Agenda item







Options considered:

To provide Overview & Scrutiny Committee with benchmarking information so that they are in a position to make recommendations to Cabinet for action based on evidence to improve performance.


1.    No action

2.    Make recommendations to Cabinet.




Using the benchmarking information comparing NNDC performance to our CIPFA nearest neighbours will provide a valuable insight into the Council’s performance in the context of the performance of similar local authorities.














Reasons for




It is recommended that the Committee;


1.    Receive and note the benchmarking information.


2.    Make recommendations to Cabinet to investigate specific levels of performance and/ or to take action.


3.    Agree the measures that will be reviewed for the next two quarters


Reviewing benchmarking data in this way will ensure the Council maintains acceptable levels of performance across the services delivered by the Council.



(Papers relied on to write the report, which do not contain exempt information and which are not published elsewhere)






Cabinet Member(s)

Cllr T Adams

Ward(s) affected:


Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Steve Blatch, Chief Executive

Email:- Tel:- 01263 516232



Cllr T Adams – Council Leader introduced the report and informed Members that the Council continued to perform well against similar authorities on matters such as Council Tax collection and Planning Performance. He added that Benefits change of circumstances performance was an exception, though work was underway to address this, with delays now down to twelve days, well within the target fourteen days.


Questions and Discussion


       i.          Cllr V Holliday referred to time to process housing benefits changes and noted that the Council remained the worst in the benchmarking group, whilst also being fourth worst in household waste recycling, though it was noted that the latter was reportedly a result of not collecting food waste. She asked for clarification on whether the justification for poor recycling performance was correct, given that all Councils had different food waste collection arrangements. Cllr T Adams replied that that measures were in place to address benefit changes performance, and on household waste recycling this appeared to be a Norfolk-wide issue, which the anticipated mandatory food waste collections may help to address. He added that small electrical items and home collections were further measures expected as part of the waste contract in 2023, with plans also being developed for Comms to help promote recycling. It was noted that efforts were ongoing to reduce recycling contamination in communal bins through housing providers. Cllr V Holliday noted that the Council was also worsening for residual waste collections, and appeared to be lower performing than the nearest neighbours group. She added that it was also time to consider which benchmarking measures should be considered going forward, and suggested that total expenditure for central services by population would be helpful, as the Council appeared to be more expensive than its peers. The rate of births for new enterprises was also suggested, as the Council was reported to have very low performance. Cllr T Adams stated that he shared concerns with overall refuse collections, and noted that in the long-term, the Council did need to see a reduction in the tonnage of residual waste. The DFC noted that there may be more context to explain performance on matters such as residual waste collections, and suggested that a more detailed discussion could be useful to better understand performance issues.


      ii.          The PPMO noted that there had previously been a detailed report on housing waiting lists, and managers had been given an opportunity to provide additional contextual information to the benchmarking report, though none had been received. She added that this approach had been helpful with the deep dive that had followed the benefits change performance issues. It was suggested that any new measures should be focused on areas where performance needed investigating, to help the Council improve.


     iii.          Cllr J Toye asked what the effect of reducing contamination in recyclable collections to zero would be, and how would this impact the Council’s performance. The DFC replied that there was a level of contamination within the recyclables collected caused by a number of issues, and the whilst the Council did have reasonable performance in reducing contaminants, there was still room for improvements. He added that it would be useful for Members to support any future campaigns that sought to reduce contamination.


    iv.          Cllr N Housden stated that with few exceptions there appeared to be a general decline in the percentage of household waste being recycled across the authorities represented in the report.


      v.          The benchmarking measures available for consideration were discussed and it was suggested that central services expenditure by population should be included going forward. Cllr V Holliday suggested that the rate of new businesses being developed and residual waste per household should be added, as the Council was not performing well in these areas. It was noted that Council Tax non-collection rates should be removed from the report as performance was not a concern. Cllr T Adams suggested that whilst performance was positive, it may be prudent to maintain oversight of planning applications performance, in order to see the impact of the Planning Service Improvement Plan.


    vi.          The recommendations were proposed by Cllr A Varley and seconded by Cllr H Blathwayt.




1.     To receive and note the benchmarking information.


2.     To request that the following annual measures be added to future reports:


·        CIPFA 8 Total expenditure - Central Services per head of population (RSX)

·        CIPFA 9 Rate of births of new enterprises per 10,000 resident population aged 16 and above

·        CIPFA 10 Residual household waste per household (annual)

·        (Remove) CIPFA 1 Council tax not collected as a percentage of council tax due - annual


Supporting documents: