Agenda item

Governance and Performance Monitoring Report - Quarter 2 2009/10 (Agenda item 7)

Report of the Executive Member for the Governance and Corporate Development Portfolio (William Smith).

Minutes:

The Performance Manager presented the report which detailed how well the Council was using its resources to deliver value for money as well as better and sustainable outcomes for local people.

 

The report had been structured into four themed sections: managing finances, managing performance, governing the Council and managing resources.

 

Managing Finances

 

The forecasted year end outturn at the end of Quarter 2 had reflected an overall underspend of £72,520 for the Council.

 

Income shown on page 5 of the document showed three areas that were experiencing a shortfall. 

 

Income related to Land Charges and Development Control were linked to the economic climate, whereas the Bed and Breakfast shortfall was as a result of the Council managing down its usage of this type of accommodation which reduced the potential recoverable income.

 

Under Treasury Management (page 6 of the report), both measures, of actual income and percentage interest, remained better than targeted.

 

The Capital Programme report on page 7 requested approval for a revised budget of £7,419,569.  This reflected the proactive management of the scheme.

 

Page 11 of the report asked for virements to be agreed to reflect the latest forecasts of spend and income and to ensure reported budget performance remained updated.

 

Additionally, on page 12, the report asked for grant funding awarded to the Council to be accepted and the income and expenditure approved.

 

Managing Performance

 

The Managing Performance section on page 13 of the report tracked the Council’s performance against its Annual Delivery Plan.  All variances to planned targets and milestones had been covered in more detail through the report.

 

Customer Service on pages 24 to 28 of the report showed how the Council was using its data collected through the call centre for National Indicator 14 to change the way it operated.

 

The Council had seen a fall in complaints during quarter 2 with 20 received compared to 38 the previous quarter.  Compliments had remained similar to last quarter with 13 received.

 

Page 37 of the report considered the performance of contracts.  Beginning with Serco, there had been a fall in the number of complaints received and an increase in satisfaction for all three areas monitored.

 

Parkwood Leisure, who delivered the leisure centres in partnership with Breckland, showed an increase in customer satisfaction levels in both Thetford and Dereham, with Thetford’s levels being significantly increased against quarter 1 and currently standing at 85%.

 

Capita performance remained high with all but one indicator being on target.  All critical performance indicators remained on target.

 

The Anglia Revenues Partnership remained challenged by increased demand due to the economic climate although performance remained high.  Time taken to process housing benefit and council tax benefit was higher than target, but had seen consistent falls during the early part of Quarter 3.

 

Governing the Council

 

The Council’s risks were managed through the Audit Committee and these were shown from page 47 to 66 of the report.

 

Managing Resources

 

Looking at how the Council managed its resources, an under-spend of £109,933 was forecast for the year end and that was against a 4% vacancy factor.

 

On page 56 of the report the Council had seen lower than targeted absence levels with 3.18 days per employee being recorded against a target of 3.75.  This was significantly lower than at the same point for the previous two years.

 

The Vice-Chairman drew Members’ attention to the under-spend and congratulated the Officers involved for their good management of the Council’s resources which he felt was due to the adherence to the Audit Committee’s good practice.

 

He also drew attention to the Treasury Management section of the report which showed that the Council had out-performed its target on the interest received.

 

Referring to the Anglia Revenues Partnership’s (ARP) performance indicators, the Vice-Chairman wished for it to be noted that all targets had now been achieved.  

 

The Executive Member for the Environmental Well-Being and Customer Contact Portfolio congratulated Officers on driving the Green Agenda forward.  Many projects had been delivered, including working with Mattishall Primary School towards the Silver Eco Schools Award, implementing a strategy to reduce the Council’s CO2 emissions and reducing the amount of paper being used in the Council offices.  Car sharing was also being encouraged.  She also drew attention to the compliments section, particularly in regard to the Contact Centre.

 

The Vice-Chairman felt that the consultation section of the report was very useful as 79% of all Breckland respondents thought that the Council should generate income by letting out its commercial property and 65% felt that income could be generated by working with other councils and private sector companies.  Faced with the prospect of the Local Government Review, this showed that the Council was on the right track by driving forward its own shared services initiative with South Norfolk Council.

 

Options

 

Not applicable

 

Reasons

 

See report.

 

RESOLVED that the Governance and Performance report for Quarter 2 be noted, and

 

RECOMMEND to Council that:

 

1)           the revised Capital Programme of £7,419,569 (as per table 2 on page 8 of the Governance and Performance report) be agreed;

 

2)           the virements as listed on page 11 of the Governance and Performance report be approved;

 

3)           the budget for both the grant income and expenditure as detailed on page 12 of the Governance and Performance report be approved; and

 

4)           the funding grants from the awarding bodies, ODPM and Norfolk County Council, as listed on page 12 of the Governance and Performance report, be accepted.

Supporting documents: