Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a report by the Strategic Planning Team Manager (copy attached) monitoring the Council’s progress in delivering the Corporate Plan 2017-22.

11.00 a.m. – 11.30 a.m.



The Lead Member for Finance, Performance & Strategic Assets introduced the Strategic Planning Team Manager’s report (previously circulated) which presented Members with the first update report on the delivery of the 2017-22 Corporate Plan. 


Attached to the report was an Executive Summary which detailed the achievements to date along with the key exceptions (Appendix 1), and the full quarterly performance report for the fourth quarter of the 2017-18 year generated by the Verto Performance Management System (Appendix 2).   During his introduction the Lead Member drew the Committee’s attention to the main difference in the approach taken towards reporting on performance in delivering the new Corporate Plan compared to its predecessor, which was the inclusion of two pieces of commentary:


·         Performance Status :  which provided a narrative and an assessment on what the performance indicators currently implied about the communities; and

·         Programme Progress Status:  which outlined how projects identified in support of each priority were developing


The programme of work to deliver the Corporate Plan was still in its infancy, therefore the ‘programme progress status’ would reflect this.  As projects established to realise the priorities in the Plan started to be delivered the ‘programme progress status’ column in the report would eventually reflect this, with the colour of the column eventually turning to ‘green’.  The ‘performance status’ column indicated the Council’s performance to date against targets set for delivery of each priority.  Whilst  it was possible to have a ‘poor’ performance status, but a strong programme progress status during the timespan of the Corporate Plan, it was anticipated that as the Council’s term progressed that both statuses would match positively to indicate that the Plan would successfully be delivered.  Future Executive Summary reports would be exceptions reports rather than a full narrative on performance against all targets and indicators. 


The Lead Member proceeded to explain that two programme boards, whose membership comprised of Lead Members, a Corporate Director and Heads of Service, had been established for the purpose of progressing the delivery of the five corporate priorities and ultimately the Plan itself.  Both Boards, the Communities and Environment Board and the Young People and Housing Board, were chaired by a Corporate Director with one Board responsible for progressing the delivery of two of the corporate priorities whilst the other was charged with progressing the delivery of three.  Of the five corporate priorities the performance status for two of the priorities had a ‘red’ priority for improvement status at present.  These were the priorities relating to ‘Resilient  Communities’ and ‘Young People’ which entailed the delivery of a broad range of projects, some in partnership with external organisations, if they were to be realised.  Therefore they were not entirely within the Council’s control to deliver.  An overview of the projects which underpinned each corporate priority was given to the Committee by the Lead Member.  Members were advised by the Strategic Planning Team Manager that, in addition to the Verto generated report, the Performance Status and Programme Progress Status commentary were important information for Scrutiny to focus on when examining future Corporate Plan performance reports and deciding on its future work programme.  She also confirmed that if members were not familiar with the Verto system that she would be willing to demonstrate to them how they could use it for their scrutiny work.


The Chair drew to members’ attention to the fact that a number of the topics covered in the Corporate Plan were already on the Committee’s forward programme, these included the draft sustainable travel plan and the draft fleet management strategy.


Responding to members questions the Lead Member, Corporate Director and Strategic Planning Team Manager advised that:

·         the Council and GwE were working closely together with a view to improving school attendance figures. In addition other projects were being developed to try and address school absences, projects such the parenting project and the educational attainment project.  The effectiveness of these projects would be reported to members in due course as part of the Corporate Plan performance report.  However, if members wanted more information about the projects they could contact officers in Education and Children’s Services;

·         data on superfast broadband coverage ranking was currently only available based on a UK Parliamentary constituency basis and not on a county boundary basis.  As the county spanned a number of parliamentary constituencies data for Denbighshire as a single entity was not available.  As far as they were aware data was not available on the availability of broadband in rural areas in comparison to urban areas, but the Lead Member undertook to make enquiries on whether this type of data could be sourced;

·         broadband and digitalisation were very complex areas and extremely broad.  Members could bring this topic to scrutiny later on in the year or early next year and for that purpose were encouraged to complete a Member Proposal form setting out exactly what aspects of the subject they would wish to scrutinise i.e. they may wish to invite the WG’s chief officer in charge of broadband and digitalisation in Wales to discuss future plans and/or connectivity and its impact on rural deprivation;

·         the Council had recently  approved a tree management procedure and published a guide to the public which was available on the Council’s website;

·         the project in the Corporate Plan relating to the planting of trees in specified urban areas was aimed at improving the well-being of residents in those areas.  The Lead Member undertook to check with the relevant Service whether funding had been set-aside within the tree planting project for future maintenance costs for the trees;

·         as part of the Young People Priority within the Plan work was taking place to grow local businesses and to try and entice employers into the county that would provide well paid employment opportunities for young people with a view to retaining young people in the area;

·         the ‘Working Denbighshire Project’ was aimed at helping people to acquire the necessary skills to help them into employment.  Other projects would entail mentors going into schools to help pupils with careers advice and developing softer skills such as inter-personal skills;

·         work was underway with the Council’s Customers, Communications and Marketing Service to produce a quarterly bilingual  headlines bulletin on progress in delivering the Corporate Plan.  This mailshot would be aimed at the public


The Scrutiny Co-ordinator suggested to members that the Committee may wish to invite Programme Board representatives to a future meeting to discuss their Board’s work, remit and the projects they were responsible for delivering as a means of determining the key areas which the Committee may wish to focus on in future.


The Chair requested that for clarity purposes future reports should be consistent in their references to the United Kingdom or Great Britain and not contain a mixture of both, and that paragraphs of narrative required to be written in a clear and concise manner for ease of understanding.


At the conclusion of the discussion the Committee:


RESOLVED that subject to the above observations, and the provision of the requested information, to receive the report on the Council’s performance in delivering its Corporate Plan for 2017-2022 as at the end of Quarter 4 of the 2017-18 year.


Supporting documents: