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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 04/12/2007
Overview & Scrutiny Observations on Q2 Performance



Annexe 2
Overview & Scrutiny Observations on Q2 Performance

COMMUNITY O&S

BV66b – Rent collection and arrears recovery: % of tenants with more than 7 weeks arrears
Officers explained that this target was benchmarked with other housing authorities and housing associations and that Waverley was in the top quartile of performance. Waverley encouraged tenants to ask for assistance before they went into rent arrears and therefore a good performance was maintained on this target.

BV66c – Rent collection and arrears recovery: notices seeking possession
BV66d – Rent collection and arrears: % evicted due to arrears
Members considered that both of these indicators were as a consequence of BV66b and therefore agreed to remove reference to them from the list of indicators reported to the Committee.

LH17 - % of new tenants interviewed by Housing Management prior to their tenancy commencing
This indicator had not taken account of those tenants interviewed by Sheltered Accommodation Managers, which raised the Q2 value to 98%. Members agreed to remove reference to this indicator from the list reported to the Committee, but requested that officers advise the Sub-Committee should the value slip. LH34 – Total current tenants rent arrears as a percentage of the total estimated gross debit
Members noted that this indicator tied in with BV66b as a quarterly check.

LH35 – Total former tenants arrears as a % of the total estimated gross debit
LH36 – Total arrears of Housing Benefit recovered, as a percentage of total overpayments since April 1999
Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee received comprehensive monitoring reports on these figures at every meeting. The Sub-Committee agreed therefore to remove reference to this indicator from the list reported to the Committee.

Observations on Housing Needs and Homelessness

BV183a – Length of stay in temporary accommodation (B&B)
BV183b – Length of stay in temporary accommodation
Officers advised the Sub-Committee that this is historic data, picked up only when a tenant is permanently housed. Members considered these were not meaningful indicators and reference to them should be removed from the list reported to the Committee.

BV212 – Average time to re-let local authority housing
It was anticipated that performance of this target would improve and move into the top quartile following the introduction of Choice Based Lettings. Members requested that LH9 and LH40 be taken sequentially with this BVPI. BV213 – Housing advice service: Homelessness cases prevented per household
Members were pleased to hear that the success of this target was due to the advice given to those people seeking help from Waverley before they found themselves without accommodation.
BV214 – Repeat homelessness
As in BV213, Waverley offers a good housing advisory service to prevent this becoming an issue. Members agreed to remove reference to this indicator from the list reported to the Committee, but requested that officers advise the Sub-Committee should any changes occur.

LH9 – Average time taken from date of tenancy termination to date normal void property is available for letting
This indicator to be considered with LH40.

LH30 - % of homelessness applications where Waverley made a decision and issued written notification to the applicant within 33 days
Members agreed to remove reference to this indicator from the list reported to the Committee as the single application takes into account a period of appeal against a decision and the target was not achieved due to that reason. Observations on Housing Repairs & Maintenance

LH7 - % of due gas safety checks and annual gas boiler services that have been carried out within 12 months of previous check/annual service
Officers advised that this indicator was off-target as there were always checks/services rolling forward. At the present time there were only four outstanding boiler services. Members requested that a note be added to this effect and that Waverley is in the top quartile of the benchmarked authorities.

LH32 - % of repairs completed within Waverley’s target times
This indicator was an average of LH32a, b and c. Officers were not satisfied with the results and were in discussion with contractors, which they hoped would lead to an improvement.

LH32a - % of repairs completed within Waverley’s target times: Emergency
LH 32b - % of repairs completed within Waverley’s target times: Urgent
LH32c - % of repairs completed with Waverley’s target times: Routine
See comment on LH32. Members agreed to remove reference to these indicators from the list reported to the Committee.

LH33a - % of tenants satisfied with day to day repairs service
LH33b - % of tenants satisfied with emergency out-of-hours repairs service
Officers advised the Sub-Committee that the data was taken from the 40%-60% of tenants who responded to a questionnaire following repairs to their homes. Members considered this to be a good response, but were concerned at the worsening number of repairs. At the request of the Sub-Committee, officers undertook to incorporate an additional local PI to reflect this position in terms of resources and lack of new housing.

LH33c - % of new tenants who are satisfied with the standard the property was brought up to while it was empty
Members suggested that in order to avoid tenants’ disappointment in their expectations when they moved into a new property, the questionnaire should be more specific and identify what work the Council was able to undertake within its resources.

LH40 – Average time taken from date void property is available for letting to new tenancy commencement date.
The Sub-Committee requested that this target be taken sequentially with BV212 and LH9

Members also asked officers to investigate the feasibility of developing new, more robust local indicators in the following areas:

Progress of double glazing improvement programme
Affordable housing provision and enabling
Reducing investment and consequential conditions of the Housing portfolio

CORPORATE O&S

LCE 21/22 A4 Paper and Photocopying Usage
The sub-committee noted that a new ‘carbon footprint’ indicator was to be implemented as a National PI from April 2008. The sub-committee agreed that these statistics would form useful information for a scrutiny review, should Waverley’s carbon footprint be determined an area of concern, but that regular reporting of these indicators to the sub-committee should be discontinued.

BV 174/175 Racial Incidents Reporting & Follow-Up
BV 2a-b Equality Standard & Racial Equality Scheme
BV 11a-c Proportion of women/BME/disabled people in the top 5% of earners
BV 16a/17a Percentage of BME/disabled people in the workforce
The sub-committee welcomed Corporate Management Team’s request that the corporate Equality & Diversity group explore options for a set of more meaningful equality measures for Waverley, in the light of these PIs being removed from the statutory set. It was therefore recommended that these figures be reported to sub-committee annually (pending replacement by the new set). For its next meeting, however, the sub-committee requested officers to provide a more detailed update on the criteria Waverley needs to meet to progress through the Equality Standard for Local Government

LCE30 Complaints Handling
The sub-committee received a working paper on options for reporting more detailed information on complaints. The proposals broke information down by departments and would show:
LCE30a – Relative frequency of advanced (Stage 2 and Ombudsman) complaints to routine (Stage 1) complaints
LCE30b – Percentage variation in the volume of complaints received from the last period
LCE30c – Percentage of complaints responded to within the Council’s target times (15 working days for Planning and 10 working days for all other areas) The Chief Executive has identified complaints handling as a top priority, and she will consider the working paper prior to the new indicator being finalised. Members requested that consideration also be given to a measure that quantifies the outcome of complaints, possibly sourced from the satisfaction questionnaire.

LCE 1/2 Turnaround of Committee Papers
Members were informed that recent improvements in performance were a result of the new system introduced by the Chief Executive for getting papers onto committee agendas, and that these improvements were expected to continue. In this context, Members requested ongoing reporting until the end of this year, with the indicator possibly to be retained on an annual reporting basis thereafter.

BV 8 Prompt Payment of Invoices
Members reflected the need to ensure that invoices are not paid to early, as well as not too late. The sub-committee agreed that the current form of the indicator was not helpful, and questioned whether ongoing reporting against this measure was required. Officers were asked to return to the next meeting of the sub-committee with options for a more useful measure in this area.

LCE 179 Standard Searches Turnaround
The sub-committee asked that this indicator cease to be reported quarterly.

BV 12 Sickness Absence per Employee
Members supported continued reporting of this PI, and agreed that a departmental breakdown would be helpful. Officers were asked to present options for isolating long-term sickness to the next meeting of the sub-committee.

BV 9 / 10 Revenue Collection
Members congratulated officers on performance in this area.

BV 76a-d Benefit Fraud
Members agreed that the current composition of these indicators was unhelpful, but felt monitoring of this area remained important. Officers were asked to return to the next meeting of the sub-committee with options for new measures to monitor:
Fraud
Financial variations in entitlement resulting from visit activity

BV 78a-b Benefit Claim Processing
The sub-committee felt that the two parts to this indicator were valuable in their own right, and opposed any amalgamation of the two pieces of data in the new National Indicator. Officers were asked to consider this view in their response to consultation.

BV 79bi-iii Overpayment Recovery and Write Offs
Officers were asked to look at options for a replacement local measure that provides data on:
Debts amassed
Payments recovered
Year-on-year changes in total balance Members also felt that provision of rolling data for the last four quarters would aid their analysis of the context.

ELOS

BV 12 (Corporate O&S) – Average sickness days per employee
Members reflected on the impact that sickness absence has on performance against certain indicators. Officers advised that Corporate Management Team have prioritised more detailed sickness indicators as a core measure in the new Performance Management Framework. The sub-committee reflected that those parts of the new indicator that relate to services within their remit would be usefully reported to ELOS. LLE 24Volunteering
Members proposed that reform of the indicator to include the contribution of town and parish councils to volunteering would provide a more complete picture across the Borough. BV 204 / LPL 3 – Planning appeals allowed
Members questioned the basis of these indicators. Officers advised that they demonstrated the extent to which planning decisions are taken in line with the planning policy framework to which the Council works (both national and local). Members agreed that this reflected the importance of achieving a workable consensus on the new Local Development Framework. LPL 1 – Planning enforcement complaints investigations actioned within 8 weeks
Members requested that the title of the indicator be updated to accurately reflect that this relates to enforcement. Officers advised that the indicator relates to the process of investigating, prioritising and determining, but not resolving (enforcing) decisions. Whilst officers expected an upturn in Quarter 3, Members wished to express concern at Quarter 2 performance levels. BV 199 – Environmental cleanliness
Members agreed that the failure to distinguish between litter and detritus in the indicator was unhelpful for a rural Borough such as Waverley. Officers advised that the new National Indicator (replacing BV199 from April 2008) would make this distinction. BV 170 – Museums visits
Members expressed concern that this measured only a small part of what Waverley and its partners are doing to support museums and culture (i.e. in only covering Farnham and Godalming Museums). Officers advised that these indicators would be deleted altogether in the new framework, and replaced with a survey-based measure on overall access to museums and culture. BV82 & BV84 – Waste, Recycling and Composting
Members congratulated officers on performance in these areas against national targets, and the ongoing reduction in household waste volumes.

comms\executive\2007-08\191 Q2 PIs.doc