The Director of Strategy,
Communications and Customer Services introduced the report and
stated this was for quarter 3 monitoring, which ended in December
2018. She stated that it showed consistent performance with Quarter
2 as 70% of key performance indicators (KPI’s) had met their
target. She highlighted the positive performance of planning
applications, as 100% of both major and minor planning applications
had been dealt with in target time. She elaborated that because of
this, the planning team had been shortlisted for Planning Team of
the Year at the national RTPI awards. She explained that within the
report, KPIs which had not met their target had commentary
alongside to explain the reasons why.
The Chair began the debate and stated that this report showed little change from Quarter 2 and felt concerned regarding the failed indicators. He felt that the percentage of bins missed for collection and percentage of tenants satisfaction, as outlined on page 22 of the agenda, had been missed for the majority of the municipal year, and although had shown better performance recently, were still not meeting targets. He asked if the two indicators would be on target at the end of the municipal year, and if the team had taken any additional actions to ensure they met their targets. The Director for Strategy, Communications and Customer Service replied that the figures showed ‘Year to Date’ numbers, as opposed to quarterly figures, so the challenges at the start of the year were still present in the figures. She explained that for the last four months, 99% of bins had been collected on time and the KPI was now at green for those months, and this was due to the mitigation work by the team. She stated that for the KPI to meet its target by the end of the municipal year would be a challenge, due to the Year to Date figures, as it would be difficult to catch up. She added that at officer level, monthly figures were looked over, and the performance was increasing, but that level of detail was not reflected in the report. The Director of Strategy, Communications and Customer Services then added that a lot of work had been undertaken to ensure the KPI regarding tenant satisfaction met its target, for example letters had gone out to all Council tenants detailing the work of the Tenants Excellence Panel. She commented that in January and February a positive impact on the KPI could be seen, and felt hopeful that the KPI would hit its target in Quarter 4.
The Chair stated that although the monthly performance was increasing, it was not reflected in the report, and commented that he felt worried by the two indicators mentioned as they did not appear to be moving fast enough. He added that he would like to add a recommendation that a letter be written from the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee to the Cleaner, Greener and Safer, and Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee to consider those KPI’s in a more detailed piece of work, if they did not hit their targets by the end of the municipal year.
Councillor Duffin commented that it was good to see an increase in the number of apprenticeships in the Council, and asked if the reason for an increase in fly-tipping, as outlined in the KPI on page 24 of the agenda, was due to the new permits being enforced at local household recycling plants. The Director of Strategy, Communications and Customer Services replied that the increase in fly-tipping was due to an increase in the reporting of fly-tipping, as the communications team had been running a campaign to encourage residents to report fly-tips across the borough.
Councillor Fletcher commented that all of the KPIs were based on quantitative data, and asked if some of them could be considered from a qualitative standpoint, for example the KPI regarding young people admitted to nursing homes had increased, but if young people needed to go into a nursing home then it may be good to see this happening. He also discussed the KPI regarding the number of complaints, and asked if the Committee could see the type of complaints and how they were dealt with. He then asked if the KPIs which had not met their target had been implemented with a ‘route to green’ to ensure in the next quarter targets were met. He also asked if Councillors could sit on the board that met to discuss corporate performance. The Director of Strategy, Communications and Customer Services replied that the board was at officer level where they put together the reports before they came to Committee. She added that the monthly corporate performance figures were shared with the relevant Portfolio Holder, so they could receive a higher level of detail. Councillor Fletcher then asked who was accountable if KPIs did not meet their target. The Director of Strategy, Communications and Customer Services replied that it was her responsibility as Director of Strategy, as well as the Portfolio Holder. She added that the report also goes to Directors’ Board, as well as a detailed report on the number of complaints, which also went to the Standards and Audit Committee. She elaborated that Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee received a high-level, overarching report.
Councillor Jefferies then queried the KPI regarding graffiti and asked if it was scored on cleaning graffiti on private land as well as public. The Director of Strategy, Communications, and Customer Services replied that it was scored on both private and public land, even though the Council was not directly responsible for cleaning graffiti on private land. She added that the Council could help and support land owners in cleaning graffiti, which is why the Council were scored on it. Councillor Duffin then focussed on the KPI regarding timeliness of response to media enquiries, as this was at 40%, when he felt it should be at 70%. He commented that he understood certain enquiries such as Freedom of Information requests could take longer, but asked what was being done to improve the KPI. Councillor Fletcher asked if the Thurrock Independent requests were included in the KPI, as he believed the Council and Thurrock Independent were not communicating. The Director of Strategy, Communications and Customer Services replied that the Council and Thurrock Independent were communicating, and was included in the KPI. She also explained that the communications team tried to respond quickly to queries, but often they were interdepartmental which took time to collate information. She stated that the information sent to the media needed to be accurate; although she felt standard responses could be sent quicker. She added that comments from Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee would be referred to the Portfolio Holder ahead of the Cabinet meeting in March. Councillor Duffin asked if a column could be added to the KPI’s which included the service or directorate responsible for the KPI, to be able to ascertain which services were doing well, and which services were challenged.
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 required additional consideration.
3. The Committee asked for a formal letter to be written to the Cleaner, Greener and Safer Committee asking them to undertake a deep-dive into missed bin collection, if the relevant KPI has not hit target by the end of the municipal year. The Committee asked for a formal letter to be written to the Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee to ask them to undertake a deep-dive into tenant satisfaction, if the relevant KPI has not hit target by the end of the municipal year.