Agenda item

Target Setting 2021/22


Yvonne Fox, Assistant Director, Housing:


a.    provided a report to advise Members of the proposed performance indicator targets normally reported to Scrutiny for 2021/22, to agree the targets and consider how performance information could be monitored and reported throughout the year as Covid restrictions eased


b.    reported that performance information was reported to the Housing Scrutiny Sub Committee on a quarterly basis, and targets reviewed on an annual basis with both tenants and the Committee at the March meeting


c.    highlighted that throughout the lock down period normal management information had been collated however performance against targets had not been formally reported as this had not always been possible due to changes in service delivery, although management information had been provided wherever practically possible and members made aware of reasons for any changes to service and performance during this challenging year


d.    noted that as it was likely that Covid restrictions should be lifted at the end of June 2021, we were now considering how this may impact on our services


e.    reported that throughout 2020/21 there had been delays in repairing and allocating empty properties due to the pandemic and Government restrictions on non-essential moves and holding properties for homeless households, therefore the council was currently reviewing voids performance and procedure considering these measures against external restrictions on performance


f.     added that discussions with the Portfolio Holder regarding Scheduled Repairs had taken place to allow amended performance measures to be brought forward once the Working Group had concluded its work


g.    referred to proposed realistic targets for 2021/22 based on current performance, national guidance and benchmarking with similar authorities as detailed at Appendix A to her report for members consideration


h.    reported that LTP members had also been consulted on the proposed indicators, expressing some concerns regarding changes to the voids target and the requirement to ensure the complaints response target fell in line with the new national ombudsman target for complaints resolution, as a result of which the Director of Housing had given assurances that the voids target would be reviewed at 3 and 6 months and if required would be brought down


i.      highlighted that the Portfolio for Quality Housing had agreed the proposed targets and the review of targets after quarter 2


j.      requested members’ feedback on the content of the report.


Members discussed the content of the report in further detail. The following questions, comments emerged:


The Chair commented that he was happy with the input given by LTP in respect of the proposed targets. He noted that LTP had raised concerns regarding the voids target and the requirement to ensure the complaints response target fell in line with the new national ombudsman target for complaints resolution. He also noted assurances received from the Director of Housing that the voids target would be reviewed at 3 and 6 months and brought down if necessary. The Tenants Panel represented the rent payers and we must be realistic.


The Chair continued by saying that the situation of not keeping check of performance could not be continued. He expected people working from home to provide the same service as when they were working at City Hall. Tenants expected a service and a duty for rents to be collected. Moving forward he wanted to see the same service as that delivered before the COVID outbreak and a successful Sustainability team at the end of the year.


Mick Barber, Chair of LTP Chair, responded that meetings had been held with the Tenant’s Panel and he understood the difficulties being experienced. It would be different when things got back to normal but it was not right to put figures forward that were not realistic at the current time. Hopefully things would return to normal. Meantime the situation continued to be monitored.


Yvonne Fox, Assistant Director, Housing emphasised how hard officers had been working. She highlighted recent success with achieving £70,000 of Discretionary Housing Payments for tenants in arrears. It remained the council’s priority to offer support to people to enable tenants to arrive in a position to be able to pay their rents. The Tenancy team was doing all it could to keep rent arrears as low as possible in difficult circumstances.


Councillor Reid queried in relation to the New Housing Ombudsman complaint handling code targets:


·         Why the logging and acknowledgement of repairs was set at 5 days although the target was currently 1 and 3 days for priority/urgent repairs.

·         The target for repair appointments with 1 in 20 being missed. Was the target perhaps a bit low

·         Whether the 10 day complaints target referred to the time to respond or acknowledgement of the complaint


Yvonne Fox, Assistant Director for Housing explained that


  • The repair target applied to working days. The 5 day indicator was used to take into account a weekend period.
  • The proposed repair target for appointments was still performing well with actual performance Q3 being closer to 100%. The target proposed was to take into account monitoring/review during the COVID period.
  • The complaints target at 10 days represented a local offer agreement period to respond to tenants. However, an extension could be agreed with the customer if the complaint was likely to take longer to resolve.


Andrew McNeil, Assistant Director, Housing and Investment confirmed that on average it was taking the Council 6 days to reply to complaints. Repair targets would be reviewed at the end of Quarter 1 as the Council’s roadmap for services through the COVIDperiod became clearer.


1.    The proposed performance targets for 2021/22 be approved.


2.    The agreed review of all targets post Quarter 2 October 2021 be approved.

Supporting documents: