To receive and consider the report of the Director of Change and Delivery.
Victoria Willett, Director of Change and Delivery presented the report, which covered the period from January to March 2023. It was noted by the Chair that following this meeting, the Quarter and Business Plan reports were to be presented by an Executive Member.
Of the 19 projects,
· 2 (11%) were completed,
· 16 (84%) rated green, and
· 1 (5%) rated amber.
For the key measures of organisational performance,
· 4 (67%) performing at or above target,
· 1 (17%) performing below target but within the 5% threshold, and
· 1 (17%) performing below target and outside of threshold
‘Housing where residents can live well’.
Key achievements included Tatton Gardens with the connected GP surgery and café. Following the completion of the scheme, the council continued to commit to the corporate strategy and develop further options for high quality, affordable and green housing.
The amber rated key project was the delivery of the local plan. Reasons explained included vacancies within the team which impacted the capacity to deliver the project. Recruitment was underway and some of the posts had been successfully recruited. It was also noted that the project contained complexity due to working with two other authorities. It was questioned by the Panel if the project should be rated red, however, for a project to be rated red, the project would be stopped, off track with no plan to move forward. Actions were currently in place to bring the project back on track, it was noted that more leeway was provided due to partnership working with two other authorities.
‘A Green and Sustainable Borough’.
Over 117,000 trees had been planted in the borough which exceeded the target, which pleased the members of the panel, and they were open to assisting with ways to increase that number further.
A key priority of the council was to improve parks, open spaces and to enhance the natural environment. All five projects under the Corporate Priority Strategy were green and were progressing according to plan and timescales.
‘An enterprising economy with vibrant local centres in urban and rural areas’
Strawberry Meadows was completed, and the council remained committed to completing improvements to Astley Hall. Within Strawberry Meadows, there was a mix of businesses that sought growth and expansion. A list would be provided to the Membership following the meeting,
The three other projects were green and on track.
A development and job programme event was held in collaboration with local schools and businesses in the borough which was attended by 500 students, job seekers and 30 local businesses.
Members praised the event, but noted that there needed to be a more effective way for such events to be communicated. It was noted that Members would be on the circulation list of the new business newsletter.
‘Healthy, Safe and Engaged Communities’
A key commitment was the early help event, to bring in key partners to support parents and families in the borough.
A Cost of Living Action Plan was underway to support families that were struggling due to the price of food and energy. The project was extended over the summer, and in all, 6,744 households were supported through the fund. The school uniform swap scheme was to continue and be expanded to include more schools. Members praised the uniform swap and sought the addition of schools out of town.
The health and wellbeing programme commenced, and the weight management programme was relaunched.
‘Performance of Corporate Strategy Measures 2022/23’.
14 indicators were on target or better than target, with 5 worse and outside threshold.
Highlighted indicators that were worse and outside threshold included the ‘number of people who participate in volunteering opportunities’. Action was taken to improve the policy, and in June the council endorsed a ‘volunteering week’.
The ‘growth in business rare base’ and ‘number of affordable homes delivered’ were both impacted due to the ongoing review and creation of a new Local Plan.
‘Median workplace earnings better than the North West Average’, this indicator’s performance was viewed to be a symptom of the post pandemic landscape, with an increase in the number of small businesses.
Of the key service measures, four were better than target, one was worse than target but within threshold, ‘percentage of business rates (NNDR) collected’ and one was worse than target and outside of threshold, ‘town centre vacancy rate’. The reason was due to the pandemic. Actions were in place to encourage vibrance in the town centre. The figure for the list of units within the town centre and those earmarked as available would be reported back.
Resolved: That the report be noted.