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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 17/09/2007
Agenda



APPENDIX G
Waverley Borough Council

CORPORATE OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
17TH SEPTEMBER 2007
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Title:
Performance management report, quarter 1 (APRIL-JUNE) 2007/08
[Wards Affected: All]
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Summary and purpose:

Waverley’s Performance Management Framework (PMF) contains a host of statutory (BVPI) and locally defined (LPI) indicators that assist Members and officers in identifying current improvement priorities. The indicators in Waverley’s PMF are reviewed quarterly by the Executive. This report details the observations of the Corporate O&S PI Sub-Committee on performance against those indicators within its remit during the first three-month period of 2007/08.

The Committee is asked to pass any observations or recommendations it may have to the Executive for their consideration.
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Environmental implications:
Some observations in this report relate to performance indicators with environmental implications.

Social / community implications:
Some observations in this report relate to performance indicators with social and community implications.

E-Government implications:
Some observations in this report relate to performance indicators with e-Government implications.

Resource and legal implications:
Active review of Waverley’s performance information is an integral part of the Best Value process, enabling the Council to improve Value for Money across its services. Publication of performance against the statutory Best Value Performance Indicators (BVPIs) is a legal requirement on the Council.
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Introduction

1. Waverley’s Performance Management Framework (PMF) contains a host of statutory (BVPI) and locally defined (LPI) indicators that assist Members and officers in identifying current improvement priorities. 2. The indicators in Waverley’s PMF are considered quarterly by the Executive, following review by the Overview & Scrutiny Committees. The annexes to this report detail performance against those indicators in the Waverley PMF that are pertinent to the remit of this Committee, as follows:

AnnexeContent
1Corporate Focus
2Benefits

Notes of the Corporate O&S PI Sub-Committee

3. The Sub-Committee received a report providing details of Waverley’s performance against the indicators that the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee had agreed to monitor in Quarter 1 of 2007/2008.

4. The Corporate Development Officer explained the Council’s statutory duty to collect Best Value Performance Indicators (BVPIs), which are supplemented by internally determined measures of performance (LPIs). Data is fed directly in to the system by each department working to Government guidance on collection and measurement.

5. Members expressed concern that they had not been equipped with the skills and knowledge of the performance management regime necessary to fulfil their scrutiny role and requested that training be organised prior to their November meeting.

6. Members felt that the different collection cycles for the indicators in the report made the interpretation of the upward and downward short- and long-term trend arrows problematic. Officers were asked to remove these symbols from future reports. It was also agreed that reports to sub-committees should be produced in colour. Observations:

BV156 - % of Buildings accessible to people with a Disability

Members enquired why the Council was not achieving a greater percentage of accessibility to its buildings. They were advised that, in some cases, it was often very difficult to adapt the building to make them both suitable for and accessible to disabled people, for example, in museums and listed buildings. The Central Services Manager agreed to produce a report about what the Council was doing to improve accessibility to its buildings. Members agreed that they should revisit this indicator every six months rather than annually.


LCE3a – Number of calls handles by the main switchboard

Members noted that this was an internal management indicator measuring volume rather than performance. In discussing this indicator, Members asked whether they could monitor an indicator that showed a ratio of calls received by departments against those received by the switchboard. Furthermore, Members requested an indicator highlighting the number of hits on the Waverley Internet site, as well as information about the use of web casting.

LCE21 – Number of sheets of A4 paper ordered by the print room

Members noted that performance was below target for this indicator and that this was a continuing trend. They asked whether more information could be provided about which department was using an excessive amount of paper, and whether the Sub-Committee could take any action in addressing this concern. They were advised that it would be difficult to provide information about paper usage, although they could provide statistics about the use of the photocopiers. Furthermore, it was noted that management were putting in controls, such as setting printers to a duplicate default, to prevent using more paper than necessary.

Members suggested that Committee Services should look into the amount of paper that was sent out to Members, particularly in the form of agendas, which could be sent electronically. They also agreed that the Sub-Committee would benefit from seeing the cost implications of this indicator.

LCE25 – Number of cash transactions carried out at all three locality offices

Members discussed the cost of continuing to allow for cash transactions at the locality offices, and were advised that although paying by direct debit was cheaper for the Council, it wished to provide residents the option of payment methods. However, work was being done to increase awareness of payment by direct debit and online so that locality offices could be used more as information centres rather than cash offices.

The Central Services Manager agreed to produce more information by way of a report to the Sub-Committee on the financial context of this indicator and exploring the viability of a ratio indicator detailing the number of cash transactions as a proportion of payments to the Council.

LCE26 – Total number of customer enquiries handled at all three locality offices

Members asked whether there was anyway of incorporating a performance indicator for communication to analyse whether the Council was improving in its communications. They were advised that this would be linked into the development of the website.

LCE30 – Percentage of complaints responded to within 21 days

Members were advised that this indicator should now refer to 15 working days and not 21 days. A more detailed report about complaints would be brought to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 17th September 2007.

Members were also advised that 15 working days referred to ‘a substantive response’ to the complaint and that all complaints would receive an acknowledgment well in advance of this deadline. They noted that although performance was below target, it was beginning to improve and an officer-working group would be meeting shortly to look into ways of improving this further.

A member asked to explore the viability of indicators showing more detail about the complaints received by the Council, and by which department.

LCE1 – % of agendas dispatched six clear working days in advance of the meeting

Members were concerned that Committee Services continually missed the target for sending agendas out six clear working days in advance of the meeting. They were assured that Committee Services was meeting the legal requirement of five clear working days and that a new timetable, set up with officers, would help in enforcing deadlines, and would, in the long term, help in meeting this target.

Members asked whether minutes could be sent out prior to the meeting rather than at the meeting thirty minutes before the start. They were advised that it was general practise to publish the minutes before the meeting rather than with the agenda, but officers would discuss their concerns.

LCE157 – Proportion of eligible services enabled for electronic delivery

Members agreed that the Sub-Committee no longer needed to monitor this indicator but asked officers to present options for reporting on other IT related targets in future reports.

BV2a – Equality Standard for Local Government

Members agreed that they should continue to monitor this performance indicator and recommended that the Executive ask officers to prioritise the work needed to move onto level 2 and above. They were advised that an officer working group had been set up and would be working to progress on this work.

BV2b – Racial Equality Scheme

The Corporate Development Officer agreed to bring a report back to the Sub-Committee providing more information about the definition of this performance indicator.

BV9 – % of Council Tax collected
BV10 - % of Non-domestic Rates Collected

Members noted that the Council was on target for this indicator. Officers would provide comparison data with other local authorities on this indicator and BV9 at the next meeting.

Unfortunately, there was not enough time to continue discussion on performance indicators within Annexe 2. Consequently, it was agreed at the next meeting, discussion should begin on those performance indicators that had not been fully discussed at this meeting.
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Recommendations 1. The observations set out above be forwarded to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consideration at its meeting on 17th September 2007, and 2. Training should be organised prior to the November 2007 meeting, and 3. Performance reports should be produced in colour for future meetings of the Sub-Committee.
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Background Papers

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Christopher Ash Telephone: 01483 523148
Anne Bott 01483 523415

E-mail: cash@waverley.gov.uk
abott@waverley.gov.uk