Agenda item

Managing Performance Quarter 1 2020/2021










Options considered:

The Managing Performance Report attached as Appendix A will enable the Council to assess delivery against objectives detailed in the Corporate Plan Delivery Plan 2019-2023 and operational service performance. It gives an overview, assesses the impact that Covid-19 has had on both these aspects of Council performance, the actions being taken to address these issues.


Options considering action regarding performance are presented separately, issue by issue, to the appropriate Council Committee where committee approval is required.




Covid-19 has had some impact in the short-term on the achievement of the objectives in the Corporate Plan Delivery Plan 2019-2023 and significant impact on service operational performance, particularly during the period of the national lockdown earlier this year. Cabinet has identified three priority actions from each of the six Corporate Delivery Plan themes that will be given priority going forward recognising the changed context in which the Council is operating and is likely to be for some months into the future.







Reasons for



That Cabinet resolves to note this report and endorses the actions being taken by Strategic Leadership Team detailed in Appendix A – Managing Performance.



To ensure the objectives of the Council are achieved.


Cabinet Member(s)

Cllr Sarah Bütikofer

Ward(s) affected



Contact Officer, telephone number and email: Steve Blatch, Chief Executive


Tel:- 01263 516232



The PPMO introduced the report and informed Members that once approved, the key priorities of the corporate and delivery plans were placed into the new Inphase performance monitoring system, alongside operational performance data. She added that the new system would soon be available for Members to use online, and suggested that she would be happy to run a briefing session to fully introduce and train all Members on the use of the software in the near future.


Questions and Discussion


  i.         Cllr G Mancini-Boyle referred to the Council’s work supporting communities during the pandemic on page 16, and asked whether this support would be scaled back in the near future. The CE replied that the community support programme had been implemented at the beginning of the national lockdown and noted that whilst the number of requests for assistance had declined significantly, the response could be stepped up at any time to respond to an increase in cases. The CE reported that the Council was also working with Community Action Norfolk to map the community support groups that worked with the Council, in order to develop a directory for future assistance.


 ii.        Cllr N Housden asked whether the Council staffing situation was in anyway depleted by the first wave of lockdown, in respect of the impact this could have on responding to a second wave. The CE replied that staff were in no way depleted at the present time. Cllr N Housden then asked if the delivery plan was available on the on the Council’s website, to which the PPMO replied that the delivery plan was available to view via Inphase hosted pages on the Intranet, and she would provide access to this following the previously mentioned briefing session.


iii.        Cllr C Cushing referred to delayed information contained within the report, and asked whether more up to date data could be gathered for each meeting. The PPMO replied that as a result of the Council’s response to the pandemic, officers had been asked to delay inputting some performance data until August, to allow high demand service areas time to catch-up. She added that once Members were given access to the Inphase system, then performance data could accessed at any point, meaning that Members could see the most up to date data available. It was noted that there could still be some delays to performance data, as it was added to the system on a pre-determined timescale. The Chairman asked how this process would impact the reports coming to Committees, to which the PPMO replied that the reports could only provide a snapshot of data, but it would be up to each Committee to determine what to review. It was confirmed that Councillors would be provided with login details at the start of the training session.


iv.        Cllr L Shires referred to the percentage of planning applications determined within the target time period on page 59, and asked whether data was available on those that had not been determined within the timeframe. The CE replied that whilst this data was not provided, he would seek to determine whether this could be included in future reports. The PPMO added that the indicators included in the report were a combination of national targets set by the Government, KPIs related to the Corporate Plan, management and service indicators. Cllr L Shires stated that she would welcome any additional information added to the system.


 v.         Cllr J Toye sought clarification on whether the targets were nationally set, to which the PPMO replied that most operational matters had Government set targets that the Council was required to meet. She added that the Council often set its targets above Government expectations to ensure compliance. Cllr J Toye noted that some targets appeared to be falling, such as access to services via the Council’s website, and asked whether there was an explanation for this. The PPMO replied that as services became available on the website, there were initial surges that declined once the service was established. She added that the relevant senior officer might be able to provide a better response on this specific matter.


vi.        Cllr N Housden asked whether it would be possible to differentiate between the targets once access to the system had been granted, and whether Members would be able to request or set different targets. The PPMO replied that this would be possible and Members were free to make target recommendations to Cabinet.


vii.        The Chairman referred to the zero based budgeting identified in the report and asked whether it was realistic given the timescale available prior to setting the budget. The CE replied that it was his understanding that this would be done on a trial basis for a limited number of service areas.


viii.        Cllr L Shires suggested in relation to Cllr J Toye’s comments on falling targets, that he should also request information on when payments were expected throughout the financial year, as this would help identify trends. She then asked if there were other authorities in the region that used the Inphase system that could be used for performance comparisons. The PPMO replied that there many other authorities used the system, including Norwich City Council and ideas could be drawn from this. Cllr L Shires noted that social housing figures were falling, which would have a significant impact on communities, and asked whether more could be done to address this issue. The CE replied that whilst Inphase provided performance data and some limited contextual data, he hoped that this could still be used to help the Council’s partners address the issue. He added that the new system should be used in this way to help the Committee identify areas requiring greater scrutiny, in order to improve the Council’s performance. The Chairman reminded Members that local homes for local people was a key theme of the corporate plan, and this should be remembered when addressing housing issues.


ix.        Cllr H Blathwayt referred to benchmarking against other Council’s, and suggested that it was important that these comparisons be made with similar Council’s only. The PPMO replied that CIPFA provided information on similar Council’s that grouped them into families for easier comparisons to be made.


 x.         The PPMO provided a brief demonstration of the Inphase system to show housing waiting listing figures over the past three years.




To note the report and endorse the actions being taken by Strategic Leadership Team detailed in Appendix A – Managing Performance.

Supporting documents: