Agenda item

Corporate Performance Report Quarter 2 2021-22

This matter is the responsibility of Executive Councillor Member Ross Henley.


Report Author:  Malcolm Riches, Business Intelligence and Performance Manager.



The portfolio holder for Corporate Resources introduced the report and raised the following points. 

·        The report provided an update on the Council’s performance in quarter two and included an update against the council's Annual Plan at the end of the first six months of the financial yearProgress on the 31 commitments in the Annual Plan was included in the report as well as key performance indicators. Each action and indicator had been rated as red, amber or green based on whether they were on track.  

·        For the 31 Annual Plan Commitments, 21 were green, 10 were amber and none were red. For the key performance indicators 22 were green, 3 were amber and 4 were red.  

·        The corporate risks were also included in the report. There were four key business risks identified in the report based on information as at the end of September 

·        The customer complaints statistics had improved. The average call wait times had slipped into red in the last month partly due to Recycle More which had resulted in a significant increase in the number of calls coming in. This had resulted in the key performance indicators showing as red.  


During the debate the following points were raised. 

·        It was questioned why the Cyber-attack indicator in the report had changed to green. It was responded by officers that the cyber-attack indicator had changed to green because although the risk was still there, a mitigation plan had been created and was being implemented.   

·        It was asked what the criteria for indicators moving from red to amber or green were. It was responded by officers that the colour assigned to an indicator was based not only on a risk itself but upon the progress made in mitigating against the risk 

·        It was questioned why the phosphate issue had changed to be green and amber. 

·        It was questioned whether an ecologist had been appointed to work on phosphates. It was also asked why phosphates was not categorised as red given the seriousnessIt was responded that there were only two corporate issues and that phosphates was one of those two because of the level of seriousness of the issue. The phosphates issue was categorised as green and amber due to the progress on the action plan. Officers would provide a response outside the meeting regarding the ecologist position as the answer was not known  

·        It was questioned how soon it is possible for an incoming call to be answered and how wait times can be improved. It was responded by the portfolio holder that the volume of calls from customers had increased. There was also a challenge from staff turnoverOfficers would check whether the wait time for calls commenced from the automatic messaging beginning and provide an answer to members outside the meeting. 

·        It was raised that staff voicemails were sometimes full meaning messages could sometimes not be left if a call was not answered.  

·        It was questioned how many quality employment opportunities had the Council attracted in the last few years, in terms of productivity what was the percentage increase and in which sectors. It was suggested officers provide a response to this outside the meeting.   

·        It was questioned whether the average relet time of 44 days under homes and communities was normal.  

·        It was asked whether the asset management and completion of leases earlier than expected could be elaborated upon and clarification given 

·        Fly tipping was raised as being a big issue and it was questioned what was being done to address this.  

·        Planning applications had been delayed due to phosphates, there were over 120 applications waiting to be decided so why does the report claim a high level of successIt was asked if officers could give a date for when these applications would be coming forward and say how many of the applications waiting were likely to go forward. 

·        It was raised that a feasibility study for Employment Land in West Somerset was mentioned in the report, and it was asked why a feasibility for the whole of the district was not being undertaken. It was asked where the budget for this study was coming from and whether it was revenue or capital funds.  

·        It was raised that the information to answer those questions was not to hand and officers would provide the answers to members after the meeting.  

·        Under homes and communities, we had a number of families staying in B&Bs for over six weeks, the report noted this was currently one family. It was asked if that family would be found suitable accommodation by the next quarter. Officers responded that the report noted that the family had been rehoused to suitable accommodation a few days after the six-week period.  

·        It was raised that on 3rd November the Corporate Scrutiny Committee proposed a motion to the Executive that a feasibility study was undertaken for the provision of an Innovation Hub based in Taunton and that the Council brought the result of the study back through the democratic path when completed. The funding for this proposal was to be found within the existing budget of 2021-22 if it was possible. On 17th November the Executive decided not to conduct any further feasibility studies for an Innovation Hub in Taunton. The Corporate Performance report mentioned further feasibility studies being undertaken in West Somerset. It was questioned why Taunton was not included in the feasibility study.  


A motion that the Scrutiny Committee recommend to the Executive the following was proposed and seconded;  

1) Clarify why a small part of the district with little infrastructure is taking precedent to the County Town of Somerset. 

2) Clearly identify the costs both in terms of revenue and capital associated with these feasibility studies or business case studies in Minehead and West Somerset and future ones before January 2022. 

3) Which sites in Minehead and West Somerset are being considered and where will it fit within the overarching plans for Somerset West and Taunton.  

During the debate on the motion the following points were raised.  

·        It was questioned whether this was the appropriate time for this motion to be raised 

·        It was raised that there was already work ongoing on creating an innovation strategy. 

·        It was raised that this motion would help to gain answers about why there was not also a feasibility study being done for an innovation centre or hub in Taunton.  

·        It was questioned why this motion was being raised as part of this agenda item. It was responded that the feasibility study in West Somerset was included as part of the report before the committee, and it was the job of the scrutiny committee to scrutinise.  


The Corporate Scrutiny Committee recommended to the Executive;   


1) Clarify why a small part of the district with little infrastructure is taking precedent to the County Town of Somerset.  

2) Clearly identify the costs both in terms of revenue and capital associated with these feasibility studies or business case studies in Minehead and West Somerset and future ones before January 2022.  

3) Which sites in Minehead and West Somerset are being considered and where will it fit within the overarching plans for Somerset West and Taunton.   


Corporate Scrutiny Committee noted the report 


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