim Khan advised that the annual target for garden waste subscriptions was circa £710,000. There had been 22,370 subscriptions last year which indicated a shortfall against projected figures.
Promotion had taken place but further marketing had been scheduled later on in the year as greater focus had been made on the mobilisation of the new waste contract to mitigate the impact of this. However, in the fourth quarter a paper-based direct debit campaign had taken place to provide support to senior citizens unable to pay by card but could do so through the bank. This exercise had proved successful and was commended by ... view the full minutes text for item 17.OSP.19
To consider and receive the report of the Director (Policy and Governance).
The Performance Panel considered a monitoring report from the Director (Policy and Governance) which was represented at the Executive Cabinet on 14 June 2019.
Vicky Willett, Performance and Partnerships Manager advised that the report set out the performance against the delivery of the Corporate Strategy and key performance indicators during the fourth quarter of 2018/19, 1 January to 31 March 2019.
Overall, performance of key projects was very good, with nine (75%) of the projects rated as green or scheduled to start in quarter one 2019/20. Three (25%) projects were rated amber and the action plans for each of these were contained within the report.
Performance of the Corporate Strategy indicators and key service delivery measures were also very good with 75% of Corporate Strategy measures and 89% of key service delivery measures performing on or above target within the 5% threshold. Those indicators performing below target have action plans outlined with measures to improve performance.
On the priority of ‘Involving residents in improving their local area and equality of access for all’ the three projects were rated as green, meaning they were progressing according to timescale and plan. The projects included; development of Astley Hall and Park as a visitor destination, supporting people from across the borough to be digitally included, and to develop a framework for building community resilience and delivery of identified projects.
The ‘Clean, safe and healthy homes and communities’ priority consisted of two projects rated as green and progressing according to plan. These were the development of a wholly owned company (formerly delivering the Housing Company) and to deliver improvements to the playing pitches in the borough. One project, the delivery of the Primrose Gardens retirement village was rated amber due to operational elements of the development being slightly behind schedule. Following queries, Members were advised that take up at Primrose Gardens was currently around 70%.
The ‘Strong Local Economy’ priority had two projects rated as green and one, delivery of the Market Walk extension was rated as amber. Two indicators were performing above target and four were performing below target and outside the 5% threshold. Following queries, Members were advised that although the percentage increase in visitor numbers was below target, 2018/19 had still seen an improvement on last year’s performance. It was advised that the approach to tourism would be reviewed.
The priority for ‘an ambitious Council that does more to meet the needs of residents and the local area’ had one project rated as green, one as amber, and one not yet started. Both indicators were performing better than target. With regards to the performance of key service delivery measures, one indicator, the average working days per employee (FTE) per year lost through sickness absence, was performing below target.
Members held concerns regarding the levels of staff sickness absence, in particular with 611.08 days being lost to mental health and 45% leaving the organisation following a period of long-term sickness due to mental health. Members also recognised the pressure this put on ... view the full minutes text for item 17.OSP.20