Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a report (copy attached) monitoring the Council’s progress in delivering the Corporate Plan 2012-2017.






Introducing the report (previously circulated) to the Committee the Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Assets advised that the report was now a historical report as the term of the Corporate Plan had ended with the term of the previous Council.  A summary of the Plan’s delivery during its final year had been reported to County Council in May 2017.  A member workshop had been held recently to formulate the new Council’s corporate priorities and the draft new Corporate Plan for the Council term 2017-2022 would be presented to County Council for approval during the autumn.  During his introduction the Lead Member advised that it was pleasing to report that all outcomes in the 2012-17 Corporate Plan had been delivered to at least an acceptable level.  He explained that the Council had set itself a very ambitious target for education indicators, it had set itself an excellence threshold and aimed to be best in Wales.  Nevertheless, achieving this was not wholly within its control as school improvement work was now within the control of GwE.  Denbighshire was also performing well in areas such as the condition of it roads, clean and tidy streets and the protection of vulnerable adults (POVA).


Responding to members’ questions the Lead Member and officers:

·         advised that some of the performance measures used to measure the Council’s performance were national indicators, others were comparisons with similar local authorities known as ‘family group’ comparisons, and other performance conclusions were based on independent monitoring undertaken by external organisations such as ‘Keep Wales Tidy’;

·         clarified the definitions ‘deficit school places’ and ‘surplus school places’, emphasising that generally there were insufficient school places in the north of the county and empty school places in south Denbighshire;

·         confirmed that the performance indicators (PIs) relating to cleanliness did not include weeds.  Neither did it include alleys or walkways, which were areas that seemed to have problems with litter and dog fouling;

·         that whilst GwE was responsible for delivering school improvement services across North Wales, Head teachers and governing bodies should also be held accountable for their own school’s overall performance.  The School Standards Monitoring Group (SSMG) was due to be re-established in the near future.  However, if Scrutiny wished, it could request individual Head teachers and Chairs of Governing Bodies to attend scrutiny to answer questions about their schools performance;

·         confirmed that they would enquire whether the Council’s request to suspend ‘The Right to Buy Scheme’ in relation to its housing stock to Welsh Government (WG) had been granted and whether the new Service Manager for the Intake and Intervention Service had been appointed and had taken up post; and  

·         confirmed that a report would be presented to County Council in the autumn on ‘Long term empty properties and second home taxation’, which could potentially help to bring empty homes back into use and ease housing pressures.


Members raised concerns in relation to problems which had recently come to light with the performance of the Council’s weed spraying contractor and enquired whether the tendering and procurement process for this contract had been adequately robust.  The Scrutiny Co-ordinator agreed to request further information from relevant officers with regards to this matter. 


Concerns were also raised by members on the number of good teachers across the county which had taken up posts with GwE under secondment arrangements. They felt that this had a detrimental effect on individual schools’ performance and on the county’s overall performance in the field of education.  The Chief Executive advised members that it was school governing bodies who granted permission to teachers to take up secondment opportunities not the County Council, therefore they had a duty to ensure that sufficient resources were in place to mitigate against the loss of experienced teachers and ensure that pupils’ education and overall attainment were not in any way compromised.  School governing bodies should be held to account for their decisions.


At the conclusion of the discussion the Committee:


Resolved:  subject to enquiries being made in relation to the matters listed above, to receive the report on the Council’s final overall performance in delivering its Corporate Plan 2012-17.


Supporting documents: