Agenda item

Council Plan Overview Report

Council Plan Overview Report (CPOR) covering the third quarter of 2022/23 is attached.

 

Members of the Commission are asked to submit technical or detailed questions in advance of the meeting.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive introduced the Council Plan Overview Report (CPOR) and explained it included a proposal for the Overview and Scrutiny Commission to scrutinise the draft CPOR prior to the Executive in the future. This would give the Commission the opportunity to consider recommendations which they may like the Executive to consider. The proposal was agreed.

It was reported there had been solid delivery in Quarter 3 against Key Performance Indicators. Seven community winter hubs and a winter wellness activity programme had been set up. There was also a hub for Ukrainian and other people who had been displaced. The Council had been part of the climate change ‘running out of time relay’ from Scotland to Sharm El Sheikh. 97% of schools in the borough were good or better although it was acknowledged that had improved since the CPOR had been published. The Council had been shortlisted for the iESE awards Bracknell Forest was highly commended in the SOLEIL awards for town centre regeneration projects and was the Council’s first international award. Ongoing challenges included national economic uncertainty; the rising cost of inflation and recruitment remaining a major challenge across most services.

 

The following comments were made regarding the CPOR:

·       It was agreed a line be added to highlight 100% of schools in the borough were now rated good or excellent by Ofsted.

·       The number of customer transactions was RAG rated red because the Council was in the process of changing its technology which included changes to the customer self-service system. The KPI would be split into two eventually and one would track how many customers had an account.

·       Councillors acknowledged the increase in the number of apprenticeships in the council.

·       The number of visits to Everyone Active remained low as some targets were set prior to the pandemic.

·       It was agreed the Assistant Director responsible for leisure services would be asked to review the programme of activities prior to the pandemic, who was participating and where these activities were held as part of the new BFC Sports and Leisure Strategy.

·       Trend analysis was being undertaken to understand why complaints had increased across the council and specifically to 75 in the Education Team and 61 in Children’s Services.

·       Councillors queried the time taken to complete Disabled Facility Grant applications and were informed there was no performance target for this currently, but data collection may reveal more information.

·       It was noted there was a project to align Reception and the Community Hub data as there were discrepancies, which would be ready for the next quarter.

·       It was agreed there was a data input error on page 37 for the number of planning permissions granted which needed to be revised.

·       It was agreed L271, page 29, regarding superfast broadband coverage needed to be double checked as it did not correlate with a recent Core Business Survey.

·       It was agreed L391 and L392 on page 27 should show numbers of agency workers rather than percentages.

·       A discussion took place about challenges collecting Bid Levy Funds but Councillors were assured the long-standing compatibility issue between the IT systems in the Council and the collector of these funds had now been resolved.

·       Councillors queried the community health chart data and the Chief Executive agreed it would be useful for the Commission to scrutinise the methodology behind collecting the national data.

·       It was confirmed Heathlands Care Centre was still open but not at full capacity as the Council was working with the provider to ensure all appropriate measures had been taken.

·       Councillors queried what L1.07business change savings related to and were informed the commentary related to Lookout phase 2 and Asset Review but that piece of work has not been concluded yet, so full savings could not be identified.

·       It was acknowledged there had been an increase in demand on residents requiring help which had increased staff caseload in L346 Family Safeguarding Model. The target was to reduce staff caseloads to 16 and the Executive Director: People was looking at ways to address the issue.

·       A discussion took place about Strong’s Heath and it was noted the decision not to go ahead with the proposal was due to an intrusive survey of the site which showed it was not viable for housing. The plan was to replace the proposal with an electric charging hub, toilets and a café which formed part of future plans for a solar farm on that site.

·       It was noted there was an issue with completing planning applications currently. This was due to an increase in small scale applications as well as difficulty recruiting to roles in that team. The service were looking at revising job roles and profiles to make them more attractive, as well as using agency staff. It was a national issue and the team were talking with other local authorities in Berkshire to try and resolve this issue, including in house training.

·       It was noted short term sickness figures had seen peaks and troughs, often related to large scale events and Covid, but numbers were not high enough to cause real concern.

·       It was agreed indicators L385 and L386 on page 35 should be translated into actual figures rather than rate per 100,000.

·       Councillors noted numbers of Facebook followers for Public Health were low according to L444.  It was agreed the numbers would be ratified and brought back to another Commission meeting.

Supporting documents: