Q1 Performance Report
To consider the report.
The Panel considered the latest quarter one performance report detailing those indicators that fall under their remit.
The Managing Director informed members that the performance was in a good place. He drew attention to data on page 31, which showed that all but two of the targets were ‘green’, which was on target.
The Chairman commented that he was pleased with the staff surveys and that it was good to see comparison data comparing RBWM with other local authorities. He then questioned the Benefit Assessment Team, and the issues that they were facing when recruiting. The Managing Director informed that although performance was off target it was still high, however there remained challenges when attracting experienced benefit officers. The Head of HR informed the Panel that they had been making use of salary bands and ‘The Gateway’, an initiative to allow employees to move up to the next salary band, to attract and retain staff.
Councillor Sharpe questioned what a different authority would make of the report and whether there were national parameters that every local authority worked towards. The Managing Director responded that it is often hard to benchmark against other authorities as not all parts of the report were comparable. It would also be misleading to compare against neighbouring authorities which may have different data sets.
Councillor Werner referenced that Council’s used to have national targets that made benchmarking easier, however they were now free to set their own targets.
(Cllr Werner left the meeting).
Councillor Hill said that benchmarking was a good thing as it allowed local authorities to compare performance and learn best practice. He expressed concern regarding the time taken to answer calls, which had fallen below 90%. The Council Tax collection rate was also down, although the abandonment rate of calls was good. Councillor Hill also queried whether visits to libraries could be recorded as a 12 month rolling figure.
The Chair expressed his agreement regarding the call rates, and empathised that RBWM should ensure that it can be contacted in any way that suits the customer. It was then asked if the report helped the officers with continued performance. The Managing Director responded that it did, not because of the report itself but by the process of putting the data together and supporting indicators as this allowed RBWM to see what needed to be improved.
Councillor Hill asked if more people were interacting with the council digitally.
The Managing Director informed that there was a need to get more people to interact with the Council via digital methods especially as it was more cost-effective, however residents should still have a choice how they contacted the council..
Councillor Walters commented that some people had no interest in going digital and that whilst it could save money it would cause some residents to feel alienated if they could not use traditional methods of communication. The Panel were informed that the council would continue to push digital transactions, but would still offer support and options for those that would rather not use this method.
RESOLVED UNAMIOUSLY; That the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Panel noted the report.