Agenda item

Year End Council Plan 2020-2025 Quarterly Progress Report (April 2020 to March 2021)

The report and appendix (Performance Framework 2021/22) are attached.




Steve Smith (Assistant Director, Commissioning Support Unit) introduced the report, stating that it drew upon information provided to Cabinet on 17 June 2021 in respect of performance against key business measures (KBMs). He drew attention to the commentaries attached to each of the performance measures outlined within the report. A consolidated performance report on financial outturn had been provided following the presentation of accounts to Cabinet.


In response to Councillor Phillips, Rob Powell (Strategic Director, Resources) advised that WCC was among the few local authorities which continued to offer a local welfare scheme. Several tranches of government funding had been utilised, including the recent £1.3 million ‘Local Support Scheme’ grant enabling provision of free school meal vouchers to eligible households during the school summer holidays. It also provided scope to introduce measures to address fuel poverty. He stated that plans to phase out the £20-per week boost to universal credit in October 2021 could result in increased demand for the Local Welfare Scheme. The longer-term impact of these changes depended upon future provision of government funding. The measures currently in place would support residents experiencing financial hardship for the duration of the school holidays.


In response to Councillor Boad, Barnaby Briggs (Assistant Chief Fire Officer) stated that Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service (WFRS) would not set a target of anything other than zero in relation to the number of fire-related injuries; anything above that could be construed as a commitment to allowing people to be injured. He advised that some Fire & Rescue Services benchmarked performance against a three-year average, which offered a means to view data in context.


Councillor Crump advised that the recently formed cross-party Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) Assurance Panel had agreed to examine WFRS targets to consider whether they were practical and proportionate. The Panel provided a good forum to hold this discussion.


In response to Councillor Boad, Councillor Crump stated that in many instances response time targets had been met but WFRS was unable to save the individuals concerned. This underlined the importance of the prevention agenda.


Councillor Boad suggested that the scope for members to fully utilise the full capability of Microsoft Power BI would be improved by bespoke training sessions orientated towards individual scrutiny committees.


The Chair stated that he had liaised with Information and Communications Technology (ICT) officers to examine how Power BI data could be presented in an accessible way to support scrutiny. He praised the App version of the software which provided an interactive platform to view information.


The Chair praised the performance of the ICT service which had enabled a robust and resilient response to the pressures brought about by COVID-19 across the organisation.


In response to Councillor Tromans, Rob Powell advised that the section of the report outlining the percentage of leaders and managers driving a high-performance culture drew upon information derived from staff surveys. An average of between 45% to 50% of staff had responded to the surveys.


To sum up, Steve Smith stated that an updated performance framework would be established alongside plans to refresh the Council Plan and Medium Term Financial Strategy. A member working group would be set up to review performance targets and benchmarking processes. He stated that efforts would be made to promote the use of Power BI, including members’ interaction with the software. He advised that consideration would be given to how performance information was provided to scrutiny committees, including increased visual presentation of data. 




That the Committee notes the progress of the delivery of the Council Plan 2020 - 2025 for the period covered by the report.


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