Agenda item

Corporate Performance Reporting - Corporate Plan Action Plan

To consider the attached report and note the progress of project delivery against Q2 milestones.



M Hassall introduced the report on Corporate Performance reviewing progress for quarterly performance measurement delivery against Quarter 2 milestones. They had now put current and previous RAG status on the report and projects marked blue (closed) would be taken off the next time this report came here. Officers were also reviewing the KPIs to see if they were still relevant. One of the KPIs though marked red did not have a comment next to it, this was in connection to sickness absences; the comment should have read that the sickness was higher than anticipated due to long term sickness related to stress from the post pandemic complications.


“Post meeting update:

The master report has been updated to reflect the commentary around sickness.”


Councillor Jon Whitehouse asked if the Committee would get reports on all projects that had finished and were being removed from the report. He would like to see the closure reports or the results of the projects as once they went into business as usual, we would not know if they had achieved their goals. He was told that if a piece of work had been completed, officers would prepare a closure report, they can then look at why they were moving to business as usual as opposed to just closure report and why it was closed.


“Post meeting update:

This has been addressed. The Project Register was incorrect and has now been updated to reflect the correct status of all the projects. Project Closure Reports have been completed where appropriate and other projects are currently going through the formal handover and closure process.


The ‘Digital Customer Journey’ Project was discussed at Steering Group and will be managed directly through Customer Services. Comms will be issued to all Members.”


Councillor Bassett asked about the underclaimed benefit campaign and the pension credit shortfall; were we telling them that it had been calculated incorrectly. He was told that the officer would get back to him on this. A Small said that this was partly the reason for bringing in the Hub so that partner organisations could advise clients and point them in the right direction.


“Post meeting update:

This has been fed back to Rob Pavey (Service Director) – RP has been asked to feed his response directly back to Democratic Services so that this can be communicated to Members.”


Councillor Bassett asked about the engagement and wellbeing project and if Members could have a mental health training course, as they would be in contact with people with possible mental health problems. He was told that this suggestion would be taken to the relevant officers for consideration.


“Post meeting update:

This has been actioned and fed back to the Peoples Team.”


Councillor Bassett asked about the Sheltered Housing Review; who would scrutinise this if the reporting line was removed. He was told it would go to either Council Housebuilding Cabinet Committee or Stronger Place Select Committee.


On the new business support package, Councillor Bassett noted that the new city college would be having a business breakfast, which members may attend, looking at future business needs.


Councillor Bassett went on to the KPIs, customer services (overall satisfaction), this seemed to be going in the wrong direction. Could we see a recovery plan? Councillor Bolton added that perhaps this was something that should be brought back to this committee and be put into the work programme.


Under Community Health and Wellbeing, number of households in temporary accommodation, the number quoted was 101, was this number of people or number of families. Officers believed it would be households, a definitive answer would be supplied in the minutes.


“Post meeting update:

Referred to Jennifer Gould who has confirmed that a household is a person/ people who live in the same accommodation.”


Also, Councillor Bassett noted that under Housing Management, rent arrears, there was nothing in Quarter 2. Officers said they would update that.


“Post meeting update:

Q2 data has been requested. The report will be updated once received and re-issued for circulation.”


Under planning and development, percentage of applications determined within agreed timelines, Q1 was at 0% and Q2 was only at 1.43%, which was very low, although he understood that was partly due to the SAC but was that the only reason? He was told that it was due to the nature of major applications and their infrequency, there were not enough to demonstrate compliance with this target. Officers shall have another look to see if they were measuring the right things here.


“Post meeting update:

Comments have been fed back through the Service Director for Planning. This is being reviewed. There are also discussions on the current KPI’s and this will be further addressed through process reviews and improvements.”


Councillor H Kane went back to homelessness, re-provision of Hostel; noting that, during Covid, we used to have a list of homeless people; what was happening now as we moved into winter. Officers noted that we had accommodation in Norway House which still had spaces so there was accommodation available. This project was about how the Council would replace that hostel with another one, looking for a better re-provision of the building and facilities.


Councillor Jon Whitehouse raised the local enforcement plan, as this was a major piece of work, should it be going to scrutiny before it was signed off. Officers would take this back to discuss with colleagues, but it was in the gift of the select committees to ask to see this if they wanted to.


