(Link to Council Priorities: All)
The Leader introduced the report which set out the quarterly performance monitoring against the 2018/19 basket of performance indicators and Council Plan objectives. It was noted that the monitoring report would be presented to the Performance and Finance Standing Panel on 2 July 2019.
It was acknowledged that this report encapsulated the work of the previous Administration and in this regard, the Leader updated that with effect from May 2019, there had been some slight changes made to the Portfolios. It was noted that future quarterly performance monitoring reports would be updated to reflect these changes.
The Cabinet considered the progress made during the fourth quarter and the opportunity was taken for each of the Portfolio Holders to provide updates in respect of their areas of responsibility together with the priorities for 2019/20.
In respect of the Planning Portfolio, the Portfolio Holder briefly commented on the performance statistics. With regard to Performance Indicator L-TP4 (Percentage of planning appeal decisions made in favour of the Council), it was noted that the target of 65% had been met. Whilst this was not necessarily satisfactory, it was acknowledged that this figure was below the actual figure for 2017/18. Whilst this performance indicator covered all appeals (major, minor and household), the Portfolio Holder reported that there was a Government target for planning authorities, that no more than 10% of major applications should be lost on appeal. This figure was based on a two-year rolling period and disappointingly, the Council had recently been near to this level. The Portfolio Holder advised that predictions indicated that the Council would not exceed this government figure. However, given the relatively small number of major applications, losing just a small number could have a disproportionate effect on the statistics. With regard to priorities for 2019/20, the Portfolio Holder reported that the significant priority for her and the Council as a whole, was the Local Plan. Currently, the documents in respect of the Strategic Options for the Local Plan (Regulation 18) consultation, which was due to commence in mid-August 2019, were being prepared. In this regard, she encouraged all Members and residents to actively engage in this consultation.
The Portfolio Holder for Community and Corporate Development then gave a brief update in respect of her Portfolio. She took the opportunity to provide an overview of the performance monitoring report and was pleased to update that in the fourth quarter and at the year-end, 25 (70%) of the basket of performance indicators and 15 (83%) Council Plan objectives were on target. With regard to Performance Indicator L-OD1 (Number of formal complaints received), the Portfolio Holder reported that the year-end figure had decreased by approximately 20% compared to the figure in 2017/18. In respect of Performance Indicator L-OD5 (Percentage staff turnover), whilst there had been a higher level of turnover than the target, the Portfolio Holder advised that the new exit survey, which had been introduced in January 2019, would help to better understand the reasons for voluntary resignation and what could be done to increase staff retention. In respect of her Portfolio, the Portfolio Holder reported that the Corporate element included Customer Services, Democratic Services and Organisational Development and that the Community element included Community Safety and Police & Crime.
In thanking the Leader for giving him the opportunity to take on the Housing Portfolio again, the Portfolio Holder for Housing provided an update in respect of housing matters. He placed on record his thanks to the previous Portfolio Holder, Councillor A. Kelly and the Head of Housing Services and his Team for all the positive work undertaken in 2018/19. He explained that in the forthcoming year he would be focussing on providing more social housing and getting families out of bed and breakfast. He expressed his disappointment that there had not been a meeting of the Affordable and Social Housing Working Group in 2018/19 and advised that a meeting in this regard would be held in the Autumn 2019. In respect of performance indicators, with regard to Performance Indicator L-HS1 (Number of affordable homes delivered (gross) – cumulative), the Portfolio Holder was pleased to report that 118 affordable homes had been delivered in the Borough in 2018/19, which exceeded the target of 100 homes. This represented the highest annual number of completions in Elmbridge over the last five years. It was acknowledged that 21 of these homes had resulted from the Council taking a direct role in housing provision. With regard to Performance Indicator L-HS2 (Number of households in temporary accommodation), the Portfolio Holder was again pleased to report that the number of homeless households in temporary accommodation was being kept at manageable levels. Whilst it was acknowledged that the number of homeless households placed in emergency accommodation out of the Borough had been relatively low, the Portfolio Holder stressed that this Administration would be looking to increase the supply of self-contained temporary accommodation within Elmbridge so as to reduce the need to place households out of the Borough. In respect of Performance Indicator L-HS4 (Number of new placements in Private Rented Sector by the Rental Support Scheme (cumulative), the Portfolio Holder reported that 34 new tenancies had been created through the Scheme in 2018/19, which had been two below the target of 36.
