Agenda item

Managing Performance Quarter 4 and cumulatively for 2022/2023

Managing Performance Quarter 4 and cumulatively for 2022/2023

Executive Summary

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 during the period 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2023.


It gives an overview of progress towards achieving the objectives in the Corporate Plan and wider corporate performance around core service delivery during the year, and the actions taken to address any issues and proposes further action as needed.


Options considered


Actions to address any areas of under-delivery or poor service performance are raised with the relevant Assistant Director.  Where there are ongoing issues with project delivery or service performance these are presented separately, for Cabinet’s information and comment.


The preparation of this report itself has not involved consultation.  Initially the development of the Corporate Plan in 2019 involved extensive consultation and the progression of specific actions within the Plan have involved further public engagement and consultation processes.




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

Reasons for recommendations


To ensure the objectives of the Council are achieved and service performance monitored, reviewed and as necessary improved.

Background papers


The 2019 – 2023 Corporate Plan and In-Phase performance management system



Wards affected


Cabinet member(s)

Cllr Tim Adams, Leader of the Council

Contact Officer

Steve Blatch, Chief Executive


Tel:- 01263 516232


Links to key documents:


Corporate Plan:          

This performance management report records outcomes against each of the Council’s Corporate Plan’s six key themes, and reports by exception on the operational performance of the Council.

Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS)                                

This report in itself does not raise any issues in respect of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy – although individual project proposals and actions need to be considered in the context of the Council’s financial position and be supported by a business case and agreed budget / savings or efficiency targets.

Council Policies & Strategies

The Council’s Corporate Plan is a key document for the authority, supported by a number of corporate policies and strategies, some of which have been developed as specific actions or objectives of the Corporate Plan.


Corporate Governance:


Is this a key decision 


Has the public interest test been applied

Not an exempt item of business.

Details of any previous decision(s) on this matter

This is a quarterly performance report presented to Cabinet and Overview and Scrutiny Committee



Cllr T Adams – Council Leader introduced the report and informed Members that there had been good progress made towards achieving the Council’s objectives in the last quarter. He added that Serco pay disputes had been resolved and efforts could return to improving performance, carbon reduction and revenue growth for chargeable services. It was reported that there were approximately sixty-five households in temporary accommodation, and numbers were expected to remain high during the current housing crisis. On North Walsham it was noted that physical works had been completed ahead of schedule, with work now progressing on the Cedars building, the public toilets and lokes. Cllr T Adams reported that no adverse decisions had been made by the ombudsman for the 22-23 year, and work was now underway on the solar port at the Reef to further reduce the Council’s carbon footprint. He added that the introduction of the Planning Service Improvement Plan had significantly improved performance and commended officers for their efforts.


Questions and Discussion


      i.        The Chairman referred to p40-41 and asked what evidence was available to suggest that the NWHSHAZ project had boosted business growth and sustainability. Cllr T Adams stated that whilst he did not have data to hand, North Walsham had low shopfront vacancies, new businesses opening in the town and a number of recent events that had been particularly successful. He added that data on footfall and the number of visitors had been recorded and could be shared outside of the meeting. Cllr L Shires stated that four new businesses had opened in the town since November, with one occupying a previously vacant site beyond the market place, which suggested that the town centre’s commercial area was expanding. She added that two national businesses had also shown interest in the town, however the high street did not have a large enough unit available so options were being considered on the town’s periphery. Cllr L Shires said that the town didn’t currently have space to accommodate all commercial interests in the high street, and that there had been significant increases in the use of bus services, with additional routes and times added. The Chairman suggested that any metrics to evidence business growth would be appreciated. Cllr T Adams noted for context that other towns had unfortunately lost local bank branches and shops, though on the whole the District still bucked the trend with very few vacant retail units. Cllr S Penfold stated that there was a sense of community pride and ownership in North Walsham created by the project. The PPMO stated that the Council had recorded footfall and other metrics and would be able to present this data in due course.


     ii.        Cllr N Housden referred to hydrogen projects on p46, and asked whether any consultancy grants were available to explore other schemes or areas. Cllr T Adams replied that the Council would be open to exploring all possibilities, and whilst he was not aware of anything beyond the existing Bacton site, the Council had to make efforts to explore all opportunities. The CE noted that a report had gone to Cabinet the previous week to provide limited consultancy work to better understand the potential for Hydrogen at the Bacton site, and noted that the National Hydrogen Strategy was supporting projects in Redcar and Holton for commercial use to decarbonise manufacturing processes. It was suggested that this approach was likely not present in Bacton due to a lack of industry in the area, though a national hydrogen grid could include Bacton in the future. The CE added that small scale hydrogen production had previously been considered with a report prepared that could be shared with Members, but there was not currently the demand to pursue these proposals without industry support. It was noted that if Bacton had the potential for significant hydrogen production or storage, then the planning for this would likely take seven to ten years and would raise issues for the Council in terms of capacity and knowledge, that may require the employment of specialists. The CE stated that efforts would have to be made to ensure that North Norfolk residents could benefit from any proposals, unlike during the growth of natural gas in the 1970s that many residents were unable to take advantage of. The Chairman asked whether it would be useful to have a Member briefing to bring Members up to speed on progress with future projects of this kind, to which the CE confirmed he would look to arrange a session once the induction process had come to an end.


    iii.        Cllr V Holliday referred to comments on strong progress and suggested that this was at variance with data on housing, climate, blue flag beaches and time taken for housing benefit changes, which was not particularly positive. She added that in terms of customer focus, Inphase data suggested that only 65.2% of calls were answered in May, with an average queue time of 8.5 minutes, and asked when this could be expected to improve. Cllr Holliday noted that time taken for housing benefit changes was still not meeting expectations and asked whether this should be reviewed again. Cllr T Adams replied that the loss of blue flags had been previously discussed, and the Council had been let down by the water industry who were still refusing to accept responsibility. On time taken for housing benefit changes, it was stated that the current eight days was an improved position, but it may be helpful for the Committee review this again in the future. He added that in terms of customer service calls, this was an ongoing pressure and an increase in resources may have to be considered to meet demand. On housing benefits changes the DFR stated that the Team prioritised new claims over changes to ensure that those in need would receive payments faster.


   iv.        The recommendation was proposed by Cllr S Penfold and seconded by Cllr J Boyle.




1.    To note the report and endorses the actions being taken by Corporate Leadership Team detailed in Appendix A – Managing Performance.


Supporting documents: