The Chairman welcomed the Change Project and Performance Officer to the meeting and invited her to present the Progress and Delivery report for quarter 4 of 2021-22, which covered January to March 2022 and the end of year report for 2021/22. It was explained that, as this was an exceptions report, the Officer would run through each portfolio highlighting the measures that had performed above or below target for two consecutive periods. It was noted that there was a correction to be made within the quarter 4 report in terms of the percentages, explaining that 45% of measures had exceeded their targets, 32% were within tolerance and 23% were performing below the agreed target. In addition, 71% of measures had exceeded their targets for two quarters or more while the remaining 29% had been below target for two quarters or more. Overall performance had improved on the last quarter with 77% of measures within tolerance or above compared with 65% in quarter three. In addition, measures exceeding target had also improved with 71% of measures exceeding target compared with 59% in quarter three.
Members heard that all measures regarding % of calls answered in 21 seconds were either above target or within tolerance, meaning corporate health reported a good overall performance. The measure CH12 had been removed within the 22/23 measure set as it had not presented an accurate representation of the call handling within the council.
Finance and Property
The rental portfolio voids reported at above target for at least two previous quarters, with voids at 3%. There were no measures reporting below target within the finance and property portfolio.
Homes and Communities
There were 3 performance measures which had performed above target for at least two consecutive quarters, these being long term empty properties as a % of all housing stock; number of households which had been housed from the housing register (removed 22/23) and homeless prevention (amended 22/23 to homeless approaches with positive outcomes). Four measures had performed under target for at least the previous two consecutive periods, these measures related to home choices and homes, health and wellbeing. For home choices the measures below tolerance for two consecutive periods were regarding the number of nights spent in B&B accommodation and Homeless prevention cases as a % of total approaches. In terms of the number of nights spent in B&B accommodation, whilst this had increased from the last quarter it had decreased from quarter 4 20/21 which was at 512 nights and all contracted temporary accommodation had remained full during quarter 4. Delays with moving on, due to issues outside of the Council’s control, had contributed to the increase. In addition the protect and vaccinate programme, which required additional temporary accommodation, also contributed.
For homes health and wellbeing, the measures below tolerance related to the average number of days from DFG referral to completion and long-term empty properties brought back into use. Starting with the average number of days from DFG referral to completion this was to be amended in 22/23 measure set in order for performance to be measured from the receipt of a completed application from Lincolnshire County Council to completion of works. This was the period of time for which the Council had direct responsibility for DFGs. A new measure was to be included in 22/23 to report on the “percentage of referrals completed within 120 days (not including complex cases)” so that the timeframe could also be reported without the complex cases to provide further context in the report. In 22/23 the empty property levels would continue to be monitored however the measure to monitor long term empty properties brought back into use would be removed as there was no resource or officer proactively dedicated to this area of work.
Operational and Commercial Services
There were 5 measures which performed better than the agreed targets for at least two consecutive quarters with positive progress to be reported in the recovery of the Trinity Arts Centre and exceeding the service level agreements to collect missed bins and recover fly tipping. The Leisure Centre continued to report above target in terms of customer satisfaction.
Measures below target, with the exception of the missed black and blue bin collections, were still ongoing in their covid recovery however in terms of leisure centre usage and outreach work, this continued to move closer to the targets. An additional measure to include the number of outreach sessions would be included to add further context to the existing measure of outreach users.
The average number of stalls at the Tuesday and Saturday markets fell short of their target, work was ongoing with Marshall’s Yard to support the market, following successful events held in quarter four. The addition of a further measure to report on the average number of market traders for both markets over the reporting period would provide additional context during 2022/23 reporting.
Members were provided with a brief update from the Commercial Development Manager in relation to leisure provision. It was explained that the Commercial Development Manager was preparing an action plan that would identify and address the short and long term challenges with the leisure and sport provision in West Lindsey. Everyone Active had been given clear instructions to improve the cleanliness and maintenance of the West Lindsey Leisure Centre and significant improvements had been made over the last 2 months. The P&D measures would continue to be reviewed and clarity sought on the data provided, as well as driving community outreach through Everyone Active, Trinity Foundation, Active Lincs and other partners.
People and Democratic Services
Two measures had performed above target for two consecutive periods, both related to FOIs with turnaround remaining above target and maintaining zero challenges to FOI’s. There were no measures under target in this portfolio.
Planning and Regeneration
Development Management performance remained high with 3 measures maintaining performance above target for 2 or more consecutive periods, the team continued to ensure applications determined in time remained above target for both major and non major applications. There were no measures under target for two of more consecutive period in this portfolio.
Change Management and Regulatory Services
Members heard that 11 measures performed above their targets for two consecutive periods with only one performing below target. Continued high performance was reported in all areas with a special mention to the LLPG standard which was awarded the platinum award following the service maintaining gold standard for the whole year. This was awarded to ten local authorities in the East Midlands including West Lindsey.
The number of community safety cases remained below target; this measure related to cases closed during the reporting period as a result of compliance with warning, Fixed Penalty Notice or formal action. If cases were not reaching a point of action then there were fewer to close, and this measure would be amended in 22/23 to report % of community cases closed following compliance. This would provide more accurate reporting and the number could also be included in the narrative of the report going forward.
The Officer paused in her presentation, prior to summarising the end of year report, in order for Members to ask questions of the quarter 4 report.
There were concerns raised that the figures provided appeared to demonstrate repeat and continued difficulties in the same areas of service provision, such as enforcement, homes and housing and leisure facilities. It was recognised that improvements to how data was reported and collated had been made for the 2022/23 measure sets, in order to more accurately reflect those areas where the Council could influence improvements, however comments were made by some Members that there needed to be a stronger review of those service areas that seemingly continuously underperformed. It was requested that Service Managers should attend meetings in order to present their plans for improvement to the Committee.
Vice-Chairman Councillor J. McNeill, speaking as Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee, suggested there could be audit work undertaken to review the information provided to Members and whether there were any suggested improvements. He noted he would discuss this within the Governance and Audit setting.
There was further discussion regarding rates of fly-tipping and the Council’s response to it, as well as the success of community litter picks across the district. Members praised the Trinity Arts Centre and stated it to be an excellent home for the arts in West Lindsey.
With no further speakers, the Chairman invited the Officer to conclude with her summary of the end of year report.
The Committee heard that the end of the year was a good opportunity to reflect on all the good performance which 2021/22 had reported, with a lot of positives to take away, not only on the continued recovery of commercial activities but performance as a whole. Corporate Health represented a positive picture of the Council with all but the one measure in tolerance or above target. Commercial activities that remained below target showed growth on the previous year, which is what would be hoped to see. Homes and communities continued their work to prevent homelessness before it reached a relief stage and there were a number of services reporting all measures above target such as Finance, Property, Democratic and Development Management. Finally, Regulatory and Change Management reported a large number of measures above target, and improvements on the Food Standard Agency inspections and community safety case closures from the previous year.
The Chairman again thanked the Officer for her time and presentation of the report, and, with no further comments or questions, having been moved and seconded it was
RESOLVED that the performance of the Council’s services through agreed performance measures had been assessed, and areas where improvements should be made, having regard to the remedial measures set out in the report, had been indicated.