The Strategy & Performance Officer introduced the report which provided a progress update in relation to the performance of Key Performance Indicators (KPI), including a focus on some of the specific highlights and challenges. Members were advised that senior Officers were in attendance for any questions within particular directorates.
The Strategy & Performance Officer continued to advise the Committee overall 69% of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) had met their targets. It had therefore been decided by director’s board that more information be provided to Members on the failing KPIs and those items which were in focus.
The Chair of the Committee thanked officers for the in depth report. He continued by stating the additional information covered a wider range and was helpful for Members. He then enquired as to the gap between the performance and the target for Focus 8, at 3.3.8 of the report and whether it was likely the department would get back on track. The Committee heard that 70% was a very stretched target and the reality was that the cohort was relatively small meaning the outcome of one or two individuals had a notable impact. The Strategy & Performance Officer understood that the service anticipated better outcomes moving forward but would seek further information for Members around more exact details.
The Chair drew the Committee’s attention to Focus 9 as the direction of travel was worse. He questioned whether more should be done to ensure targets were met and what the financial implications were of failing to meet the target. The Director of Strategy, Communications and Customer Service assured Members that the matter was being taken seriously. Data for the rounds affected and challenging materials was being analysed to allow for targeted communications focusing on particular issues in particular areas. There were also particular issues at this time of year as certain types of waste reduced which impacted upon targets. The Director of Finance and IT continued to advise that figures were showing pressures around waste disposal costs and there had been significant issues with trade waste, which would be discussed at the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee, however, much had been done recently at the Civic Amenity Site to mitigate. The Chair suggested exploring other routes to improve recycling rates by incentivising local communities.
The Chair continued to Focus 10, with a worse direction of travel again. He asked when it was expected that the target would be met. The Director of Strategy, Communications and Customer Service confirmed that the Service was looking at specific issues and rounds, such as access problems due to resident parking which also raised concern around access for emergency vehicles. Target communications work was underway. A new fleet had also been procured. The Director of Finance and IT confirmed that Cleaner, Greener, Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee would receive a report in December around route optimisation. The Chair asked if the report could be circulated to Members of Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee to provide additional background information and stressed the importance of solving the issues for residents.
Councillor Hamilton questioned whether it was fair to hold the service accountable if the issues were caused by blocked access by other vehicles, outside the control of the Council. Members heard that ultimately the collection was still missed, regardless of reason. The goal was to work with residents and communities to help them understand what they could do to facilitate the process.
He continued to ask whether there were any issues around the definitions of re-used or re-cycled. The Committee was advised that the performance indicator had been long standing and was in line with DEFRA standards.
Councillor Maney referred to Focus 3, which highlighted a dip in complaints turnaround. He expressed a personal concern regarding the complaints process and asked what had led to the dip. The Strategy & Performance Officer advised that there had been a change in internal targets which had been introduced in August 2016, which had led to some operational issues in some areas. The target had deliberately not been reduced to strive for positive outcomes. Councillor Maney highlighted that the decision had been a top-down decision and queried why the changes had been introduced with no real assessment, given the impact it was having on the service. If the target was not being met it defeated the object, in his mind. The Committee heard that the decision was assessed at the time, with input from Directors’ Board. While the target was challenging it was hoped that figures should improve with time.
The Chair sought reassurance that the Council was on track regarding Capital spend. The Director of Finance and IT assured Members that Cabinet were updated quarterly on the Council’s Capital position and the outturn, which provided more commentary. The Council did not currently operate full and detailed commitment accounting, so the figures showed what had been paid out, and did not recognise the value of work completed up to that quarter and therefore money the Council owed. This raised the question of what exactly the KPI provided as the Director of Finance and IT was confident that the 30% target had been met, in terms of work completed, but some invoices were still being processed and therefore did not show in the figures. The Chair echoed the questions raised around the relevance and use of the KPI and suggested reviewing its inclusion in the framework. The Committee were advised that KPIs for the 2018/19 would be reviewed in February.
1. To note and comment upon the performance of the key corporate performance indicators in particular those areas which are IN FOCUS
2. To identify any areas which require additional consideration.