The Director of Strategy,
Communications and Customer Services opened the report and
described how this was the mid-year performance report which
covered the previous six months. She highlighted that although the
report stated 70% of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) had been
hit, this figure had now increased to 71% as new data regarding the
number of delayed transfers of care on page 22 had been released.
She also highlighted the number of volunteers within the council
and new apprenticeships had increased, which she felt was very
positive. She also explained that where some KPIs had not met their
targets, commentary was provided within the report.
The Chair opened the debate by stating that he felt it was very good to see an increase in the number of volunteers, particularly as this was such a large increase, and felt this was a testament to officers who engaged with volunteers. He asked how the council had managed to encourage volunteers and how the momentum could be continued. The Corporate Director Adults, Housing and Health replied that volunteers were always wanted within the council, but this rise was due to an increase in co-ordination between different departments, for example receiving volunteers applications and then undergoing reference checks. He congratulated Natalie Warren, Mykela Pratt and the recruitment team on their hard work on this matter. He added that there was always a high turnover of volunteers as they found paying jobs, or moved on.
Page 23 of the agenda was the next point of discussion for the Chair as he stated that the percentage of timeliness of response to complaints had seen some progress, but he felt was still adrift of target. He asked how the target could be met to get the KPI back to green. The Director of HR, OD and Transformation replied that this KPI was now being reported back to Directors Board on a monthly basis, and was closely monitored through leadership group. She mentioned that a common complaint was because bins were being missed for collection; work with the crews had improved this position and this should reflect a reduction in the number of complaints. The Chair then discussed the percentage of refuse bins emptied on the correct day and how this seemed to be falling behind every quarter. For example, it had fallen behind because of snow and then industrial action, and asked if the team had looked at the underlying causes for the missed KPI, as this was now the third quarter targets had been missed. The Director for Strategy, Communications and Customer Services replied that a detailed action plan was in place, which included the training of drivers, increased flexibility, solving access issues, and using shunter drivers during peak hours. She explained that the service was now starting to see an impact due to this detailed action plan, and the figure for October was 99.6% of refuse bins being collected on the correct day, which was the highest performance this year. The Chair welcomed this news and hoped this figure could be maintained now the colder weather was approaching.
Councillor Duffin stated that although the percentage of housing repairs completed was within target, he felt that some work completed was not done to an acceptable standard, and asked if one staff member should be allocated to check all repairs. The Corporate Director Adults, Housing and Health replied that the council had a quality assurance team which checked 15% of all repairs completed, and he worked closely with the Tenants Excellence Panel and wanted to get more up and running. He added that a meeting occurred with contractors and other groups on a monthly basis to deal with issues. Councillor Duffin then discussed the percentage of tenant’s satisfaction, but felt it was good to see the actions being taken on page 24, and hoped this would move the KPI in the right direction. The Corporate Director Adults, Housing and Health replied that more detailed KPIs regarding this was brought to the Housing O&S Committee twice a year, and a deep dive had been commissioned regarding concerns over repairs done by contractors. He added that although there had been a slight improvement in the KPI, it was still below the 70% target, but if the ‘fair’ result had been included, the KPI would have been over 90%.
Councillor Duffin then congratulated the team on the number of apprenticeships, and hoped they could be turned into full staff members in the future. The Chair echoed his sentiments and stated that he felt this was very encouraging. Councillor Jefferies added that it was good to see the high number of apprenticeships, and asked if another Apprentice Recruitment Day would be held after the success of the previous one in July. The Director of HR, OD and Transformation replied that another Apprentice Recruitment Day would be held, and this formed part of the apprentice strategy.
The Chair commented on the missed KPI of the percentage of ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ schools, and understood this was partly due to Herringham Primary falling from ‘good’ to ‘needs improvement’. He asked what was being done to support schools in the borough. The Corporate Director Children’s Services added that council’s had a reduced role in academies such as Herringham, but were introducing a new School Effectiveness Framework, and were having annual conversations with academies regarding their performance. He added that the team were now identifying ‘vulnerable’ schools which were at risk of falling into the ‘needs improvement’ category, before they were rated by Ofsted. He commented that the council were becoming less reactive to problems regarding schools, and more proactive in helping potentially ‘vulnerable’ schools. The Chair then questioned how many schools the council had identified as ‘vulnerable’ and if the council were getting to schools quickly enough to stop their Ofsted rating dropping. The Corporate Director Children’s Services replied that this had proven to be an effective method so far as schools were reacting positively to the advice being given to them.
The rate of sickness absence was the next item for discussion, and the Chair commented that this was the same missed target as the previous year. He commented that he knew this was a challenging target, but asked how close it would be to green by the end of the year. The Director of HR, OD and Transformation replied that the current indications were that the outcome would be similar to last year. Following a report to Directors Board, a more robust approach was now being pursued with additional resources being recruited to monitor manager compliance to ensure standards are applied, absences appropriately managed and staff supported to return as soon as possible.
The Chair finally drew the Committee’s attention to page 23 of the agenda and the percentage of household waste being recycled, and the difference in target between quarter 1 and quarter 2. The Director of Strategy, Communications and Customer Services replied that targets are seasonal as during the summer months there is lots of brown garden waste, compared to the winter months. The Chair then asked if this seasonal profiling could be used for the percentage of NEET KPIs, as there was work to do around this figure.
1. The Committee noted and commented upon the performance of the key corporate performance indicators, in particular those areas which are off target.
2. The Committee identified any areas which require additional consideration.