Pat Jukes, Corporate Policy Business Manager:
a) presented a report on the operational performance under quarter 4 of the financial year 2017/18 (from December 2017 to March 2018)
b) explained that the regular monitoring of the Council’s operational performance was a key component of the Local Performance Management Framework
c) detailed the key headlines from the four corporate measures:
· Sickness – split by long and short term
· Corporate complaints including Ombudsman rulings
· Employee FTE headcount, vacancies and turnover
· Staff appraisals completed
d) referred to Appendix A which detailed all measures by individual directorate grouping with annual and quarterly measures split separately
e) invited members’ questions and comments.
Question: Had the shortage in staff in DHR been noted and why was the level of recruitment so low?
Response: In DHR, whilst there were currently 28 vacancies, some of these were held for a variety of planned reasons.
The breakdown of the vacancies was as follows:
· 4 posts which were removed from the establishment but weren’t taken off the list of posts
· 8 posts were held pending review of the service area
· 5 posts had dropped from full time to part time/flexible working, with the vacant hours not recruited to - representing a cumulative impact
· 5 were currently in recruitment
· 4 were recruited to but weren’t showing that they had been
· The remaining posts were a mixture of maternity leave etc and in some cases were being covered by agency staff (ie a person in post, but as it wasn’t a permanent recruitment the post still showed as a vacancy)Stress and anxiety were some of the main key reasons for the sickness but interestingly there was no apparent link between the level of vacancies and the level of sickness within the teams
Question: How were staff being supported?
Response: Simon Walters had spent some time in the homelessness team (a team that had suffered a lot of sickness) and found that they worked very well together as a team so they were able to support each other. However, management were acutely aware of the pressures and were putting additional staff resources in place
Question: Did the Council reduce contracted hours due to staff returning from sickness?
Response: Some hours were reduced due to maternity and for short periods during return to work phases. In some cases employees have agreed to reduce their contract work hours, and this has been agreed where the service allows
Question: With regards to business rates, had the Council received many appeals?
Response: None had been received yet however it was taking longer for them to come through.
Question: What was the response time for Customer services when dealing with customers through email/telephone?
Response: The information wasn’t available to hand however customer services did gather it. It was highlighted that there needed to be a more uniform approach when gathering this information as it’s gathered differently in every department. Jo Crookes had been looking email responses and agreeing an appropriate time.
Question: What responsibility did the Council have for the bus station information desk?
Response: Originally it was going to be a second service access point for members of the public to use instead of going to City Hall. The options were being reviewed going forward with the following 3 options:
1. It would become a Customer Services desk full time
2. A new contract would come in force to operate the bus station and the new operator could utilise the desk
3. To lease the front desk as part of the upstairs office space
Question: How many people paid for early collection of their green waste?
Response: Payments went up towards the end of the period that the payments were due.
1. Simon Walters would provide Performance Scrutiny members with figures related to maternity hours and why there had been a reduction in other hours