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Agenda item

Council Plan Performance Tracker Quarter One 2023/24

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

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

Decision:

That the findings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s review of the quarter one 2023/24 performance management information be NOTED.    

Minutes:

45.1           The report of the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, circulated at Pages No. 14-75, asked Members to review and respond to the findings of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s review of the quarter one 2023/24 performance management information.

45.2          In the absence of the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Director: Corporate Resources advised that the performance information had generated questions across a broad range of issues and activities as exemplified in the report.  Members had raised particular queries regarding the cessation of the trade waste service, an update on which was due to be provided at the Transform Working Group meeting the following week, as well as complaints with the annual complaints report subsequently being presented to the last meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee which had demonstrated that the authority received a low number of formal complaints given the amount of customer transactions.  The Committee had been particularly concerned regarding the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) around the number of planning appeals overturned and that it may at some point exceed the government threshold of 10%.  During the discussion, Members had been informed that over £600,000 had been spent on appeals in 2022/23 against a budget of £60,000.  This had led to the unusual step of the Chair raising the matter with the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council and offering the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s support in undertaking any additional investigations felt necessary.  It would be interesting to see whether performance had improved during quarter two and it was possible the Committee may ask for a separate report in relation to this matter.

45.3           A Member drew attention to Page No. 15 of the report which indicated that the Committee had discussed the action around ensuring that Council Tax remained in the lowest quartile nationally and asked whether Members were aware there was a limit in terms of how much Council Tax could be increased without a referendum.  The Executive Director: Resources advised that those discussions had begun at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and would continue at the Medium Term Financial Strategy seminar which would be arranged for all Members in due course.  With regard to Page No. 37 of the report and the action around working with Cotswold Tourism and Visit Gloucestershire to promote the borough, the Member was aware that a lot of visitors came from America and Asia and she felt that care needed to be taken in terms of how this action was achieved given that the Council had declared a climate emergency.  The Executive Director: Place felt it would be worth contacting the Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP), which carried out benchmarking against categorisation of visitors and destinations and had historically set targets in relation to this, to establish whether it had reviewed its position due to climate emergency objectives and priorities.  The Member went on to draw attention to Page No. 39 of the report, KPI 8 in relation to the number of workshops/events delivered through the Growth Hub and asked whether more could be done to make Members aware of these events in order to promote them to their communities.  The Director: Corporate Resources undertook to establish if the Growth Hub had a programme of events which could be shared with Members.

45.4           With regard to Page No. 41 of the report, Objective 1, Action b) Increase the temporary housing accommodation supply, a Member was aware of rough sleepers who would not move from under a bridge, despite it being at risk of flooding, as they would be taken off the homeless list; similarly, anyone who sofa surfed were also removed from the list as things stood and she felt this needed to be changed.  The Executive Director: Place undertook to check the situation following the meeting and to update Members accordingly.  In respect of Page No. 48 of the report, KPI 16 - New affordable housing properties delivered on Joint Core Strategy (JCS) sites by tenure type, a Member raised concern that no social rented properties had been delivered.  The Chair indicated that, in the absence of the relevant Officers and Lead Member, a response would be provided following the meeting.  With regard to Page No. 66 of the report, Objective 2, Action b) Promote a healthier lifestyle through working with Active Gloucestershire through the ‘We Can Move’ programme, a Member raised concern that she was unaware of the schemes which had been initiated despite being one of the Lead Members and the Chair indicated that an update would be sought from Officers following the meeting.  In terms of Page No. 69 of the report, KPI 39 – Number of reported enviro-crimes, a Member raised concern that the number of reports was quite low in some areas, particularly dog fouling which continued to be a significant issue for local residents despite the Council having a Public Space Protection Order.  The Chair agreed this must be massively underreported as there would have been more than two incidents of dog fouling, as suggested by the report.  He had raised this matter previously, as had other Members, but he recognised this was partly due to resources with Officers focusing on other priorities.  A Member indicated that she had taken this up with the Director: Communities who had looked into the possibility of Town and Parish Councils jointly financing a Dog Warden; however, indicative costs suggested this would not be feasible.  The Lead Member for Clean and Green Environment indicated that she would raise this at her next Portfolio Briefing and update Members accordingly.  Another Member noted that the number of abandoned vehicles had increased to 33 from 12 in the previous year and he asked what responsibilities the Council had in relation to recovering abandoned vehicles and if it incurred costs as a result of that.  The Chair advised that a response would be provided to Members following the meeting giving the context around the increase and whether any specific locations were problematic.  A Member felt it would be useful to know the definition of an abandoned vehicle as some may not actually be abandoned and she asked for that to be included in the response.

45.5           It was

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