Agenda item

Q3 2018-19 Performance Overview Report (Agenda item 9)

Report of Executive Member for People and Information, Councillor Alison Webb.



The Executive Member for People & Information presented the report.


The Council continued to operate at a good level and the areas of success, particularly in relation to the number of complaints responded to within the timescale, were explained (see section 1.3 of the report).  The missed waste collections had seen the best quarter performance ever recorded; in total, there were only 17 missed bins for the whole of the district in this period and was a very positive reflection on the SERCO and Environmental Services teams. 


There were a few areas of concern including the amount of gross income generated by the Environmental Health, Training and Consultancy (EHT+C) commercial trading arm, staff turnover, staff sickness and major planning application determination times.  As far as the EHT+C was concerned, the Team was looking at new ways of marketing with a view of achieving the target at the end of the year. Sickness rates were attributed to seasonal illnesses and for planning there had been a decline in the number of major planning applications with the national standard at just 50%; however, Capita was confident that this would improve in this calendar year.


Councillor Brame queried the content of the key performance indicator table at section 1.2 of the report and felt that the incorrect information had been included as previously agreed.  The Executive Member for People & Information apologised but assured Members that the content was in fact correct it was the header that was wrong.Ross Bangs, the Corporate Improvement & Performance Manager also apologised for the date at the top of the header and explained that the monthly data within the graph was not comparable to previous quarters as the indicators changed in each quarter.


Referring to the graph, Councillor Brame had noticed that every previous quarter 3 had been better than this quarter 3 and felt that the chart should not have been included.


The Chairman said there was a benefit in having the chart it just needed to be re-jigged.


With regard to the report itself, Councillor Dimoglou raised a couple of points; the first being at section 1.4 of the report in relation to the number of complaints responded to within the timescale.  He felt that it should not be about how fast the Council took to respond it should be how quickly the complaint was resolved and how this was measured.  The Corporate Improvement & Performance Manager said that a report could be produced in future showing the number of complaints that had been escalated to stage 2.


The second point raised was in relation to staff turnover highlighted at section 1.9 of the report.  Councillor Dimoglou was aware of the difficulty that the Chief Executive had in dealing with a constant undertone of staff discontent and he had grave concerns that Breckland Council could be sleepwalking into an unmanageable situation. The Corporate Improvement & Performance Manager reported that the HR Team was satisfied with the level of staff turnover and the figures had been benchmarked against other authorities.  The Executive Member for People & Information said that these benchmarking figures could be included in future reports.  Councillor Dimoglou felt that the results of exit interviews should also be included in future reports.


Councillor Wilkinson, also referring to section 1.9 of the report, asked the meaning of the sentence – ‘staff choosing to leave rather than be formally managed through a process, which is a positive’.  The Executive Director for Strategy & Governance explained that the Council had to have a performance framework and was performance managing appropriately – it was a positive but the wording would be re-considered.


Councillor Jermy mentioned the tables in respect of fly-tipping on pages 46 and 48 of the agenda pack and the 33% increase for quarter 3 and in respect of having faith in the statistics in relation to tonnage.  He also mentioned homelessness and felt that the whole point of KPIs and performance was to be aware of where the flash points were.    He was aware that Breckland had the biggest increase in homelessness in Norfolk and this had not been reflected in the reports description.  In response, the Executive Member for People & Information said that she would work with the Corporate Improvement & Performance Manager in respect of both the aforementioned matters to ensure that the figures etc were indeed correct.


Councillor Crawford also had problems understanding the descriptive note for homelessness.  Members were provided with an explanation of the Homelessness Reduction and Act.  From 3 April 2018, there had been a major change in the way local housing authorities responded to homeless people and placed renewed emphasis on the prevention of homelessness including extending the period in which a household was threatened with homelessness from 28 days to 56 days and aimed to help all those who were homeless and eligible.   In other words there would be a short term fix during this 56 day period such as B&B accommodation until a permanent home could be found


The content of the report was otherwise noted; subject to the aforementioned changes being included in future reports.

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