Purpose of Report
To provide the Executive with a summary of the operational performance position for quarter one of the financial year 2019/20.
That the Executive:
(1) Notes the content of the report.
(2) Requests that relevant Portfolio Holders ensure management has a local focus on those highlighted areas showing deteriorating performance.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Reason for Decision
The following updates regarding each of the Council’s Directorates were reported, as follows:
· Chief Executive’s Directorate – 67% of measures were above their target and 20% of measures were below target. Whilst a considerable amount of measures negatively changed in direction, most of these measures still remained above or within target;
· Communities and Environment Directorate – 56% of measures were above their target and 11% of measures were below target. Whilst a considerable amount of measures negatively changed in direction, most of these measures still remained above or within target;
· Housing and Investment Directorate – 64% of measures were above their target and 29% of measures were below target. Whilst seven measures negatively changed in direction, three of these remained at or above target.
With regard to sickness performance, the overall sickness data as at the end of June was 2.42 days per full time equivalent, excluding apprentices. This was significantly lower than the 2.9 days per full time equivalent in quarter one of 2018/19. During quarter one, the long term sickness per full time equivalent stood at 1.29, 0.67 days lower than quarter one in 2018/19, with short term sickness standing at 1.13 days, which was 0.18 days for full time equivalent higher than the same point last year.
In quarter one 85 complaints were received by the Council. The cumulative average time across all directorates to respond to formal complaints was 6.7 days and equated to a decrease of 0.9 days compared to the outturn in 2018/19. In quarter one the Council had two Local Government Ombudsman cases decided, neither of which were upheld.
There had been a number of achievements during quarter one as follows:
· the Arboretum, Boultham Park and Hartsholme Park had all won the Green Flag Award. Sites earned this national status if they were judged to be welcoming, safe and well maintained with strong involvement from the local community;
· the Lincoln Food Partnership, which the City Council was a partner, had won the University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement for research. The City Council’s role had been to undertake research into fuel poverty and welfare reform;
· the Council was through to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ national awards having won the East Midlands Category for the Lincoln Transport Hub Awards. The grand final would take place on 4 October 2019.
The Chief Executive, in presenting the report, highlighted that planning applications, benefits, housing maintenance, food health and safety and sport and leisure in particular had performed very well during quarter one. In respect of housing maintenance, the reactive repairs service had received one of the best rates of performance this quarter for a long time and was within the upper quartile of performance in the country. With regard to sport and leisure, a significant increase in users had resulted from the recent investment in sites at Birchwood Leisure Centre and Yarborough Leisure Centre. Over the period of the first quarter these sites had attracted an additional 250,000 users.
Customer Services response times had decreased to 129 seconds, however, members agreed that this was still not a significant amount of time to wait for a call to be answered. The decrease had occurred for a number of reasons, namely due to a relatively high number of vacancies currently being carried by the team and the fact that calls, which often involved complex enquiries, were taking longer to deal with to ensure that issues were fully resolved for customers. The team was also currently taking calls for the Housing Solutions Team. It was noted, however, that this decrease in call waiting times would be addressed.
Councillor Ric Metcalfe, with regard to Customer Services response times, highlighted that staff were taking their time with calls to go the extra mile and ensure that customers’ enquiries were completely resolved the first time that they contacted the Council. He made reference to the fact that the hold message did signpost people to the Council’s website in an attempt to redirect customers to online self-service options, which in itself would reduce call volume into the Customer Services team. It was acknowledged, however, that not everyone had the capability or facilities to take advantage of the Council’s online offer in this respect.