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Agenda item

Performance Management Report - Quarter Four 2019/20

To receive and respond to the findings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee‘s review of the quarter four performance management information.

Subject To Call In::No - Item to Note.

Decision:

That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s comments on the Performance Management Report for Quarter Four of 2019/20 be NOTED.  

Minutes:

32.1          The report of the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, circulated at Pages No. 14-65, asked Members to review and, if appropriate, take action on the observations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee following its review of the 2019/20 quarter four performance management information.

32.2          Attention was drawn to the observations made by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, and the Council Plan Performance Tracker, attached to the report at Appendix 2. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chair reminded the Executive Committee that the figures were for the final quarter of 2019/20 and had been unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The performance information for quarter one of 2020/21 would be the first set of statistics that would show any downturn in performance because of the pandemic.

32.3          Members had been provided with a summary of the key areas discussed by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee which noted that the Committee had considered the performance management report, including areas where actions or key performance indicators had not been progressing as smoothly or quickly as envisioned; these were highlighted in the Executive Committee’s report at Sections 2.4 and 3.3. Overview and Scrutiny Committee Members had asked a number of questions in terms of the performance tracker and those were identified at Appendix 1 to the Executive Committee’s report; however, key areas of discussion included the trade waste review and whether the new target date was achievable given previous dates had been moved numerous times. In response, the Head of Community Services had explained that the most recent delay had been because market analysis had not been possible as the businesses involved had been closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown – an update on that project would be provided to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 1 September 2020. There had also been a discussion about the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (MAFF) site and the fact that it should be considered for parking requirements along with Spring Gardens; it was proposed that a Parking Strategy Review Working Group be held in September to seek Members’ views on whether the work to date could be continued or whether there would be a need to start from scratch. In terms of the tourism review, a Member had questioned why the independent review had not been commissioned in advance of the target date and the Deputy Chief Executive had confirmed that the proposed consultants had experience in the area, having carried out similar reviews for other authorities, but he would report back to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee as to the reasons why the review had not been commissioned sooner. It had also been agreed that a report on what the review would cover, along with an update on tourism related projects, would be scheduled for the 24 November 2020 meeting. The Head of Corporate Services had advised that the Advice and Information Centres (AICs) had been reviewed in the past and it was felt that another review would be timely to discuss whether they were providing value for money; however, it was agreed that it would be prudent to defer that review and await further information on the impact on the Council’s budget as a result of COVID-19 as there was potential to deliver customer service in other ways rather than face to face. Members had also raised concerns regarding increases in fly tipping and abandoned vehicles and questioned whether there was a particular reason for this; the Head of Community Services had advised that there was no intelligence to explain the increase – which had been countywide – although the closure of the Household Recycling Centres due to COVID-19 may have had some impact. In terms of sickness, a Member had sought assurance about the amount of short term absences and whether those contributed to the average number of sick days per full time equivalent employee being so high for 2019/20 compared to the national average of 4.4 per employee and whether next year’s target would be more ambitious; the Head of Corporate Services had advised that the average within the public sector was eight days and this year the statistics had been heavily impacted by the number of long term absences; he gave assurance that the Council had a robust Absence Management Policy in place and HR worked closely with managers to ensure due process was followed if the triggers in the policy were hit.

32.4          In addition, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chair explained that, given the broad coverage of agenda items that his Committee covered, questions and actions arising were naturally generated and at each meeting he ensured actions were agreed and the relevant officer allocated an appropriate timescale. These actions are then proactively monitored to ensure they were appropriately followed up.

32.5          Accordingly, it was 

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