To consider the Balanced Scorecard for the 4th Quarter of the 2014/2015 financial year. This is the final report under the Council’s previous performance management report and future reports will reflect the new format as brought to the Committee in March 2015.
The Committee considered a report a report on Agenda pages 17 to 26 which set out details of the Council’s performance as measured by a series of performance indicators for Quarter 4 of the 2014/2015 financial year. It was confirmed that this was last time the Balanced Scorecard report would be presented in the current format prior to the redesigned scorecard coming into effect.
Julie Holland, Service Manager Business Improvement presented the report and highlighted that out of a total of 64 performance indicators, 50 or 75% had a ‘green’ status and were meeting the agreed target, 9 were ‘amber’ and 5 had a ‘red’ status and were below target. Members were reminded that each indicator had a commentary which gave more context and if a target was not being achieved, the corrective action being taken to improve performance.
The Committee then discussed the Quarter 4 report and a summary of the points raised during the discussion is set out below:
· With reference to Indicator 2 – Turnover of Staff, a number of Members of the questioned how the target of 10-15% had been arrived at and some concerns were expressed that even 10% represented a relatively high rate of staff turnover;
· A general observation was made that the Committee should consider increasing the level of challenge in its consideration of the appropriateness of particular targets and whether they had been set at too low or too high level. It was also felt that it would be helpful for the Committee to have a clear idea of how the targets had been agreed including the involvement in that process by the relevant Executive Member;
· With regard to Indicator 8 – Looked After Children who have three or more placements within the year it was noted that press coverage indicated that such children often had to cope with the additional disruption of changing schools. Nationally Looked After Children tended to perform less well academically and Members were concerned that appropriate measures were in place locally to support them;
· Members referred to the changes the Government had made to Housing Benefit and questioned whether there was any data to suggest whether this national policy change had impacted on the number of households becoming homeless;
· The high rates of Council Tax collection by the Council were noted and it was felt that this was a significant achievement worth recognising;
· With regard to Indicator 59 - the number of dwellings permitted which were considered to be countable within the 5 year land supply, Members sought reassurance that sufficient homes would be delivered to meet the land supply targets;
Julie Holland agreed to look into the areas raised by the Committee including the process by which targets had been agreed. The Committee was reminded that the revised Balanced Scorecard report was significantly shorter and different in presentation than the previous model and contained stronger links to the Council’s priorities.
The Chairman commented that as part of the Committee’s role to hold Executive Members to account, Executive Members would in due course be invited to attend future meetings of the Committee. This would 1) allow the Committee to ask them questions relating to the performance and operation of Council services within their portfolios including performance as reported via the Balanced Scorecard and 2) provide an opportunity for the Executive Member to highlight and share issue relating to their service area priorities.
Kevin Jacob commented that it was anticipated that the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee would if it felt appropriate, invite the Executive Member for Heath and Wellbeing to attend its meetings and that the Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny could also invite the Executive Member for Children’s Services to attend its meetings.
After discussion, it was agreed that a final decision on the scheduling of the invitations to attend the Committee should be made in light of any areas of concern or interest highlighted within the 2015/2016 Quarter 1 Balanced Scorecard.
1) That the 2014/2015 Quarter 4 scorecard of performance indicators be noted;
2) That further information in respect of the questions and issues raised by the Committee be circulated to Members outside of the meeting.