(Link to Council Priorities: All)
The Deputy Leader introduced the first quarter’s performance monitoring report in respect of the 2019/20 performance indicators and Council Plan objectives. It was noted that this report had been presented to the Performance and Finance Standing Panel on 17 September 2019.
In the first quarter, 27 (82%) performance indicators and 13 (72%) Council Plan objectives were on target.
The Cabinet considered the progress made during the first quarter and the opportunity was taken for each of the Portfolio Holders to provide updates in respect of their areas of responsibility.
In respect of the Community and Corporate Development Portfolio, the Deputy Leader was pleased to report that the quarterly monitoring showed that 90% of customers were satisfied with the time taken to answer their call, compared to the target figure of 80%. Furthermore, 78% of customers were satisfied with the service provided, compared to the target figure of 75%. This reflected the Borough’s focus and achievement in upholding customer service as a core value.
In respect of the Planning Portfolio, the Portfolio Holder briefly commented on progress with regard to the development of a new Local Plan. She reported that the consultation was still live and would close on 30 September 2019. The recent Local Plan presentations had been well received by the residents either through attendance at the Civic Centre or by viewing the presentation via the webcast. In respect of the events, the Portfolio Holder thanked the Strategic Director, Head of Planning Services and the Local Plan Manager for giving the presentations and for answering residents’ questions in a clear and honest manner. She also encouraged all Members to actively promote the consultation so that the views of residents from across the Borough could be obtained. Whilst reminding Members of the change in the Scheme of Delegation that had been agreed by the Planning Committee in July 2019, the Portfolio Holder was also pleased to report that all the Performance Indicators in respect of Planning were satisfactory and on target for Quarter 1.
The Portfolio Holder for Housing then provided an update in respect of housing matters. In respect of Performance Indicator L-HS1 (Number of affordable homes delivered (gross) – cumulative), the Portfolio Holder reported that whilst only one affordable home had been delivered in Quarter 1, the affordable housing delivery schedule indicated that the Council was on course to see approximately 180 affordable homes delivered in 2019/20. With regard to Performance Indicator L-HS2 (Number of households in temporary accommodation), the Portfolio Holder expressed concern that as at 13 September 2019, the number of households in temporary accommodation was 57. Of these, 22 had been placed in accommodation outside of the Borough, and 10 being placed in bed and breakfast with shared facilities. He reported that plans to increase the supply of temporary accommodation within the Borough should help reduce the need to place households out of Borough and officers were reviewing a range of options available in this regard. In conjunction with Transform Housing and Walton Charity, the Portfolio Holder updated that an office block in Walton had been acquired and was in the process of being converted into 6 flats that would be available for use by single homeless young people. With regard to Housing Benefits, the Portfolio Holder was pleased to report that the number of calls received in this regard had reduced from 1,337 a month in April 2018 to 726 a month in September 2019 and significant improvements had been made in processing Housing Benefit claims.
In respect of the Environment Portfolio, the Portfolio Holder for Environment reported that with regard to Performance Indicator L-ES2(a) (Percentage of household waste sent for recycling (Joint Waste Contract Service Objective Standard), the recycling rate was still being impacted by contamination and outlets for mixed plastics. In this regard, work continued on contamination and engagement campaigns to improve the quality of materials collected. Furthermore, work with Surrey County Council and Grundon’s to find alternatives for mixed plastic recycling was in progress. In respect of Performance Indicator L-ES9 (Missed bin collections per 100,000 (Joint Waste Contract Performance Standard), disappointingly the target was still not being met. However, improvements had been made compared to the same quarter in 2018/19. All other Performance Indicators continued to perform well.
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 indicators were on target. However, the two Bank Holidays in April 2019 had had a small impact on the number of passenger journeys undertaken on Dial-a-Ride, Hire-a-Bus and the Community Cab scheme (L-CS29), compared to Quarter 4 in 2018/19. In addition, the number of volunteer sessions including Meals on Wheels and Centres (L-CS4) was slightly down compared with the previous year’s results. The Portfolio Holder thanked the Head of Community Support Services and her Team for consistently achieving excellent results.
The Portfolio Holder for Resources then provided a brief update in respect of the Resources Portfolio. 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 advise that both these indicators were above the target for 2019/20. He further reported that it had been a busy period for the Finance Team given that they had been required to prepare and submit the Council’s Statement of Accounts for auditing by 31 July 2019. The Team had worked extremely hard especially given the added pressure following the announcement of the McCloud Judgement which had resulted in an increase in the Council’s net pension liability within the Statement of Accounts of £1.7 million. Despite the reductions in Government and Surrey County Council funding going forward, the Council was in a strong financial position.
In respect of the Leisure and Culture Portfolio, the Portfolio Holder advised that with regard to Performance Indicator L-LCS16 (Number of people engaging with Museum Learning Service activities), due to staffing matters this target had not been met. It was hoped that as the Learning and Outreach Officer post would be filled in September 2019, the learning service would improve in Quarter 2. The Portfolio Holder also updated that the new programme for the Royston Pike Lectures had now been published together with the Healthy Walks and Rides Programme.
(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.