A report of the Chief Executive to propose the Council’s Corporate Delivery Plan for 2020-21 will be considered for pre-decision scrutiny in order to make recommendations as appropriate to the Cabinet.
Councillor Hadji-Nikolaou arrived at the meeting at 6:10pm.
A Cabinet report of the Chief Executive to propose the Council’s Corporate Delivery Plan for 2020-21 was considered for pre-decision scrutiny (item 7a on the agenda filed with these minutes).
The Chief Executive, the Improvement and Organisational Development Manager and the Corporate Improvement and Policy Officer attended the meeting to assist with the consideration of this item and gave the following responses to questions raised:
i. Within the Strategic Direction document it was suggested that wording under ‘Financial Stability’ was to be extended to reflect that the Council aimed to reduce reliance on financial reserves to fund services in the short term, with a vision to replenish these reserves in the medium to longer term. Local Government funding would determine the rate at which replenishing financial reserves would be achievable.
ii. The Council’s aim to plant 30,000 trees across the Borough by March 2021 was not subject to Lottery funding, as suggested in the appendix to the report of the Chief Executive. This was an error and the document would be amended.
iii. Enquiries were made regarding the net loss or net gain following the fulfilment of the Council’s aim of planting 30,000 trees by March 2021, given recent tree-felling operations. This information could be accessed and circulated to Members of the Commission, and where appropriate included with quarterly performance reporting for transparency. Accessing the number of trees lost through third party clearance could be challenging.
iv. The temporary Regulation 7 Order which referred to the removal of lettings boards on residential accommodation in Loughborough was due to the proliferation and the extensive time taken to remove the boards following a lettings agreement. The order improved the character of the residential area and reduced adverse impacts on visual amenity.
v. There was currently only one aim which referred to waste and recycling as the Plan was focussed on one year. Additional objectives would be detailed in the Service and team plans of the Cleansing and Open Spaces department of the Council.
vi. The Council recognised the significance of the Air Quality Review and the legislative requirements associated with this. The consideration of a ‘Charnwood Standard’ in air quality in the future would be put forward for subsequent years.
vii. Fly-tipping was a national issue and the impact of introducing a bulky waste charge was difficult to measure. There had not been an additional cost to the Council in introducing mobile CCTV units in fly-tipping ‘hot spot’ areas, as these cameras were already in use.
viii. Success criteria regarding the reduction of crime and creating safer communities included delivering events and crime prevention campaigns.
ix. The location of planned physical activities to support the Council’s ‘Healthy and Happy Residents’ outcome was evidence-based and mapped for maximum impact.
x. The target of 50 empty homes brought back into use as a result of action by the Council were additional to the 50 empty homes that had been quoted in the previous Business Plan 2019-20. This was an ambitious target as properties required differing resources.
xi. Increasing the reporting of anti-social behaviour was included in one of the campaigns outlined in the Healthy Communities section of the Corporate Delivery Plan.
xii. The Quest accreditation awarded to Leisure Contractors included a variety of aspects such as customer service and facilities. The accreditation followed an intensive and stringent process. A query was raised regarding the inclusion of Quest accreditation in the contract with the provider.
xiii. Violence reduction initiatives were led by the Charnwood Community Safety Partnership. The Council worked with a number of partners in order to support projects and maximise impact.
xiv. It was acknowledged that some of the ‘measurable success criteria’ referred to the success of the process, as opposed to success of the impact created. The current Corporate Delivery Plan 2020 - 2021 was concerned with year one of the Corporate Strategy. There was further opportunity to develop measurable success criteria for subsequent years of the strategy.
xv. The Council was involved in the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Prepared group in order to overcome any potential resilience and civil contingency issues. Central Government were leading on current threats and the role of the Council as a facilitator or enabler was to be determined in the coming days. The current situation involving Corona Virus was dynamic but the Council was preparing for various scenarios.
xvi. There had recently been a number of market days cancelled due to poor weather conditions. There was a possibility to explore options to overcome this in future, such as alternative covered venues and pop-up markets in other locations.
