To consider the Quarter 3 2020/21 Performance Management Report.
The Committee considered a report, set out at Agenda pages 9 to 30, which gave details of Council performance during quarter 3 of 2020/21 (October to December).
Laura Callan and Will Roper from the Communities, Insight and Change service attended the meeting to present the report and answer Member questions.
The report stated that each quarter of 2020/21 had been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Quarter 3 started with some services able to resume, albeit at reduced capacity due to social distancing measures. The Borough was then affected by the second national lockdown in November.
Despite the significant impacts of Covid-19 and the Council’s focus on response and recovery, performance at the end of quarter 3 remained positive across the majority of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). 61% of KPIs were on track (Green), with 16% close to target (Amber) and 17% missing the target in quarter 3 (Red).
The following indicators were reported as Red in quarter 3:
· CS1 – Percentage of children who became subject to a Child Protection Plan for a second or subsequent time within 24 months.
· RA5a – Percentage of successful homeless preventions.
· PG19 - Percentage of household waste reused, recycled and composted.
· AS3 – People aged 65+ who received reablement from the START team following discharge from hospital, and remained at home 91 days later.
· CIC16 – Number of Stage 1 complaints received.
· AS7 – Proportion of people receiving long term care who were subject to a review in the last 12 months.
· CS4 – Percentage of EHCP assessments completed within 20 weeks of referral.
· CIC5 – Visits to Wokingham Borough libraries.
· RA3 – Usage of Wokingham Borough leisure centres.
· RA4 – Participation in leisure centre activities to support those who may be experiencing social isolation.
· RA5d – Proportion of applicants supported into settled accommodation.
In addition to the KPIs in the report, the following KPIs were under development and would be reported to the Committee in due course:
· Alternative measure for Delayed Transfers of Care;
· Channel shift - % digital transactions;
· Staff engagement survey – to develop more frequent reporting.
In the ensuing discussion, Members raised the following points:
· Government financial support for spending on Covid-19 – was there more certainty about future funding? It was confirmed that the Finance team would be asked to comment on levels of financial support as the pandemic progressed.
· RA5a – Percentage of successful homeless preventions – could further detail be provided on this indicator and the reasons behind the move from Green to Red status in Quarter 3? It was confirmed that the service would be asked to provide written details.
· RA5d – Proportion of applicants supported into settled accommodation – could further detail be provided on the rationale for the 40% target (which seemed low) and further information on the scale of homelessness across the Borough (actual numbers in addition to percentages). It was confirmed that the service would be asked to provide a written response.
· CIC5 – Visits to Wokingham Borough libraries – could the existing target be changed to make it achievable and reflect the impact of the pandemic. Also, could the service consider introducing a target relating to its digital operations?
· PG8 – Percentage of planning applications determined within statutory timescales – the 60% target appeared low as the service achieved 98/99% in the first three quarters.
· PG26 – Air quality – the report stated that the main pollutant of concern was nitrogen dioxide (NO2). This was challenged as particulate matter was considered to be more important. Further detail was requested on the way in which the figures were put together. Also, could a KPI be developed around the data from the PM 2.5 monitors? It was felt that the KPI, as reported, did not reflect the range of issues and concerns relating to air quality.
· Biodiversity Net Gain – a KPI would need to be established in line with new legislation.
· PG15 – Adults who do any walking or cycling, for any purpose, at least once a week. Sarah Kerr shared a chart from Watch Wokingham (a cycling group) which set out walking and cycling rates between 2015/16 and 2018/19. The data indicated a decreasing cycling trend. This should be checked against the direction of travel in the report.
· PG16 – Enabling sustainable travel: length of greenways and cycleways delivered – should this KPI be reported as leisure rather than keeping the Borough moving? It was felt that Greenways were more associated with leisure activities than transport. Should there be an additional KPI related to cycleways for utility travel?
· PG19 – Percentage of household waste reused, recycled and composted – this indicator showed a 6% reduction, but PG20 (waste sent to landfill) also showed a reduction. So what happened to the residual waste – had it been incinerated. Data on incinerated waste was not reported – should a further KPI be developed? It was important to capture data on all aspects of the waste journey.
· PG26 – Air quality – WBC was required to produce an annual report to Defra. Where were the figures for the Twyford Crossroads and adjacent to the M4 for 2018? Did the data reported match up with the data submitted to Defra?
· PG13 – could more detail be provided on individual schemes? The report set out various phases with percentages, but there was little detail on specific schemes – which schemes were on track or behind schedule.
· PG14 – Publicly available electric charging devices per 100,000 population – the report referred to 1,000 EV charging units by 2025. When/where was that target set? It did not appear in the Climate Emergency Action Plan.
· PG15 – Proportion of adults who do any walking or cycling, for any purpose, at least once a week – the 80.4% figure related to 2018/19 data published by the Department for Transport. 80.4% was then used the target for 2019/20. Was this correct?
· CIC16 – Number of Stage 1 complaints received – how did the Quarter 3 data compare with the previous year? It was confirmed that the majority of complaints in Quarter 3 related to housing maintenance as the impact of Covid-19 had been that contractors could not complete as many maintenance calls each day, resulting in increased customer dissatisfaction.
· Gov Metrics – when would these KPIs be reported? It was confirmed that data collection had started in the previous week. External communications would be carried out shortly with the aim of encouraging customer feedback on the range of interactions with WBC - web, telephone, on line forms, etc.
· RA5a – Percentage of successful homeless preventions – it was noted that, as part of the Council’s response to the pandemic, the All In policy had been successful in finding suitable accommodation for rough sleepers in the Borough.
· CIC8 – Number of fly-tipping incidents – re the increased number of incidents in Quarter 2, what had been the impact of the partial closing and reduced capacity for the two recycling centres? What factors had led to the improvement in Quarter 3?
Members discussed the format of the Quarterly Performance Reports and considered options to make the reporting more effective and timely. Jim Frewin commented that the reports contained a lot of useful data, but was there too much information to enable a productive debate? Jim suggested dividing the report into service areas, with relevant officers in attendance at the Committee’s meetings. That would allow Member questions to be answer in real time rather than seeking written answers which preventing more effective questioning and follow-up scrutiny.
Guy Grandison suggested that the Quarterly Reports provided an overview on the KPIs. The Committee could then focus on specific areas of concern, e.g. any indicators showing a Red status for two consecutive quarters. Those indicators of concern should then be referred to the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee for more detailed scrutiny.
Sarah Kerr suggested that a Member Task and Finish Group would be a useful way to look at this issue. It could also review the initial corporate process for developing KPIs.
Members asked for a report to the next meeting of the Committee with officer recommendations on the options for improving the Quarterly Performance Report process. The aim was to make the most effective use of Member and officer time whilst ensuring that performance issues were addressed and reported in a timely manner.
1) Laura Callan and Will Roper be thanked for attending the meeting to present the Quarter 3 Performance report;
2) written responses be provided for the Member questions and comments at the meeting, as set out in the Minutes;
3) a report be submitted to the next meeting with options for making the Quarterly Performance Report process more effective and efficient.