Agenda item

Monitoring Performance: Corporate Scorecard Q1 2021/22

To present the report of the Head of Profession (HR) and Transformation.


Councillor Dafydd Rhys Thomas, Portfolio Member for Corporate Business presented the report by the Head of Profession (Human Resources) and Transformation incorporating the first corporate scorecard for 2021/22. The scorecard portrays the position of the Council against its operational objectives as outlined and agreed earlier in the year; the year’s first scorecard should be considered within the context of the additional pressures emanating from the Council’s response to the coronavirus pandemic during Quarter 1.


The Portfolio Member for Corporate Business reported that at the end of Quarter 1, 88% of the Corporate Health Performance indicators monitored are performing well against targets (i.e. Green or Yellow RAG) as detailed in section 3 of the report and 85% of the Performance Management indicators are performing above target or within 5% tolerance of their targets (section 4 of the report refers). Where below target performance is reported in relation to aspects of Public Protection (planned food hygiene inspections); Adults’ Services (the percentage of adults who completed a period of re-ablement and have no package of care and support 6 months later); Waste Management Service (percentage of waste reused, recycled or composted) and the Planning Service (percentage of all planning applications determined in time), Covid-19 continues to be an influencing factor. Additionally, where underperformance has been identified, the mitigation measures as set out have been put in place to support and improve performance going into Quarter 2. Customer Service indicators continue to perform well apart from indicator 04b – the total percentage of written responses to complaints within 15 days in Social Services where the performance is 50% against a target of 80%. In mitigation, it can be reported that 13 of the 14 complaints received in the quarter were discussed with the complainant within 5 working days and for 5 of the 7 late responses, a time extension had been previously agreed.


A workshop with Elected Members was held on 13 July, 2021 where it was agreed that three new indicators be introduced for the 2021/22 scorecard reporting year – customer satisfaction with the Council’s telephone system; managing climate change and use of social media accounts.


In the ensuing discussion, the following points were raised by members of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee –


·         The performance with regard to Indicator 32 – the percentage of waste reused, recycled or composted which is Red and at 64.55% is below the target of 70% for the quarter; this performance is also down on that of the previous two years at Q1. Reference was also made to the decrease in green waste tonnage following the introduction of the new chargeable Green Waste Service in April, 2021 .The Committee expressed some concern regarding the situation given that Anglesey has in recent years excelled in its recycling rates; members were keen to understand the reasons for the decline and they also sought further details about the role of the new steering group established to identify how best to improve performance in order to meet Welsh Government targets.


The Head of Service (Highways, Waste and Property) explained that the total volume of recycling being processed is higher than it has been and that the same applies to general household waste (black bin waste) only that a percentage of that is due to the change in green waste. He cited the coronavirus pandemic has having had an impact on waste management and collection in terms of increased black bin waste due to people working from home and the temporary closure of the Household Waste Recycling Centres. Packaging from increased use of takeaway outlets and online purchases over lockdown may also have found their  way into black bin waste instead of being recycled. Other reasons include the difficulty in obtaining outlets to recycle some materials which is also a concern for all the North Wales councils. The Council’s two household waste recycling centres have now reopened and the Penhesgyn site has since been dealing with up to 400 visits per day from Anglesey alone. The risk that some green waste would be disposed of with general household waste and that there might be a reduction in the tonnage collected as a result was recognised when it was agreed to introduce the chargeable green waste collection service; some green waste may also have been used for garden composting purposes. Whilst there has therefore been an impact on the percentage of waste reused and/or recycled, the project has brought in income to the value of £500k. Although the impact has been more pronounced in Anglesey this pattern has been replicated across the region hence the establishment of the new steering group comprising of WLGA and WRAP Cymru experts to examine the situation in Anglesey, to identify trends and to look for any lessons to be learnt from the approaches taken by other authorities. Additionally the group will be considering whether the recycling boxes are currently being put to best use in terms of the mix of materials in each box. As the Council emerges out of the worst of the pandemic, it will allow staff who have been engaged with responding to Covid-19;  managing the introduction of the chargeable green waste collection and the  commencement of the new waste contract, to focus on addressing the current issues and to work to restore recycling rates to pre-Covid levels.


The Leader commented that the Committee may wish to consider nominating a Scrutiny representative to serve on the new steering group. The Chair thought that the Committee should be apprised of the group’s membership in the first instance after which it would consider making a nomination. The Chief Executive confirmed that in recognition of how seriously the matter is being taken, the Deputy Chief Executive and the Section 151 Officer are both members of the steering group. She assured the Committee that the Deputy Chief Executive would arrange for details of the group’s membership to be circulated among the Committee’s members after this meeting.


·         The performance with regard to Indicator 35 – the percentage of planning applications determined in time which is Red with performance at 73% against a target of 82%. The Committee sought assurance that the Planning Service has sufficient capacity to manage the volume of planning applications and that it is also sufficiently resilient to deal with the increasing complexity of applications.


The Head of Service (Regulation and Economic Development) confirmed that work is afoot to strengthen Planning capacity through the Planning Improvement Plan and an improvement in the performance of this indicator will be realised once the increased capacity is in place. The Planning Function has secured a Trainee Planning Officer placement and although no appointment has been made thus far it is anticipated that this additional capacity will be in place by March, 2022. Capacity issues are not confined to Anglesey and are being experienced regionally and nationally. The departure of two experienced officers, whilst leaving a gap does also provide opportunities for existing staff and interest has been expressed and interviews arranged. The Head of Service said that he was confident that the core posts can be filled whilst consideration is also given to creating new posts to be funded from service reserves to further strengthen capacity in order to respond to the increase both in the volume of planning applications and in the number of technical and/or contentious applications.


Following on from the above the Committee wanted to know whether exit interviews are carried out when staff leave the employment of the Council. It was suggested that the Council should take a proactive approach to recruitment including by directly engaging with schools and promoting Planning for example as a career prospect. The Head of Profession (HR) and Transformation confirmed that the Council does have an exit policy and procedure whereby exit interviews are conducted; the interviews are held on a voluntary basis and are designed to establish the reasons why an employee is leaving the Council. The Council also has a recruitment drive planned across all council services and it has an established link with Coleg Llandrillo Menai. Recruitment issues are being experienced across the local government sector in Wales as a result of which the WLGA has determined to investigate the matter. The pandemic has changed the nature of the jobs market with remote working leading to a high number and range of opportunities for job seekers that may not have been available and/or feasible pre-Covid 19.


·         With regard to attendance at work, whether any cohort is occasioning concern and if so, what support measures are being provided?


The Head of Profession (HR) and Transformation referred to the Council’s arrangements through the Occupational Health provision for supporting staff who are absent due to illness and these have been well publicised within the Council. Reports in the media have also highlighted the difficulties which people have been experiencing because of delayed surgery and these are now filtering through into attendance at work figures. However, as the report attests, the Q1 performance is almost identical to the pre-pandemic levels seen in Q1 2019/20 which proved to be the best performing quarter prior to the onset of Covid. The Council consistently monitors sickness absence data and any issues arising therefrom are dealt with in accordance with existing policies and procedures.


Having considered the Quarter 1 2021/22 scorecard report and the updates provided by Officers at the meeting, the Committee resolved to accept the report, to note the areas which the Senior Leadership Team is managing to secure improvements into the future and to recommend the mitigation measures as outlined to the Executive.



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