Link to homepage

Agenda item

Council Plan Performance Tracker and COVID-19 Recovery Tracker - Quarter One 2020/21

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

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

Decision:

That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s comments on the Council Plan Performance Tracker and COVID-19 Recovery Tracker for Quarter One of 2020/21 be NOTED.

Minutes:

52.1          The report of the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, circulated at Pages No. 82-168, asked Members to review and, if appropriate, take action on the observations of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee following its review of the Quarter One 2020/21 Council Plan performance tracker and COVID-19 recovery tracker information.

52.2          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 first quarter of 2020/21 and, as such, had been wholly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This was also the first time the COVID-19 corporate recovery plan performance tracker had been considered by Members and that was attached to the report at Appendix 3. The financial information for the quarter was attached at Appendices 4-7.

52.3          Members had been provided with a summary of the key areas discussed by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Chair of that Committee indicated that  it had been the consensus of Members that it was difficult to scrutinise and hold to account actions that had not been progressed given the significant challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It had been suggested that there may be a clearer picture at quarter two, however, operationally the Council was now into quarter three and, as a result of the second national lockdown, some areas of the Council were back into response mode. The Head of Corporate Services, when presenting the report, had caveated that both the performance and recovery tracker actions could be impacted by further response work. Some key areas of discussion had included the commercial property investment portfolio in respect of which the Head of Finance and Asset Management had confirmed that, so far, the portfolio was holding up well and none of the tenants had reported any problems which was pleasing to hear; the rural housing needs assessment, during which it had been noted that the Gloucestershire Rural Partnership was being used to assist with the work and clarification would be sought to explain and justify the move in timescales from March 2020 to March 2023; the Joint Core Strategy and questions had been asked about the implications of the government’s White Paper on housing allocations and the duty to co-operate whereby the Head of Development Services had confirmed that work on the Joint Core Strategy would not be stopped because of the White Paper as the evidence work still needed to be undertaken and, whatever the eventual outcome on the reforms, this work was still necessary to inform the Council going forward. She had also stressed that, even if the duty to co-operate was abolished as proposed by the government, it did not mean the Council could stop working with its neighbours as this was actively encouraged to assess the spatial distribution of housing and employment - the message was still very much that Councils must work together and look at wider geographical areas and cross-boundary issues. Finally, in terms of sickness absence, a reduction in the number of days had been noted and it was felt could be partly due to more Officers working from home and feeling that they could continue to work in that way when, ordinarily, they would not have felt able to go into the Office – this needed to be monitored to understand if this was the case and to ensure Officers were supported and felt able to take time off to get better if it was necessary.

52.4          During the brief discussion which ensued, a Member thanked the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for its thorough questioning of the performance information and particularly for its queries regarding the Planning White Paper – she felt it was helpful to note that the Council would still need to work across boundaries to resolve issues so the duty to co-operate would never be completely abolished.

52.5          Accordingly, it was

Supporting documents: