Purpose of Report
To provide the Executive with a summary of the operational performance position for quarters one and two of the financial year 2020/21, from April 2020 to September 2020.
That the report be noted and relevant Portfolio Holders be asked to ensure management had a local focus on those highlighted areas showing deteriorated performance.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Reason for Decision
The report provided an indication, beyond the usual operational measures, of how the Council had performed in effectively leading its communities during the emergency response and rising to the challenge of reprioritising workload to meet different needs in respect of Covid-19.
A full report was attached to the report at Appendix A and provided information on performance for quarters one and two. It covered key operational performance measures identified by Portfolio Holders and the Corporate Management Team as being of strategic importance.
It was noted how many staff had gone above and beyond in their service to the Council, city and its residents during the pandemic, which was reflected within the report.
Appendix B of the report outlined the full quarterly measures table for all Directorates for both quarters.
Angela Andrews, Chief Executive, in presenting the report, emphasised that this year had represented the most challenging for local government in her career. She was extremely proud of how all staff had adapted to the challenges presented by the coronavirus and how they had done their best to maintain performance and standards on behalf of the Council. She emphasised that, whilst it was important to measure and monitor the Council’s performance, the enormous collective response from staff who had delivered and continued to deliver key services, with many going above and beyond the call of duty, could not be measured or reflected in a performance report but had been so important to the Council’s response to the pandemic.
It was agreed that the content of the operational performance report for the first two quarters of 2020/21 had to be taken in the context of the significant challenges the Council had faced in response to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly the establishment and delivery of the following support services on top of delivering its usual services:
· processing and payment of business support grants;
· community support helpline;
· befriending service.
It was noted that there were no surprises in the report with the pandemic having an impact on the following in particular, effecting operational and financial performance:
· Council Tax collection and assessment for Council Tax support;
· returns of investment;
· car parking;
· rent collection;
· void properties.
The Chief Executive gave the Executive an assurance that measures were in place to address the issues highlighted above and that the Corporate Management Team, in light of the circumstances, was content with the Council’s performance.
Councillor Ric Metcalfe fully endorsed the comments of the Chief Executive regarding the efforts of staff and took the opportunity to thank her, the Corporate Management Team, Senior Management and all frontline staff who he said had responded magnificently to the challenges faced by the coronavirus pandemic. He added that it was inevitable that some areas of the Council’s performance would take a hit as part of the authority’s response and thanked the Chief Executive for an excellent report.
Councillor Chris Burke praised the response of the Council’s staff and highlighted, even under such challenges, that the Council had achieved six awards. He also commended the befriending service that had been established by the Council to support the most vulnerable residents of the city throughout the pandemic.
Councillor Donald Nannestad, in respect of housing, reported that rent collection had been excellent taking into account the circumstances. In terms of voids, this had been impacted due to the limited number of people able to move home since March as a result of the coronavirus and lockdown restrictions. He placed on record his thanks to all housing staff who he said had done an excellent job in very difficult circumstances.