In respect of the Environment Portfolio, the Portfolio Holder for Environment placed on record her thanks to the previous Portfolio Holder, Councillor G.P. Dearlove for all the work undertaken in 2018/19. With regard to Performance Indicator L-ES2(a) (Percentage of household waste sent for recycling (Joint Waste Contract Service Objective Standard)), the Portfolio Holder reported that the performance was below the target for the whole year. However, overall the tonnages had not changed and the amount of recycling waste collected had remained relatively stable. The reprocessors were pushing for higher quality materials and in this regard, tonnes of waste were being rejected. In addition, there were still no outlets for low grade plastics and whilst these were not sent to landfill, they were being sent to energy recovery facilities and as this was deemed to be ‘recovery’, it could not be counted within the recycling figures. In respect of Performance Indicator L-ES2(b) (Percentage of household waste sent for composting (Joint Waste Contract Service Objective Standard), the Portfolio Holder was pleased to update that this was on target, although there was a variation in performance as a result of seasonal fluctuations. With regard to Performance Indicator L-ES4 (Percentage of land assessed as having deposits of litter that fall below an acceptable level (Joint Waste Contract Performance Standard), whilst the target had been met, the Portfolio Holder reported that she would like to introduce a Litter Picking Scheme throughout the Borough. In respect of Performance Indicator L-ES5 (Percentage of land assessed as having deposits of detritus that fall below an acceptable level (Joint Waste Contract Performance Standard), it was noted that this target had been exceeded and accordingly, the Portfolio Holder asked residents to ensure that where detritus was identified, these areas were reported. With regard to Performance Indicator L-ES9 (Missed bin collections per 100,000 (Joint Waste Contract Performance Standard), whilst there had been a slight improvement, the target had still not been met. The Portfolio Holder reported that Joint Waste Solutions continued to work with Amey to drive up performance and this was an area that she would be focussing on. In respect of Council Objective ET2 (Launch an initiative to assess and increase compliance with new controls and conditions on licenced taxi and private hire drivers), the Portfolio Holder updated that, in line with the recent changes to the national policy and guidance for taxi and private hire licencing, the Council was trying to withdraw the number of diesel cars which were licenced as taxis. Finally, with regard to Council Objective ET1 (Introduce a licencing scheme to control the type and location of street trading activities in Elmbridge, such as where fast food can be sold), the Portfolio Holder reported that the Council was also considering street traders licences in order to reduce and remove generators that were being run whilst they were trading.
The Portfolio Holder for Social Affairs then provided a brief update in respect of her Portfolio. Having studied the performance indicators, the Portfolio Holder was pleased to report that all the targets had been met and the Portfolio was in good shape.
The Portfolio Holder for Resources then provided a brief update in respect of the Resources Portfolio. Whilst the Resources Portfolio was wide-ranging, the Portfolio Holder was pleased to report that all the targets had been met in 2018/19 together with the identified Council Objectives. With regard to Performance Indicators L-LT1(a) (Percentage of Council Tax collected – current year only) and L-LT2(a) (Percentage of Non-Domestic Rates collected – current year only), the Portfolio Holder was pleased to report that both targets had been exceeded. He also reported that the draft Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2019 had been prepared and issued before the deadline of 31 May 2019.
In respect of the Leisure and Culture Portfolio, the Portfolio Holder thanked the previous Portfolio Holder, Councillor M.F. Howard for all the work undertaken in respect of leisure and culture over the 2018/19 period. With regard to Performance Indicator L-LCS16 (Number of people engaging with Museum Learning Service activities), the Portfolio Holder expressed her disappointment that the target had not been met, specifically for Quarter 4. However, more engagement with schools would be undertaken to promote the Museum service. With regard to the green spaces and verges, it was acknowledged that now the grass had seeded, its growth should slow down. It was further noted that the installation of the flower baskets around the Borough had also commenced. The Portfolio Holder further updated that the new play area at the Xcel Sports Hub had been opened the previous weekend and she was pleased to report that, to date, it had been well received by the public.
In respect of the Transport Portfolio, the Portfolio Holder updated that key priorities for 2019/20 included the continuation of the work associated with the review of car parking charges. He also advised that he would continue to work closely with Surrey County Council so that new transport initiatives could be identified and implemented around the Borough.
(a) progress against the performance dashboard be noted;
(b) progress against Council Plan objectives be noted; and
(c) the comments provided for the targets showing an amber or red traffic light arising from (a) and (b) above be noted.