Performance Monitoring Q1
- Meeting of Finance and Performance Panel (Panel of the Scrutiny Committee), Tuesday 29 September 2020 6.00 pm (Item 29.)
For the Panel to consider those Performance Monitoring measures previously agreed by Scrutiny. Liz Godin, Business Support Services Manager, will be present to answer any questions, though Panel members are reminded that many of the measures are outside her service area, pre-warning of any questions raised is likely to lead to more complete responses. The Panel is recommended to consider the Performance Monitoring measures and note them, having made any recommendations to Cabinet.
NB Some measures agreed by Scrutiny have been removed due to Covid-19 rendering them redundant.
The Panel AGREED to amend the order of the agenda, to take agenda item 7 – Performance Monitoring – next.
Liz Godin, Business Support Services Manager, presented the report on Performance Monitoring Q1. Since it was previously considered, the report had been simplified. The Panel sought clarification on which targets presented were monthly targets, and which were annual targets. It was requested that these different target-types be clarified. Further clarification was also requested in relation to target ED002: measures to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint by 5% each year below what it would otherwise have been.
The Panel noted the difficulty in meeting the existing target, WR001: the number of people moved into work through the Welfare to Work team. Richard Wood, Strategy and Service Development Manager confirmed that the target was a pre-Covid target, based on the labour market conditions at the time and that it would be very difficult to meet in the current circumstances. However, the target for next year would reflect the challenges of the labour market more closely. The success of the Council in meeting deadlines for responding to DHP payments was lauded, but caution sounded over whether that, given the figures only covered to June, they would deteriorate. The Strategy and Service Development Manager confirmed that to date the target was still being maintained and, to the surprise of those involved in the service, DHP applications had not significantly increased. As unemployment grew, however, this number was expected to grow.
Discussing the positive performance of the target around days lost to sickness discussion was held over whether, given the much greater variation in working situations at home compared to working in the office, whether the figure was as useful a proxy for productivity as it had previously been. It was further discussed whether there would be a use in disaggregating short and long term absence-targets given the difference in impact of each and the interventions required by to manage them. It was requested that additional commentary be provided around long-term and short-term absence levels, causes of absence and staff wellbeing.
Finally, the Panel sought more up to date information regarding the success of the Council in collecting business rates and council tax. Council tax collection to early September was running 1% behind the previous year, and business rate collection down 4%. In addition, the Council had taken a soft approach to debt recovery during the lockdown period, not enforcing payment immediately but coming to payment arrangements to allow individuals and businesses to pay their dues at a later point. This was anticipated to improve collection rates later on in the year. The collectable business rate level was lower than last year due to many businesses being exempted from paying business rates this year.
It was AGREED to recommend the following Cabinet:
1) That in the setting of its corporate performance measures for next year, the Council introduces targets for short and long-term sickness levels.
2) That the Council investigates ways of measuring and monitoring productivity which take homeworking and the variable suitability of homeworking environments into account.