Councillor Bhanot noted that under the KPIs, customer services – overall customer satisfaction and the problems with the staffing of the contact centre. Was there a uniform out of office approach with officers; he had received different out of office messages, and should we have one? Officers noted that this was another question to ask the customer services team. This did link into absences and vacancies which had been an issue over the last few months and was a challenge with the job market now, manifesting itself in vacancies in some teams. As for a uniform standard for out of office, it was a question that had been raised before and this would be taken back as an issue.


“Post meeting update:

This has been referred back to the appropriate Service Director for a response.”


Councillor Bhanot then noted that under diversity and inclusion (% of workforce by ethnicity), it was very positive to have this KPI and he welcomed it. He noted that there was a difference between Black and Asian Minority Ethnic and Black Minority Ethnic, what was the difference? And under ‘white–all’, did this include minority ethnic whites such as members of the travelling community or the gypsy community. Officers said that they would have to bring back an answer to this.


Post meeting update:

The difference between someone who identifies as Black and Asian ME and Black ME is that they have a mixed heritage whereas someone who identifies as Black ME, does not.


If a member of the Gypsy or Traveller community identifies as White and in the absence of a specific White-Gypsy or Traveller option, then they could be captured under the “White-all” category.”


Councillor Brookes asked about the Waltham Abbey Community and Cultural Hub and asked if there was any more information on why it was paused. Councillor S Kane replied that they were having a conversation with Essex CC about the Library and there was also a question on the funding for the amalgamation which has been paused while we rethink our finances. On another topic, back to the customer services points raised earlier, he noted that our telephone system does not support, as well as it could, remote working. Things are now improving but we still had technical issues. On ‘first point resolution’ this was going up and this was where we were focusing our efforts; trying to resolve questions straight away rather than pass them on. There were the staffing and technological issues, but the emphasis was on getting things right at the first point of contact. In Waltham Abbey, the Community Hub was now operational, three afternoons a week in the Leisure Centre on Ninefields.


“Post meeting update:

This is being addressed through CPP071 – implementation of Wavenet Gateway which is a project in flight.”


Councillor Brookes commented that the new customer services team were very conscientious and were very good. She noted the figure of staff turnover of 4.24% did not seem right and also the staff that left under redundancy or other things, were they included in this figure? She was told that, yes, they were included. This figure was for employed staff not agency or consultants.  There had been a peak in staff turnover last year, but it had now settled down.


Councillor Bassett commented on staff turnover and asked if we used the furlough system. He was told that we did not as most staff worked from home or were redeployed.


He then asked about sickness absences figure of 3.95 days. What was the impact of Covid on this and did it include isolation? He was told that it included Covid numbers and these were also recorded separately; people isolating, if well, worked from home and were not counted as being off sick.


Councillor Brady commented on the enforcement plan, she said that she could no longer telephone the enforcement officers and was told she had to email in. A Small said he would take it back to the officer responsible and ask them why that was the case. Councillor Philip noted that at this time there had been no enforcement officers available due to long term sick and Covid at the same time.


“Post meeting update:

This has been fed back to Rob Pavey (Service Director) – he has been asked to feed his response directly back to Democratic Services so that this can be communicated to Members.”


Councillor Jogia asked if we received a report at the end of a project cycle and would that also include a “lessons learned” section and how we could improve processes going forwards.  She was told that yes, there were closure reports for projects, and they covered the areas she was referring to. These would be reported to an appropriate steering group. The Chairman added it should be reported here to which steering group this had gone to. Officers noted that the Committee did not get all closure reports, but they could ask to see ones they were interested in.


“Post meeting update:

The format of the report will be amended to include this information for future reporting.”


Councillor Jon Whitehouse asked if copies of the closure reports for the digitalisation of customer journey and the improved member experience as customer could be made available. The Chairman asked if this was to be sent just to an individual member or be more widely distributed. Councillor Whitehouse said initially just to him, but it may be of interest to the wider committee. Councillor H Kane said they had to be clearer about this, we need to settle on one we would like to see and have this sent to us. The Chairman agreed that as a committee, members should be able to highlight and request to see a report. They could then monitor to see how this worked.


“Post meeting update:

A project closure report has been completed for the Member Project.


The digital customer journey project has not been formally closed (this was a mistake on the report which has been addressed) and is being managed directly by the Customer Services team.”




That the Committee reviewed and noted the Corporate Performance progress report for quarter 2.



Supporting documents: