The report is attached.
Steve Smith (Assistant Director, Commissioning Support Unit) introduced the report, stating that it drew upon information provided to Cabinet on 9 September 2021 in respect of performance against key business measures (KBMs), strategic risks and workforce management. He encouraged members to make use of Power BI, stating that this resource provided a means to examine data in detail, supporting scrutiny objectives.
Steve Smith highlighted some areas of good performance, stating that customer satisfaction levels had exceeded the set target of 85%. This was a positive trend. He reported that there had been a substantial increase in the number of people following the Council’s social media channels. This was attributable to the Authority’s response to COVID-19 and the drive to expand social media coverage and digital communication. The increase in social media followers proved the effectiveness of this response and the change in behaviours observed during the Pandemic.
Steve Smith drew attention to the commentaries attached to each of the KBMs outlined within the report where performance had not reached targeted levels. Improvement measures had been prioritised and detailed work was under way with specific departments to analyse issues affecting performance. He stated that the refreshed performance framework would prioritise continuous improvement to ensure that the organisation was moving in the right direction.
The Chair praised the response of the organisation to the additional pressures brought about by COVID-19, including a considerable uplift in demand for specific services.
In response to Councillor Matecki, Steve Smith advised that KBMs were reviewed on an annual basis, including consideration of relevant factors affecting performance. Performance was monitored by a dedicated team to prioritise continuous improvement. This methodology would inform development of the updated performance framework. He stated that Power BI provided a highly effective means of interrogating data to identify areas where remedial action and investment should be targeted.
Councillor Boad highlighted the importance of Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service’s commitment to set a target of zero fire-related deaths and fire-related injuries. However, she emphasised that in some remote areas of the County, it was acknowledged that meeting targeted response times was extremely challenging. Similarly, there were instances where response time targets had been met but WFRS had been unable to save the individuals concerned. She emphasised the importance of setting targets that were configured to provide an accurate representation of performance. This was an area being examined by members of the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) Assurance Panel.
Councillor Crump (Portfolio Holder for Fire & Rescue and Community Safety) emphasised the importance of prevention work, which had progressed well as lockdown restrictions had eased. He recognised that in some instances, WFRS had acted promptly and proficiently but had been unable to prevent a fire-related death; however, it was right for the target to be set at zero. In respect of response times, he advised that rigorous, evidence-based analysis was utilised to determine the locations of fire stations. This provided the best possible means to ensure that WFRS could respond effectively.
That the Committee notes the progress of the delivery of the Council Plan 2020 – 2025 for the period as contained within the report.