xvii. There was potential for the Corporate Delivery Plan 2020- 2021 to be developed in order to incorporate public realm improvements of villages within the Borough, as well as the Towns referred to in the appendix to the report of the Chief Executive. This was unlikely to be included in year one of the plan but could be a prospective aim.
xviii. A proportion of the Towns Deal funding that the Council was working towards could be used towards improvements to Bedford Square, Wards End and Devonshire Square. This was within the remit of the funding.
xix. The Council aimed to enhance and continue to develop the Trade Waste Expansion Project. Opportunities for expanding this service would be carefully considered.
xx. The Treasury Management Strategy was an obligatory requirement of the Council. Therefore, it was acknowledged that the development of this could be removed from the Corporate Delivery Plan 2020 – 2021 as an action.
xxi. The reason for the Key Indicator references KI13, KI14 and KI15 (timescales of planning applications determined) being reviewed annually was due to a historic request from Members. It was acknowledged that reporting of the measures was included within all quarterly reports, and therefore could be displayed as a quarterly, rather than an annual indicator, in the Corporate Delivery Plan 2020-21.
xxii. The Council had not met the stretch target for the Key Indicator reference KI4 (a) regarding the percentage of household waste sent for reuse, recycling and composting. The stretch target was 50%, although the Council was achieving 44%. This was due to the current delivery of the service and was difficult to achieve.
1. That the Cabinet be informed that the Commission supports the recommendations as set out in the report of the Chief Executive.
2. That the Strategic Direction Document 2020 – 24, appended to the report of the Chief Executive, be amended to indicate that the Council would aim to replenish financial reserves in the medium to long term.
3. That the Corporate Delivery Plan 2020-2021 be amended to reflect that the Council’s tree-planting aims were not subject to Lottery funding and this wording instead be included to the measurable success criteria regarding the Charnwood Forest Landscape Partnership Scheme.
4. That information on the net loss or the net gain of trees in the Borough following the fulfilment of the Council’s aim to plant 30,000 trees by March 2021 be circulated to Members and where appropriate included in the quarterly performance reporting for transparency.
5. That guidance on air quality standards and air pollutants be provided to Members at the next meeting of the Commission.
6. That information on the attendance at crime reduction events be communicated to Members and where appropriate included with quarterly performance reporting for transparency.
7. That future Delivery Plans more robustly indicate success measures based upon the impact created.
8. That the Head of Leisure and Culture explore alternative options for the Loughborough Market in adverse weather conditions and to increase the profile of the market.
9. That a prospective aim of incorporating public realm improvements to villages of the Borough, as well as Towns, be considered for subsequent years of the Corporate Delivery Plan.
10.That the Head of Cleansing and Open Spaces considered the use of dual services to include residential waste and trade waste in the Trade Waste Expansion Project.
11.That the Development of the Treasury Management Strategy as an action be removed.
12.That the Committee recommending annual reviews of KI13, KI14 and KI15 be identified and consulted on the decision and the KPIs in the Corporate Delivery Plan be changed from annually to quarterly.
1. The Commission, having carefully considered the report, felt the Cabinet should approve the recommendations set out.
2. To maintain aspiration and to ensure the Council’s financial aims are appropriate.
3. To ensure the information in the Corporate Delivery Plan 2020 – 2021 was accurate.
4. To allow Members to better understand the impact of the Council’s aim to plant 30,000 trees by March 2021 and to maintain transparency.
5. To allow Members to better understand the Council’s Air Quality Review and the potential for air quality improvements.
6. To allow Members to better understand the impact of crime reduction events that the Council was involved in and to maintain transparency.
7. To ensure that the Council demonstrates success against the Corporate Strategy Outcomes.
8. To ensure the Loughborough Market is able to fulfil its maximum potential and to ensure resilience.
9. To ensure the villages within the Borough are able to fulfil their maximum potential and to encourage community development.
10.To potentially increase the attraction of potential customers to the scheme.
11.To ensure an understanding that the Treasury Management Strategy was an obligatory requirement of the Council.
12.To potentially increase the frequency of review of KI13, KI14 and KI15.